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.

New Data Shows Automated Cars are Safer Drivers than People
Data gathered from Google’s self-driving Prius and Lexus cars shows that they are safer and smoother when steering themselves than when a human takes the wheel. Google recently announced the results of two studies that looked at the hundreds of thousands of miles Google’s vehicles have logged on public roads in California and Nevada. One of those analyses showed that when a human was behind the wheel, Google’s cars accelerated and braked significantly more sharply than they did when piloting themselves. Another showed that the cars’ software was much better at maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead than the human drivers were. Google has been testing its cars on public roads since 2010, always with a human in the driver’s seat who can take over if necessary.
Source: Mashable

Red-Light Safety Camera Program Reducing Collisions in New Jersey Town
New data released today by the Township of Edison, New Jersey shows a 71-percent reduction in right-angle crashes at three intersections since the inception of its red-light safety camera program. In 2012, Edison launched the camera program with the goal of reducing the number of crashes and fatalities at three intersections deemed high-collision and high-risk. In just one year, data from the township has shown a 32 percent total collision reduction and a 17 percent reduction in rear-end crashes.
Source: NJ.com

Albany Red-Light Safety Cameras Enhancing Safety
Representatives of the Albany, New York police department have credited red-light safety cameras with improving safety at one of the city’s busy intersections. Red light tickets have dropped sharply since 2008, the first full year the cameras were in place. That year, there were 1,119 tickets, according to a city of Albany report to the Oregon Legislature. Through August, 328 such tickets had been issued this year.
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald

Wyoming Education Panel Supports School Bus Camera Legislation
The Wyoming state legislature’s Joint Education Committee is backing a bill to install cameras on all public school buses in hopes of better protecting students. In 2011, an 11-year-old Wyoming student was struck and killed as she crossed a highway after getting off a school bus. Cameras on the buses would capture vehicles that illegally pass buses taking on or dropping off students. The proposal would provide up to $5 million to help school districts install the cameras.
Source: KULR8

New Study: Wealthier Countries Have Safer Roads
Wealthier nations have lower roadway fatality rates, according to new research from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The study examined road safety in 170 low-, middle- and high-income countries, looking at both the wealth of the country and the number of roadway fatalities. The average fatality rate per million vehicles is 313 in high-income countries, 2,165 in middle-income countries and 6,040 in low-income countries. The study also looked at pedestrian safety in these countries, finding that the average percentage of pedestrian deaths out of all roadway fatalities is 21 percent in high-income nations compared with 31 percent in middle-income and 35 percent in low-income countries.
Source: Automotive World

                                                                               

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 Miami, FL.

 

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.

It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week
As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are urging parents and caregivers to set and enforce safe driving ground rules for their teens. Parental involvement is a key component in the development of safe young drivers and safe driving habits remain essential. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens in America. NHTSA data show that 1,963 young drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 died and an additional 187,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2010.
Source: NHTSA

D.C. Suburb Begins School Bus Camera Program
Authorities in Falls Church, Virginia are cracking down on those who illegally pass stopped school buses. The city will begin using new stop-arm cameras to monitor drivers who pass stopped buses on some Falls Church roads. The activation of the new cameras coincides with National School Bus Safety Week. City officials say the brazen act is committed an average of 20 times each school day.
Source: NBC Washington

Louisiana Tech Offering One-Day Road Safety Education Program for Students
Louisiana Tech University is offering a distracted and drunken driving education program for students. The program uses a high-tech simulator, impact video, and a number of other resources to educate students. The simulator allows students to experience, in a controlled environment, the potential consequences of drunk and distracted driving. Drivers younger than 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Source: The News Star

Navigation Systems Alert Drivers to Traffic Safety Cameras
The growing use of cameras for speed and red-light enforcement has led to warnings that are built into navigation systems. Including enforcement camera locations in navigation systems goes along with the idea of the cameras being a deterrent. The warnings are based on known camera locations. The systems don’t sense the presence of cameras, so mobile cameras and ones added after the data is collected won’t be included.
Source: USA Today

Washington City Speed Safety Camera Program Begins
The city of Kent, Washington will start operating its first school traffic cameras to catch speeders in November. Council members unanimously approved plans in May to install cameras on streets in front of two elementary schools. Cameras will only operate when the school zone lights are flashing, which are the morning drop off and afternoon pick up times for the schools.
Source: The Kent Reporter

                                                                               

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 Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.

Tom Hanley’s life abruptly changed forever when a shuttle bus driver transporting his entire wedding party ran a red-light. His best friend and wedding officiant was killed instantly in the tragic collision and Tom suffered injuries that still affect him today. Since the accident, Tom has worked closely with NCSR to share his story as a cautionary tale of the consequences of red-light running.

Safety Street had a chance to speak with Tom about the collision that changed his life and his thoughts on red-light running and road safety. Read the Q&A below to learn more:

You have a very powerful story. Can you briefly describe your experience with red-light running and how it has affected you?

In June of 2010, I was on board a commercial vehicle for a wedding here in Indianapolis with close friends and family.  Our driver failed to stop at a red light and collided with an SUV, which caused our bus to flip on its side.  My best friend Jim was partially ejected from the bus upon impact and died instantly. In addition, I suffered two broken vertebrae and a brain injury, both of which continue to impact me more than three years later and will most likely play a role for the rest of my life.

Jim, myself, or the other 12 other innocent passengers on the bus had a reasonable expectation for an attentive commercial driver in control of our bus. Instead, we had a driver that, without any real explanation, was improperly licensed to drive the vehicle, ran a red light and forever changed our lives. If he had properly stopped at the intersection, Jim would still be here today.

Has your experience changed the way that you approach driving and road safety?

From a young age, I have traveled a lot and always made the effort to be acutely aware of avoiding distracted behavior while driving. I have always tried to make driving my complete and total focus while behind the wheel.  My experience made me realize that no matter what I do, I can’t control what other drivers around me are doing. I pay very close attention now when entering intersections, no matter how long I have had the right of way, to check and see if vehicles might be running a light as I enter. I also typically wait a split second after a light turns green to allow for anybody who was trying to beat a yellow light to enter and exit the intersection.

In my collision, we had a driver who carelessly ran a red light. No matter what qualifications somebody may have, their carelessness can still cause injury and death to innocent people.

You have been a long-time partner of NCSR, using your story highlight the message that red-light running has serious consequences. Why is it important to you that drivers change their behavior in and around intersections?

The sights and sounds of my accident are something that will haunt me forever.  In a perfect world, not a single person will have to try and revive their best friend in the moments after an accident; not a single person will have to carry the weight that there was nothing that could be done to save them; and not a single person will ultimately have to learn that their accident was caused by a red-light runner.

Not paying attention, trying to beat a red light or simply disregarding a signal can impact innocent bystanders for a lifetime. I live this reality every day.  I miss my friend Jim all the time, as do the family and friends he left behind.

I know you are also a very active cyclist. On that front, what dangerous habits and road safety efforts do you regularly encounter?

As a cyclist, we have the same rights and rules of the road as any motor vehicle and I make sure to respect the same rules as if I were driving my car. Not all drivers are aware that cyclists have the same rights and many drivers don’t realize the speeds that can be carried on a bicycle. Therefore, I always try to make eye contact with drivers as I approach an intersection and I always try to anticipate what actions drivers will take as I approach. Even if I have the right-of-way, I’ll still come out on the losing end of a collision with a car so I make sure I am aware of what is going on around me.

What road safety policies and behaviors would you like to see implemented more across the US?

I would like to see more standardized enforcement of existing red-light running laws. Specific to our experience, I’d like to see better enforcement of commercial vehicles.  Our driver walked away with $150 ticket for running a red light, despite the fact he killed one, injured 14 others and was improperly licensed to be driving the commercial vehicle.  It is my goal that my ongoing work with NCSR will help carry a vocal, serious focus on the dangerous consequences for red-light runners not just here in Indiana, but across the country.

 

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 Miami Garden, FL.

 

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