Road Safety News Roundup: March 6

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 U.S. Census Bureau Survey: Snapshot of Commuting Across the Country
About 8% of workers in the USA have commutes of an hour or longer, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers endure “megacommutes” of at least an hour-and-a-half and 50 miles, according to new U.S. Census data on commuting. On average, it took no longer to get to work in 2011 than it did in 2000, due in part to economic woes.
Source: USA Today

Red-Light Safety Camera Program in Des Moines Sees Reduces Number of Collisions
The Des Moines Police Department says automated traffic cameras are helping reduce collisions on metro roads. The intersection that’s seen the biggest reduction in collisions is MLK and School Street.  In 2009, there were 16 wrecks reported and in 2010, there were 22. In 2011, when cameras were installed, that number went down to 10, and then last year, when cameras were operating for an entire year, there were only five.
Source: WHO (NBC)

U.S. DOT to Set Bike and Pedestrian Safety Standards
The U.S Department of Transportation will set its own bicycle and pedestrian safety standards for the first time, rather than simply accepting AASHTO guidelines. The agency will highlight bicycle and pedestrian safety as a priority. The Federal Highway Administration will rely heavily on input from AASHTO but also signaled that it would work with others to incorporate the full spectrum of bike and pedestrian design best practices.
Source: DC Streets Blog

Newark Mayor Debuts Video Touting Red-Light Cameras’ Safety Benefits
Newark Mayor Cory Booker released a safety video to promote the positive effect the New Jersey’s red-light safety cameras have had on the state’s largest city. The three-and-a-half minute video states that Newark has seen an 86 percent drop in right angle crashes and a 42 percent dip in rear-end crashes since 2011. It describes the cameras as a “force multiplier” that frees up police officers to perform other tasks.

Bike Summit Connects Bike Lanes to Improved Business
The 2013 National Bike Summit® this week touted its theme connecting improved biking options to better business. New York City’s Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan highlighted new and exciting data that analyzed the sales tax receipts of businesses on streets with bike lanes vs. streets without. For example, on 8th and 9th avenues, the nation’s first protected bike lanes, since 2007, NYCDOT saw a 50 percent increase in sales tax revenues — 16 times the borough-wide numbers. This trend continued all over the city.
Source: The League of American Bicyclists


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