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 Study: Drivers More Annoyed by Texting While Driving
Even though 69% of Americans find texting to be the “most annoying or offensive” activity while driving, 55% admit to using their phone in the car. A new report from Expedia looks at Americans’ habits and opinions about driver behavior ahead of the summer travel season. The most Americans (69%) identified drivers who texts, emails or talks on the phone while driving, as one of the top five most annoying and offensive behaviors. Tailgating was ranked in the top five worst behaviors by 60% of survey respondents. Other bad behaviors in the report included multitasking, hogging the left lane, honking and racing at red lights.
Source: Mashable

Washington, D.C. Expands Speed Safety Camera Program
The Metro Police Department in Washington, D.C. has added new speed safety cameras to 14 locations in the District. In addition, one camera will enforce oversized vehicles in residential neighborhoods. A recent study by the D.C. Department of Transportation found that traffic safety cameras reduced crashes at 87 locations.
Source: DCist

Pedestrian Fatalities Remain High As Overall Traffic Deaths Fall
Between 2003 and 2012, more than 47,000 pedestrians were killed nationwide — even as traffic fatalities overall were falling. A new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition ranks cities by its Pedestrian Death Index, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Florida cities Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami occupy the top four spots on that list, due largely in part to their development after World War II.
Source: Transportation Nation

State College Police and Residents Work Together to Get Red-Light Safety Cameras Installed
The State College Police Department and the College Heights Association in State College, Pennsylvania are teaming up together and asking lawmakers to amend a bill that would allow boroughs to put in red-light safety cameras. One of the community’s intersections just off Penn State University’s campus has caused a great deal of alarm. The College Heights Association has collected more than 300 signatures on a petition seeking approval for counties outside of the Philadelphia area to install red-light safety cameras.
Source: WeAreCentralPA.com

New York Police Heighten Enforcement of Dangerous Driving
As part of the New York City’s “Vision Zero” street safety initiative, cops in 21 precincts across the city will focus on dangerous road behavior for one week. Cops will target speeders, red light runners, drivers who are on their cell phones, motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians, and other vehicular scofflaws. The effort follows two shorter initiatives over the last couple of weeks. One two-day crackdown took aim at dangerous behavior and resulted in 5,258 tickets for illegal cell phone use and for failing to yield to walkers. Another ticket blitz last week resulted in 4,814 summonses for speeding.
Source: New York Daily News

                                                                   

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

ntersection 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.

Red-light safety cameras have proven to be an essential tool in changing driver behavior and reducing red-light running. They also provide a wealth of information about when and where drivers are running red lights across the country.

Today, NCSR has released its second biannual Safer Roads Report 2014: Trends in Red-Light Running to raise awareness among drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians of the dangers of red-light running. The report finds that more than 3.5 million drivers in 20 states ran a red light last year. By examining red-light running trends across 2,216 red-light safety cameras in 202 areas, NCSR provides a useful tool for the public to understand the times of the day, days of the week, and holidays when people are most commonly running red lights.

“By highlighting the data and trends around red-light running, we hope to educate the public on the dangers of running red lights,” says David Kelly, Executive Director, NCSR, and Former Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The information in the report reveals when we are most vulnerable on the road and reminds everyone to stay alert and safe near intersections.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Memorial Day weekend was the highest ranked holiday travel period, with 39,021 red-light running violations in 2013
  • Halloween had the lowest number of red-light running violations in 2013, with 28,902 total
  • Friday proved to be the worst day for intersection safety in 2013 — safety cameras caught 570,151 total red-light running violations — while Sunday saw the fewest violations, with 439,323 total
  • Drivers most frequently ran red lights in the afternoon, with 30.07 percent (1,070,572) of all red-light running violations in 2013 occurring from 1 p.m.– 5 p.m.

A new infographic also aims to educate the public by illustrating key findings and trends from the report. The infographic highlights the dangers of red-light running in a visual and digestible manner.

“Personally and as president of NCSR, I have witnessed the pain and trauma that running a red light can cause,” says NCSR President Melissa Wandall. “My hope is that this report will arm drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians with the knowledge they need to stay safe on our roads and keep others from having to feel the heartache I experienced when my husband was killed by a careless driver.”

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.

Biking to Work Has Increased 60 Percent in Last 10 Years
The number of people who commute to work by bicycle increased about 60% over the last decade, while the number of people walking to their jobs remained stable, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. During the years 2008-2012, about 786,000 Americans commuted by bicycle, up from about 488,000 in 2000, the Census says. That jump is the largest percentage increase of all commuting modes tracked by the 2000 Census and the 2008-2012 American Community Survey. Bicyclists still account for just a fraction of all commuters: 0.6%.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Forbes Columnist Touts Efficiency of Red-Light Safety Cameras
In his column on Forbes.com, contributor Stan Collender touts the efficiency and service of red-light safety cameras. “All of the violations this camera caught that day meant the local government was providing better service to its residents at a far lower cost than it otherwise could have been provided,” Collender wrote. Having uniformed officers patrol dangerous intersection is an unnecessary cost to local governments and fewer violators would be caught in other areas. Collender frequently contributes to Forbes.com on federal tax, spending and deficit issues.
Source: Forbes.com

Fatal New York City Intersection Gets Pedestrian-Focused Redesign
An New York City intersection where two pedestrians were killed earlier this year is getting a Vision Zero overhaul. Officials recently unveiled the changes to 96th Street and Broadway. The intersection now has more space for pedestrians in the median, which doubles as a subway station entrance. The Department of Transportation has also retimed traffic lights, curtailed left turns and created a new crosswalk.
Source: Transportation Nation

Maryland County Extends School Bus Safety Camera Program
School bus cameras in Montgomery County, Maryland are getting a boost with the addition of 75 cameras to county school buses. In the first quarter of 2014, the school bus cameras issued 272 citations, showing that illegal passing of school buses when their stop arms are deployed is a major safety issue. The county hopes that by upping the number of cameras and the fines, safety will be improved for the children riding the buses.
Source: The Sentinel Newspapers

Michigan Ramps Up Annual Seat Belt Safety Campaign
Michigan’s annual Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization will begin next week, as safety belt enforcement zones will start up. The goal of the zones is to increase seat belt use to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. In recent years the state’s seat belt use rate has fallen from a high of 97.9 percent in 2009 to 93 percent last year.  Since that all-time-high belt use rate, the state’s traffic deaths have increased from 871 in 2009 to 951 in 2013.
Source: Click On Detroit

                                                           

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