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.
NTSB Recommends New Communications Technology to Make Intersections Safer
The National Transportation Safety Board made recommendations for applying new technology to help cars and trucks talk to each other at intersections in response to fatal school bus accidents in New Jersey and Florida last year. Vehicles equipped with the technology can continuously communicate over wireless networks, exchanging information on location, direction and speed 10 times a second. The vehicle’s computer analyzes the information and issues danger warnings to drivers, often before they can see the other vehicle. The technology is effective up to a range of about 1,000 feet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been road-testing the technology in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the past year.
Source: The Washington Post
Minnesota DOT Raises Awareness on Speeding Dangers
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is using new message board with safety statistics to help increase driver awareness of the dangers of speeding. The speeding crackdown comes as officials report that 166 people have been killed on state roads this year, a 7 percent jump from the 149 at this time last year. Motorists tend to drive faster during the summer, and higher speeds make it more likely that a driver will lose control or be unable to respond to changing conditions. That increases the severity of crashes and injuries, according to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The messages will appear mainly during nonpeak travel times so they don’t supersede real-time information that motorists depend on.
Source: The Star Tribune
Red-light Safety Cameras Contributing to Safer Streets in Napa, CA
Over the past five years, the number of collisions in Napa is down and data from the first half of 2013 suggest that trend will continue. Public safety officials attributed the decrease in traffic accidents to several areas of focus designed to work in tandem to make the roads safer. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012, Napa saw 670 collisions, compared with 327 for that same time period in 2013. Throughout the city, enforcement technology including the red-light cameras and speed radar feedback signs supplement the Public Safety officers in their efforts. Before the upcoming school year begins, the department plans to install 12 new radar speed feedback signs near schools in an effort to curb speeding, thereby reducing the likelihood of collisions, especially with pedestrians. The $50,000 price tag is being paid through money generated by the red-light camera tickets.
Source: The Napa Valley Register
Pittsburgh Moves Toward Safer Roads and Approving Red-Light Safety Cameras
City Council members in Pittsburgh are considering trying installments of red-light safety cameras at dangerous intersections on a pilot basis in the next few months. Council discussed the concept of red-light cameras at a meeting Wednesday with state, industry and public safety officials. The state Legislature last year added Pittsburgh to Philadelphia as the only areas allowed to issue tickets based on cameras identifying cars that run red lights, and the city is studying whether to implement the program here. State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Wilkins, and Richard Retting, director of safety and research for Sam Schwartz Engineering and former director of traffic safety for New York City, said the presence of cameras has a positive impact on safety, with studies showing a reduction of 40 to 90 percent in the number of accidents where red-light cameras are used.
Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eleven States Increase Focus on Safety Through Speeding Enforcement
Troopers in 11 states along I-80 are stepping up speeding enforcement beginning Wednesday and lasting through July 31. — which is annually one of the deadliest periods for crashes on that highway. The goal of the campaign is zero fatalities through the end of the month along I-80, which stretches from Teaneck, N.J., to San Francisco. In the three-year period 2009-2011, there were 350 fatalities on all of I-80, according to Patrick Hoye, chief of the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, citing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Participating in the effort are state police in California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency that regulates trucking safety, according to organizers.
Source: USA Today