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.

NHTSA Promotes National Heatstroke Prevention Day
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has partnered with safety advocates across the country to promote National Heatstroke Prevention Day on July 31st. NHTSA is raising awareness about the dangers of children in hot cars using social media to spread the word and share recommendations. Already in 2013, at least 24 children have died from heatstroke from being left in a car.

Source: Fast Lane

Miami Expands Red-Light Safety Camera Program
Miami commissioners recently voted to move forward with a plan that expands the city’s red-light safety camera program. The Miami Police Department provided statistics that highlighted the safety benefits of the cameras. In Miami, 80 percent of those ticketed do not re-offend. In addition, collisions were reduced by nearly 11 percent at intersections where safety cameras were used.
Source: CBS Miami

The Ethics of Autonomous Cars and Safety
Although they are not quite ready yet, autonomous cars could save many lives in the future. Traffic collisions kill about 32,000 people every year in America alone. That’s about 88 deaths per day in the U.S., or one victim every 15 minutes. If all goes well, computer-driven cars could help prevent these accidents by having much faster reflexes, making consistently sound judgments, not getting road-rage or being drunk, and so on. They simply wouldn’t be as flawed as humans are. This piece from Wired takes a deeper look at the ethics of saving lives with autonomous cars.
Source: Wired

D.C. Bicycle and Pedestrian Councils Call for More Traffic Safety Cameras
After a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car in D.C. earlier this month, bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups have recommended that the District continue installing red-light and speed safety cameras. The groups cited an April study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that found that 87 percent of D.C. residents support red-light safety cameras and 76 percent support speed cameras.
Source:  DCist

MIT and Audi to Measure Driving Stress
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Audi are developing a Road Frustration Index to measure the stress of driving in 30 cities. MIT researchers performed nine preliminary tests in the Boston area and found driving to fall between giving a class presentation and sky diving on an anxiety scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey, Americans spend on average 51 minutes a day behind the wheel, so measuring and improving the stress and strain of driving could have significant health implications.
Source: Transportation Nation

 

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.

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

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 Charles County, MD.

 

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.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on Aggressive Driving
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines aggressive driving as an act that is committed with disregard to the safety of others. While it is unknown exactly how many of the some six million crashes occurring in the United States each year are caused by aggressive drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates the number to be substantial. AAA recommends a three pronged approach to keeping safe on the roads, “don’t offend, don’t engage and adjust your attitude.” Staying calm and safe on the road should be a top priority.
Source:
NBC Philadelphia

Michigan:  Red-Light Safety Cameras Leading to Safer Roads
Every year in Michigan, thousands of drivers, pedestrians, passengers, motorcyclists and bicyclists are involved in automobile collisions caused when a motorist illegally runs a red light. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, over 5,000 red-light-running crashes happened last year alone. And while many of these collisions ended with little more than a police report and an insurance claim, hundreds of crash victims weren’t that lucky. Statewide 189 Michiganians suffered incapacitating injuries in 2012 while, tragically, 31 residents lost their lives as a result of a red light being run. A new bill proposed in the House would give local communities the ability to decide to install red-light safety cameras. Red light safety cameras may not be right for every intersection in every Michigan city and township but they could save a life in others.
Source:
The Detroit News

New Report Finds States Stepping Up Efforts to Combat Distracted Driving
With 50 percent of the U.S. adult population now owning smartphones and the wireless industry reporting a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released its second look at how states are dealing with the problem of distracted driving. The report, “2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States,” reveals that since 2010 more states are enacting and enforcing laws, leveraging new media to educate the motoring public, focusing on key constituency groups, and collecting data related to the problem.
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

Maryland’s New Transportation Secretary Views Transit as a Priority
James T. Smith, the newly appointed Transportation Secretary of Maryland, recently declared his priorities would cover all modes of transportation infrastructure now that the state is expected to receive new revenues from a gasoline tax increase, more than $4 billion over the next six years. “I’m not wedded to any one approach to addressing our transportation needs. We have to build a transportation network,” said Smith, a former circuit court judge and two-term Baltimore County executive. Smith made it clear that transit projects will receive attention during his administration.
Source:
WNYC

Los Angeles Metro Transportation Authority to Offer Traffic Safety Classes for Bikers

Bicyclists throughout Los Angeles County will get a chance this summer to brush up on their traffic safety skills through free lessons funded by a $203,000 federal grant. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced 120 weekend classes, available in English and Spanish. The classes will be taught by three bicycle advocacy organizations and are being offered in response to the growing popularity of bicycling and the increasing risk for traffic accidents involving cyclists. The grant for the classes was awarded to Metro by the California Office of Traffic Safety and is part of funding offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Source: Glendora Patch