The Safety Street weekly news roundup brings together a mix of road safety and transportation stories from around the web. It is published every week on Safety Street and is available on Twitter via @SaferRoadsUSA.

Mayor Bloomberg: Don’t Complain About Tickets If You Run Red Lights
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and radio show host John Gambling took up the issue of drivers who unduly complain about red-light safety cameras and the media outlets that give them a platform just to make a story. Bloomberg brings it back to the bottom line of safety noting that running a red light leads to collisions that often time end in death. New York City currently has 150 cameras that photograph traffic scofflaws and issue tickets to the violators. The Mayor aims to install more cameras to bring heightened safety to more of the 12,000 plus intersections in NYC.
Source: Capital New York

New GHSA Study: Deaths Of Teen Drivers Jumped In Early 2012
Deaths of younger teen drivers increased sharply in the first six months of last year, reversing a decade-long trend, according to a report released Tuesday by state highway safety officials. Deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2012 were up a combined 19 percent over the same period in the previous year, according to the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Twenty-five states reported increases, 17 had decreases, and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change in the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths.
Source: Associated Press

Florida School Bus Camera Bill Aims to Catch Drivers Who Don’t Stop
The latest proposal in front of Florida lawmakers is a plan to install cameras in school buses to tape drivers who are passing by. Under the proposed bill, the cameras would take pictures of cars that don’t come to a stop any time a bus signal is up. Nationwide, one-third of school bus accidents involve children who are hit by cars on their way to and from the school bus.
Source: Bay News 9

Minnesota Lawmakers Push to Bring Back Red-Light Safety Cameras
A group of lawmakers is proposing a bill that would allow cities to use cameras to catch drivers who run red lights and speed. In 2007 the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that red-light safety cameras are unconstitutional because the tickets were linked to a driver’s license, not to the motorist who committed the violation. Supporters of the new bill say they think technology will address those concerns because the cameras will capture pictures of both the license plate and the motorist.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio

Buses Pulled From Road for Safety in Massachusetts
Massachusetts inspectors say they’ve found serious safety problems with buses used by a popular discount bus service operating between Boston and New York City and are asking federal transportation officials to declare Fung Wah Bus an “imminent hazard,” essentially shutting down the operation. The state inspected nine buses, found serious problems with eight, and negotiated an agreement to take all 21 of Fung Wah’s older buses off the road.
Source: Sentinel and Enterprise

 

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.

The Safety Street weekly video series aims to raise awareness about the dangers of red-light running by highlighting crashes and close calls in intersections caused by reckless red-light runners. The videos are also available on Twitter @SaferRoadsUSA and YouTube youtube.com/SaferRoadsUSA.

Take the pledge to Stop on Red

Intersection located in Scottsdale, AZ.

 

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.

The Safety Street weekly news roundup brings together a mix of road safety and transportation stories from around the web. It is published every week on Safety Street and is available on Twitter via @SaferRoadsUSA.

Philadelphia Launches New Traffic Safety PSA Campaign: Walk-Right Ride-Right Drive-Right
A new campaign by the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities aims to remind pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers sharing the road to keep the streets and sidewalks safe for each other. The campaign’s graphic posters will be in more than 50 bus shelters, on the backs of more than 65 buses and in more than 500 buses. The main theme of each PSA is “Its Road Safety, Not Rocket Science”.
Source: PlanPhilly

Safe Light Sugar Land: Camera Program Proves Effective, Accidents Down at Target Intersections
Since the installation of Sugar Land’s current red light cameras at current locations, accidents have decreased more than 58 percent at targeted intersections. The analysis charts accident data back to 2009, the year that the last of the current cameras were installed. Known as Safe Light Sugar Land, the program is intended to improve the safety of high-volume intersections in the City. Red light cameras in Sugar Land encourage motorists to stop at red lights, which save lives.
Source: Sugar Land Sun

Safety Council: Traffic Deaths Surged In 2012
Despite a prior seven-year decline, traffic fatalities rose five percent in 2012. An estimated 36,200 people died motor vehicle accidents in 2012, the National Safety Council said Tuesday. That’s up from 34,600 deaths the previous year. It’s the first increase since 2004 to 2005. The council and other safety advocates attributed the increase in part to more driving due to an improved economy and a mild winter last year.
Source: NPR

Connecticut Lawmakers to Consider Red-Light Safety Cameras Again
Connecticut lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow any municipality with a population greater than forty-eight thousand to authorize the use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices. New Haven contains the second-most number of traffic signals in New England. Transportation officials said cameras would enforce the law and keep police officers safe because officers have limited space to pull over violators.
Source: NBC Connecticut

Tallahassee City Officials Say Red Light Safety Program is Working
Tallahassee city officials say red-light safety cameras are helping to bring down the number of people running red lights. Some intersections were yielding more than four hundred violations a day before the program started. Today officials see less than 15 per day.
Source: ABC Tallahassee

 

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.

Melissa Wandall is the President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads and a nationally recognized traffic safety advocate who was instrumental in passing Florida’s Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, named in memory of her husband who was killed in a red-light running collision.

Recent coverage by the TODAY show has once again put the red-light safety camera debate in the national spotlight. Each time another study comes out showing how cameras save lives, vocal opponents try to shift the message away from safety by focusing on the “financial burden” of reckless red-light runners.

RELATED: Inaccuracies in Tom Costello’s TODAY Show Report

The people made to pay a fine because they drive carelessly aren’t victims. My husband, Mark, was a victim. Several years ago he and my brother were on the way home, stopped at an intersection about a mile from our house, when another driver blew through a red light. My brother was critically injured. Mark died instantly. I was 9 months pregnant.

“We are all working toward the same goal: protecting our communities and keeping our streets as safe as possible for all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Melissa Wandall
President, NCSR

 

From that moment my mission as a traffic safety advocate began. Today, I stand with NCSR, police departments, traffic officials and safety advocates from the more than 540 U.S. communities who currently operate camera programs. We are all working toward the same goal: protecting our communities and keeping our streets as safe as possible for all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

In red-light safety camera programs we have the tools to help make this happen.

Research and reactions across the country demonstrate the effectiveness of safety camera programs:

 

  • A 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study of large U.S. cities found the cameras reduced the rate of fatal red-light running collisions by 24 percent.
  • A recent IIHS study of a program in Arlington, Va. found an 86 percent decline in collisions that happen about 1.4 seconds into the red light cycle — the most dangerous type.
  • In Pohatcong Township, N.J., residents voted in favor of keeping the safety cameras beyond the original contract expiration date of 2016.

 

And in Florida, my home state, a recent report found that 56 percent of the communities with programs experienced a reduction in crashes at intersections with safety cameras. The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, named in honor of my husband, ensures that part of the fines collected from red-light runners goes toward local trauma centers and research centers dealing with paralysis — a terrible consequence of many red-light crashes. Learn more on Florida programs from this video.

The bottom line is that people who illegally run red lights must be held accountable. They endanger not only themselves, but everyone on the road. They aren’t victims — the victims are the people killed in red-light running collisions and the loved ones left behind.

–Melissa Wandall

RELATED: Press Release

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.

The Safety Street weekly video series aims to raise awareness about the dangers of red-light running by highlighting crashes and close calls in intersections caused by reckless red-light runners. The videos are also available on Twitter @SaferRoadsUSA and YouTube youtube.com/SaferRoadsUSA.

Take the pledge to Stop on Red

Intersection located in Mesa, AZ.

 

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.