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.

AAA Predicts 29.7 Million Americans Will Drive Over Labor Day Weekend
AAA has projected that 29.7 million Americans will likely hit the road between Thursday and Monday this Labor Day weekend. The prediction is 1.4 percent higher than Labor Day 2013 and the highest number of road travelers since 2008. AAA attributes the increase in drivers to the timing of the holiday (the travel period begins in August) and increased consumer confidence.
Source: The Car Connection

Chicago Area Police Credit Red-Light Safety Cameras for Reduction in Collisions
According to law enforcement in Orland Park, Illinois, collisions have declined at intersections with red-light safety cameras in the six years since they were installed. Police touted 40 to 50 percent reductions in crashes in lanes monitored by red-light safety cameras when compared to the three years prior to the cameras’ installation.
Source: The Chicago Tribune

New Report: $530 Million in Highway Safety Funds Remain Unspent
A new report from the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General has found that states have not spent $538.8 million in grants awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 2006 and 2012. States get grant funds to have extra road patrols during congested holidays or to run ads warning drivers not to drink and drive or to wear seat belts. NHTSA plans to send new guidance to states on using highway safety grants and will conduct reviews by next year on state’s unused funds.
Source: The Detroit News

Washington State School District Installs School Bus Stop Arm Cameras
Bethel School District in Pierce County, Washington will install school bus stop arm cameras next month. The cameras will catch drivers who fail to stop when school bus stop signs are deployed. A Bethel school bus driver has said that he sees someone blow by his stop sign every day. The cameras will give school bus drivers one less thing to worry about while transporting children.
Source: KIRO

California Highway Patrol Cracks Down on Distracted Driving
In an effort to save lives and eliminate distracted driving around school zones, the California Highway Patrol is saturating school zones in the central division. The “Operation No Cell Phones Around Schools” effort is focused on the number one killer of teens in America—reckless and distracted driving. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Source: Taft Midway Driller

                                                                   

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

Across the country, students are heading back to school as the summer comes to a close. Nearly 26 million school-aged children in the United States take a school bus to and from class and millions more walk between school and home each day. Traveling to and from school should be safe for kids, but a new report from American Traffic Solutions (ATS) finds that it isn’t.

Drivers who choose to speed in school zones or fly past stopped school buses endanger the well-being of students—whether they’re entering or exiting the school bus or walking through a school zone. The new ATS report details the risks that our children face no matter how they travel to school and outlines solutions that many communities have implemented to help keep kids safe.

Risks of Riding the Bus

Blatant disobedience of school bus laws poses a dangerous threat to student safety. In a single school day in 2014, school bus drivers across the country recorded 75,966 vehicles that passed school buses illegally. If projected over an entire school year, that number would reach 15 million.

Enforcement of school bus stop arm violations is incredibly difficult. Drivers are concerned with child safety and have difficulty recording information about the violations, while local law enforcement officials are spread thin when it comes to enforcing a number of traffic violations.

Dangers of Walking in a School Zone

School zones were designed as low-speed areas in an effort to increase the safety of children walking or biking to school. However, two-thirds of drivers speed and one in six are distracted when they drive through these designated areas.

When it comes to injuries and fatalities—speed matters. A pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour has a 95 percent chance of survival. At 30 miles per hour, that survival rate drops to 60 percent. At 40 miles per hour, it drops to a shocking 20 percent. The chance of survival is even lower for children.

Safety Solutions

Camera technology is a critical tool in increasing student safety and changing driver behavior. School bus stop arm cameras are affixed to the outside of school buses to capture images and video of drivers who illegally pass the bus while the stop arm is deployed. The benefits of the cameras are two-fold—they allow drivers to focus on the safety of their passengers and teach drivers that there are consequences for disobeying the stop arm law. In the communities where school bus stop arm cameras are used, more than 99 percent of drivers who received and paid a citation did not go on to receive a second citation. In other words, the cameras are improving driver behavior.

Speed safety cameras are also keeping children safe in school zones by providing enforcement when police offers are unable to be present. For example, the city of Seattle has seen school zone speeding violations decrease by 27 percent since it began its speed safety camera program at the end of 2012.

For more information on the dangers that children face as they travel to school and the solutions available to improve their safety, read the ATS report.

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 Hollywood, 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.

Federal Government Looks to Require Technology that Allows Cars to Communicate
The federal government recently stated that it is taking a first step toward requiring that future cars and light trucks be equipped with technology that enables them to warn each other of potential danger in time to avoid collisions. The technology uses a radio signal to continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information. Similarly equipped cars and trucks would receive the same information, and their computers would alert drivers to an impending collision. A research report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the technology could eventually prevent as many as 592,000 left-turn and intersection crashes per year, saving 1,083 lives. Source: Associated Press

New Research: Speed Safety Cameras Reducing Trauma Center Visits
A new study published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery has examined the effect speed safety cameras on motor vehicle collisions and the number of patients taken to Level 1 trauma centers. Researchers found that speed safety camera removal was associated with a two-fold increase in trauma center admissions, as well as increased resource use.
Source: MDLinx

Older Pedestrians in New Jersey Face Increased Risk
Older pedestrians in New Jersey are more likely to be killed by automobiles than their counterparts in other states, according to an analysis of the nearly 47,000 pedestrians killed nationwide from 2003 through 2012. The analysis from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign also found that pedestrians 60 and older in New Jersey, like those for the nation overall, are far more likely to be killed than younger people. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s New Jersey advocate has said likely factors for New Jersey’s elevated fatality rate include the state’s population density and heavy traffic.
Source: NJ.com

Miami-Dade County Looks to Expand Red-Light Safety Camera Program
Officials in Miami-Dade County, Florida have taken the initiative to add 150 red-light safety cameras at intersections throughout the county. Proponents of the camera program cite recent research from the state’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, which shows that the number of fatal car crashes has fallen nearly 50 percent at intersections where the cameras were installed. Hundreds of Floridians die each year because of red-light running.
Source: Miami New Times

NYPD Cracks Down on Cyclists Who Disobey Rules of the Road
The New York Police Department is targeting cyclists who break the rules of the road as part of a two-week enforcement effort called “Operation Safe Cycle.” Cyclists are supposed to obey all traffic signals, as motorists would. But along the Central Park bike loop this week, dozens of riders were spotted blowing through red lights, riding against traffic, and failing to yield to pedestrians — all within the course of an hour. The NYPD has said that it is also targeting motorists who block bike lanes.
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.

Take the pledge to Stop on Red

Intersection located in Hollywood, 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.