In red-light running collisions, two-thirds of the people injured are people other than the driver who chose to run the red light. This statistics means that a large majority of the people who are injured by red-light runners are other drivers, passengers, cyclists or pedestrians. Pedestrians, in particular, are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to red-light running and other traffic collisions as they do not have the seatbelts, airbags or the steel frame of a car to protect them – and the resulting injuries serve as proof.

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Daily News, emergency room physician Dr. Kaushal Shah describes in great detail the typical injuries of a pedestrian who has been struck by a motorist driving 30 miles per hour or less in great detail. The injuries include shattered bones from the initial strike, traumatic brain injury after being tossed in the air and landing on the windshield, and lacerations to the face from the broken glass. Children and shorter pedestrians are often pushed under the car and dragged – leading to brain and chest injuries. In collisions where the drivers reach speeds greater than 30 miles per hour, the consequences are much more deadly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,432 U.S. pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions and another 69,000 were injured in 2011. Even more devastating, 11,000 of the pedestrians injured were under the age of 14. While traffic fatalities declined from 2010 to 2011, pedestrian deaths have been on the rise. Communities all over the country are taking a variety of actions to reverse this trend and keep the most vulnerable users of their roadways safe.

Traffic enforcement cameras like red-light and speed safety cameras are a crucial tool being used by cities and towns across the country to keep pedestrians safe. Red-light safety cameras improve driver behavior near intersections, keeping pedestrians in crosswalks safe and injury-free. Knowing that the speed of an oncoming car significantly influences the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries, speed safety cameras are also critical in keeping pedestrians safe. In fact, New cameras improve driver behavior near intersections, keeping pedestrians in crosswalks safe and injury-free. Knowing that the speed of an oncoming car significantly influences the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries, speed safety cameras are also critical in keeping pedestrians safe.

In fact, New York City is hoping to beef up its safety camera programs with the goal of reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero in the city. In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department uses not only red-light and speed cameras, but portable stop sign and crosswalk camera technology to ensure that motorists keep pedestrian’s front of mind. And in Pennsylvania, red-light camera violations are helping to fund traffic safety programs like designated crosswalks in dangerous areas, many of which protect pedestrians in the state.

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.

Emergency Room Doctor Describes Typical Pedestrian Traffic Injuries
In the New York Daily News, an emergency room doctor describes his all-too-frequent experiences treating the injuries of thousands of pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles. Nearly half of these pedestrians injured by cars in the city are either walking with the signal in the crosswalk or on the sidewalk. According to Dr. Kaushal Shah, in a typical accident a pedestrian will suffer shattered pelvic and leg bones, traumatic brain injury, and lacerations to the face – at the very least. An ER doctor at a level one trauma center will treat at least two or three crash victims during a typical 12-hour shift.
Source: New York Daily News

New Statistics Show Red-Light Safety Cameras Are Making Spokane Roads Safer
New data shows that crashes have declined dramatically in the five years since red-light cameras were introduced in Spokane. Collisions are down at the intersections where the cameras are installed and within the city as a whole, according to data maintained by the Washington State Patrol. Police say the program is so successful they may ask the Spokane City Council to consider adding cameras to more intersections.
Source: The Spokesman-Review

New Regulations Sought for Child Car Seats
Federal regulators recently proposed a long-awaited test for child safety seat side-impact crash protection that consumer advocates believe will bring child car safety more in line with the protection currently required for adults. The proposed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) side-impact crash test would require car seats to prevent harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door and reduce crash forces transmitted to the head and chest. NHTSA estimates that the proposal would save five lives and prevent 64 injuries annually.
Source: USA Today

New D.C. Traffic Cameras to Begin Issuing Citations
After an extended grace period, Washington, D.C.’s 100 new traffic cameras will start to issue tickets on February 1st. The new cameras can detect drivers who are not stopping at a stop sign or for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Some are monitoring cars that “block the box,” meaning they stop in the middle of an intersection, causing gridlock. The new cameras are of a program that the district has dubbed “D.C. Street Safe.”
Source: NBC Washington

New York State Legislators Introduce Bill to Penalize Drivers without Valid Licenses
Two state lawmakers from Queens, New York are proposing a new measure that would subject drivers with suspended or revoked licenses to tougher penalties if they’re involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. The bill would make it a felony when a driver without a valid license is involved in a crash resulting in injury or death. Unlicensed drivers are involved in nearly twenty percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States.
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.

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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.

While for some driving a car often feels as familiar and comfortable as riding a bike, a driver’s memory of his/her first few forays without supervision never truly fades. The sense of freedom – and terror – that comes with powering a car by one’s self for the first time is not one that is easily forgotten – though the sense of responsibility is, according to a new study.

“Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they become more comfortable with driving,” said Charlie Klauer, one of the study authors and group leader for teen risk and injury prevention at the transportation institute’s Center for Vulnerable Road User Safety.

Findings from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development show that teens begin their driving habits with great caution, but begin to multi-task at a higher frequency than other populations within a matter of months. Researchers compared the results of a one-year, 100-car study with drivers between 18 and 72 years of age and an 18-month study of 42 teens who had drivers’ licenses for less than three weeks at the start of the study. Compared to experienced drivers, novice drivers engaged in secondary tasks less frequently during the first six months. However, they matched experienced drivers between months seven and 15, and were engaged in non-driving tasks more often than experienced drivers during the last three months of the study. Overall, teen drivers demonstrated a two-fold increase in risky distractions during these final months.

“Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they become more comfortable with driving,” said Charlie Klauer, one of the study authors and group leader for teen risk and injury prevention at the transportation institute’s Center for Vulnerable Road User Safety.

Distractions like those observed in these studies often lead to incredibly dangerous driving behaviors like running red-lights. In June, NCSR and Focus Driven released an analysis that examined the impact of distracted driving on red-light running. Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving on Intersection Safety analyzed a sample of 118 intersections with red-light safety cameras across the country and used the findings to estimate that more than 7.3 million U.S. red-light violations in 2012 involved distracted behavior. The fact that our newest generation of motorists are so likely to engage in secondary tasks poses serious concerns for the safety of not just our intersections, but our roadways as a whole.

For more information on distracted driving, visit StopDistractionOnRed.org.

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 Law Targets Drivers Who Don’t Remove Snow
Beginning this year, motorists driving in Connecticut can be cited for failing to clear their cars of any ice or snow after a snow storm. The law, which passed in 2010 and went into effect this month, allows police to fine drivers up to $75 for dangerous accumulation. If snow or ice flying from vehicles results in injury or property damage, drivers of non-commercial vehicles can be fined $200 to $1,000. The penalties for commercial drivers are $500 to $1,250.
Source: USA Today

Sensors Find Arizona Drivers Speeding after Speed Safety Cameras are Disabled
After speed safety cameras were disabled in Pima County, Arizona, speed sensors within the cameras detected that 1,970 drivers sped by more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in the week that followed. The week before the camera program was disbanded there were only 634 people caught by the cameras. County officials have asked the Sheriff’s Department to increase speed enforcement in the area as a result of the increase in speeding.
Source: Arizona Daily Star

Buzzed Drivers Under Legal Limit Still Risk Collisions
A new study from University of California, San Diego has found that drivers with a slight “buzz” are more likely to be at fault for collisions than the sober drivers they hit. The authors looked at fatal car crash data from a U.S. national database of more than 570,000 collisions between 1994 and 2011 and found there appears to be no safe level of alcohol in the bloodstream when it comes to driving. In fact, drivers with a BAC of .01 percent, the lowest level recorded in the dataset, were 46 percent more likely to be solely blamed for the crash than a sober driver. For men and women, as blood alcohol level increased, so did the possibility of blame for the accident.
Source: Reuters

Indiana Transportation Committee Considers Legislation to Allow School Bus Safety Cameras
The Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee will vote this week on a bill that would authorize public and private schools to contract with camera enforcement companies to install cameras on school bus stop arms and photograph drivers who fail to stop. The practice of driving around stopped school buses is extremely common, according to AAA Indianapolis. A one-day bus driver tally of stop-arm violations equated to more than 300,000 a year.
Source: Northwest Indiana Times

Google Glass App Aims to Keep Drivers Awake
A new Google Glass app called DriveSafe uses the accelerometer built into the Glass to determine if a driver is nodding off behind the wheel. If the driver’s head dips below a certain angle for too long, the device’s speaker sounds an alarm to wake the driver. If it happens too often in a given time frame, DriveSafe can tap into the navigation app to provide directions to the nearest rest area. Automakers have been working on similar technology to let motorists know when it’s time to take a break.
Source: Wired

                                                           

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