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 St. Louis, MO.

 

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 often overlooked as a health concern, a strong connection exists between the way we travel and commute and our overall well-being. Global health entities like the World Health Organization have long called for nations across the world to recognize and treat road safety as a critical health issue, naming the years between 2011 and 2020 as a decade of action for road safety.

Released on Wednesday, March 26, the fifth edition of the County Health Rankings offers a look at national health trends and the many determinants of health that exist at the county level – including a new focus on how transportation affects our well-being.  This year’s report finds that more than three-quarters of U.S. workers drive to work and among them 33 percent drive longer than 30 minutes each way. Not only does driving represent a significant portion of our nation’s commuting, it contributes to major health issues like physical inactivity, obesity and air pollution.

Across the country, we depend heavily on motorized travel, especially cars, to get where we need to go. In 2008, the average American drove nearly 10,000 miles. Additionally, almost half of all trips in America are two miles or less, and 74% of these are traveled by car. Our driving-oriented communities have direct health effects, including safety implications for pedestrians and drivers alike. Many neighborhoods lack sidewalks and safe crossings to keep pedestrians safe. Our dependence on driving also leads to 40,000 traffic-related deaths annually and exposes us to air pollution, which has been linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, pre-term births, and premature death.

An infographic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s NewPublicHealth blog offers a closer look at the connection between transportation and health. Visit the County Health Rankings website for more information on how your county fares when it comes to healthy transportation and pedestrian safety efforts.

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.

Government Proposes Devices to Track Truck and Bus Driver Hours
Commercial trucks and buses that cross state lines would have to be equipped with electronic devices that record how many hours the vehicles are in operation, according to a government proposal aimed at preventing accidents by tired drivers. Accident investigators often cite crashes where truck and bus drivers exceeded limits on work hours. In some cases, drivers or their employers altered paper logbooks or kept two sets of books, concealing their driving practices from inspectors. The electronic devices would make it harder for drivers to misrepresent their hours and would help reduce crashes by tired drivers, saving 20 lives and preventing 434 injuries each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Source: Associated Press

Chattanooga Expands Speed Safety Camera Program
The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has activated new speed safety cameras in three dangerous areas as part of its speed reduction initiative. Speed studies and accident reports have shown that the three locations have crash rates between 1.7 and 2.5 times the statewide average for similar streets. Ticket revenues from the cameras will fund traffic safety programs such as driver education efforts.
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

Houston Begins Developing Master Bike Plan
Following outcry from Houston cyclists over bike safety, Mayor Annise Parker has announced a new effort to educate the public about the city’s safe passing ordinance. Parker appears in a new public service announcement that appeals to both motorists and cyclists to follow the rules of the road. As part of that campaign, the Houston Police Department will ticket drivers who violate the ordinance, which requires drivers to give bikes at least three feet of room when they pass. Police will also ticket cyclists who break the law. In addition, the mayor is committing $50,000 to initial work on a bike master infrastructure plan for the city.
Source: Houston Public Media

East St. Louis to Begin Using Officer-Controlled Speed Safety Cameras
East St. Louis Police will begin using speed safety cameras that are operated by police officers. The laser speed guns are equipped with high-definition cameras capable of capturing an image of a vehicle’s license plate. The devices allow police to issue citations for speeding without conducting a traffic stop.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

San Francisco Billboards Expose People Who Text While Driving
A new website has been collecting photos of people who text while driving in the San Francisco area, and some of the photos have found their way onto billboards in the region. The project, called Texting While in Traffic (TWIT) is the brainchild of a San Francisco graphic designer who couldn’t believe how often he saw drivers on their phones during his commute. The TWIT website includes stats about distracted driving and encourages readers to engage in “TWIT Spotting” (as passengers) by sending their photos as well. The billboards—which have no copy on them whatsoever—will hopefully show drivers in a very public way that they’re being watched and judged.
Source: Gizmodo

                                                           

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 Memphis, TN.

 

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.

New Report: States Spend Too Much on New Roads and Neglect Maintenance
A new report from Taxpayers for Common Sense and Smart Growth America finds that state departments of transportation continue to spend significantly more money on road expansions compared to maintenance, exacerbating the problem by bloating future maintenance bills once the new roads eventually need repair. The report estimates that states would need to spend $45 billion to bring roads in poor condition into a state of good repair while maintaining their existing road systems. However, based on data reported to the Federal Highway Administration from 2009 to 2011, states collectively spent $20 billion annually to build new and expand existing roads but only $16.5 billion repairing the rest of the road network.
Source: Transportation Nation

Tampa Police Support Extending Red-Light Safety Camera Program
The City of Tampa says red light safety cameras are making their roads safer. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says she will go to the city council to speak in favor of keeping the cameras in Tampa. The Tampa Police Department says accidents are down by 33 percent at the original 13 intersections where the red-light safety cameras were placed. The cameras were placed in the intersections that have a record of the most accidents in the city. The number of citations issued is also down by 15 percent in Tampa, even though the number of red-light safety camera locations has increased.
Source: WFLA

Georgia Legislature Passes “Slow Poke” Bill
The Georgia Legislature has approved a measure that would allow police to ticket those driving too slowly in the left lanes on the state’s highways and interstates. The “slow poke” bill would require any driver on a divided highway to move to the right – even if they’re driving at the speed limit — when a vehicle going faster comes up from behind, or face a misdemeanor charge. Supporters say that the bill was passed for education purposes, over concerns that irate drivers stuck behind dawdlers might spur road rage incidents or cause crashes while trying to pass.
Source: USA Today

Chicago Speed Safety Cameras Slowing Down Motorists
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says peed cameras have been “incredibly effective” at slowing down motorists around schools and parks. The number of motorists caught speeding each day has dropped at all but four of the 92 camera locations.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times

More Californians Ditching Cars in Favor of Bikes and Walking
California state transportation officials have released a study that shows that the rate of Californians walking, biking or taking transit on a typical day doubled to 22% over a 10-year span starting in 2001. The study also found that the rate of Californians driving on any given day fell by about 12 percentage points over the same period. What is happening in California mirrors a nationwide decline in driving, experts say: The number of car miles driven annually peaked about a decade ago, and the percentage of people in their teens, 20s and 30s without driver’s licenses continues to grow.
Source: Los Angeles Times

                                                           

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