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