Category: News

TEMPE, AZ–(Marketwired – February 03, 2015) – Red Means Stop, a leading advocacy group for red-light running related victims and safety advocates is calling on the Arizona Senate to reject legislation that could compromise safety and increase crash related costs in Arizona. Senate Bill 1167 would prevent police and sheriff’s departments from using red-light and speed safety cameras. Without these traffic enforcement tools, the number of dangerous collisions will increase, raising costs to communities and needlessly endangering innocent children and adults. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, in 2013 traffic related collisions were responsible for nearly $3 billion in economic losses.

“Reducing the incidence of crashes on our highways and saving lives should be a high priority for our elected officials,” said Howard Fleischmann, President of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. “Taking a successful tool away from law enforcement is counterproductive.”

Nearly one Arizonan a day died in speed and red-light running related crashes in 2013, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. If a virus were claiming lives at this rate, preventive methods would be implemented without hesitation. Red-light and speed safety cameras are preventive measures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently quantified the benefits of red-light and speed safety cameras at the state level. A fully implemented red-light and speed safety camera program in Arizona would prevent 49 fatalities and reduce the number of injuries by 4,128. This reduction translates to a financial benefit to Arizona of more than $166 million annually in avoided costs of: medical, emergency services, market productivity, household productivity, insurance administration, workplace costs, legal costs, travel delays and property damage.

The CDC’s Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States, is built specifically for state decision-makers. It recommends the best mix of safety devices based on their cost-effectiveness and capacity to prevent the most injuries and save the most lives. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/calculator/index.html.

In Arizona, red-light and or speed safety cameras are in use in Chandler, El Mirage, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Star Valley, and Tucson. Safety improvements to date, include:

  • Collisions decreased nearly 68% at intersections in Tucson with red-light safety cameras from 188 in fiscal year 2006, the last year without cameras, to 61 collisions in 2014.
  • Since 2007, the City of Mesa has seen a 35% decrease in serious injury collisions at monitored approaches.
  • In September 2013, the City of Phoenix released data comparing calendar year 2007-2009 versus calendar year 2011-2012, the data indicated that Phoenix’s red light photo-enforcement program had:
    • Decreased the number of collisions that were a result of a red-light violation by 47.1% at photo-enforced intersections.
    • Decreased the number of collisions involving injury or death that were a result of a red-light violation by 60%.

No one should die or be injured on our streets. This bill puts drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Red-light running and speeding are problems in Arizona. If you don’t believe it, watch the video at http://youtu.be/XmTht_1ieDc. It is a chilling reminder of the dangers of speeding and red-light running.

About Red Means Stop:

The Red Means Stop Coalition is the only known grassroots organization of its kind in the United States. Our long-term goal is to have the message about the dangers and consequences of red light running spread throughout the country until red light running is significantly reduced everywhere. For more information visit www.redmeansstop.org.

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.

Buckle Up, Drive Safely This Christmas
Alabama Police Chief Terry Holden said if the current increase in traffic is any indication of what is yet to come during the Christmas holidays, it’s going to be heavy.
Source: TimesDaily

AAA: It’s Holiday Time So Don’t Let the ‘Spirits’ Move You
With more than 90% of holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA Southern New England urges motorists to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving. According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, 1 in 8 licensed drivers, who drink at least occasionally, reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.
Source: Easton Courier

Safety Officials Want Stricter Cell Phone Driving Laws
According to traffic safety officials, Washington’s texting while driving law isn’t tough enough on drivers. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says we’re missing out on hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to enforce distracted driving laws, because the laws aren’t tough enough.
Source: KGMI News

Traffic Fatalities Fell in 2013, But There’s Still Plenty of Room for Improvement
Traffic fatalities have been on the decline for years, tumbling 25 percent in the last decade alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 2013 continued that trend, with the fatality rate hovering at an all-time low — though there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Source: The Car Connection

Record-Setting 98.6 Million Americans Traveling this Holiday Season
AAA now projects 98.6 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million people who traveled last year. This upward trend marks the highest forecast growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period on record. (AAA data dates back to 2001.) The year-end holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 to Sunday, January 4.
Source: World Property Journal

As the holiday season continues, communities and safety organizations remain dedicated to promoting safe driving techniques nationwide. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) member State Highway Safety Offices, for example, are working with law enforcement officials and other community partners to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Their efforts to enhance safe and sober driving is especially important during the holiday season, for it is one of the most dangerous time of year on the roads. With millions of people on the road and unpredictable winter weather conditions, motorists are already at great risk while they travel to their holiday destinations. Adding impaired drivers to the dangerous and congested roads can turn the situation from risky to fatal.

During the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which lasts from December 10-31st, more than 800 people lose their lives in vehicle crashes involving a drunk driver. According to GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins, impaired driving contributes to one-third of all highway fatalities.

Though the primary focus of the safety programs is to reduce drunk driving, another growing issue the GHSA is working to address is drug-impaired driving. In attempt to decrease the number of injuries caused by drug-impaired driving, GHSA is working with states to provide research and recommendations on how to prevent it.

Whether it is from alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two, driving under the influence puts the driver and other motorists on the road in danger, stressed Adkins.

The holiday season is a time for love and celebration, but it is also a time for caution and safety so that everyone can enjoy it. With millions of people on the road traveling long and short distances to spend time with family and friends, we need to be extra careful.

For tips on safe driving this holiday season, check out AAA’s Winter Driving Tips here.

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 Jersey Officials Say Red-Light Safety Camera Program Should Continue
New Jersey officials are calling for the continuation of cameras that snap photos and result in tickets for drivers who run red lights. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and state Sen. Richard Codey lent their support to the expiring red light camera program during a news conference Friday, NJ.com reported.
Source: Claims Journal

Ohio Traffic Safety Cameras Make Case to Lawmakers
Supporters of automated traffic-enforcement cameras argued Tuesday that a vote to effectively kill the programs protects law-breakers at the expense of the safety of the driving public.
Source: Toledo: The Blade

State Troopers in Missouri Share Safety Messages to Young Drivers Before Winter Break
Area troopers are using the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks to stress an important safety message among teen drivers. Things like buckling up, avoiding distractions, and obeying the speed limit can never be emphasized too much, especially around this time of year. Statistics show an increase in accidents during breaks when teen drivers have no classes, and more free time.
Source: KY3

White House Rolls Out New Tire Safety, Efficiency Program
The White House on Tuesday will roll out a new program aimed at getting U.S. consumers to buy tires that will enable cars to get better mileage and take better care of them to cut down on tire-related crashes.
Source: Reuters

Alabama Lawyer Encourages Safe Holiday Driving
A Lawyer in Alabama gave safe holiday driving tips to prevent traffic collisions, including checking the tread on tires and tire pressure before going on a long trip, checking windshield wipers, wiper fluid and oil level. He also encourages drivers to avoid arriving to destinations during heavy traffic times in big cities.
Source: Fox TV

As of December 2014, close to 500 communities in the United States have red-light safety camera programs and 138 communities have speed camera programs, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The traffic safety camera programs were installed to help promote better driving behavior, increase traffic safety and decrease the number of injuries or fatalities caused by vehicle collisions. They do so by enhancing law enforcement.

Despite these communities’ efforts to improve driving safety across the United States, where an estimated 35,200 people died as a result of traffic crashes and an additional 3.8 million were injured in 2013, a number of them have worked to ban the traffic safety cameras.

Lawmakers in states such as South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa have submitted bills to outlaw traffic safety cameras, hindering efforts to save lives and prevent traffic collisions. According to a 2010 review of dozens of studies, speed cameras have a positive impact on road safety, reducing fatality rates by about 30 to 40 percent where they are installed.

A recent article by Angie Schmitt in USA Streets Blog referenced a case study from France to show the long-term effects of having traffic safety cameras. It reported that traffic fatalities were reduced by more than half over the course of the camera program’s lifespan. Between 2002, when the traffic safety cameras were installed, and 2013, when the study was conducted, traffic-related fatalities went from 7,242 to 3,250.

According to researchers, the significant decrease in traffic-related fatalities in France was attributed to the 3,000 traffic safety cameras installed across the nation. A 2012 study in the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention stated that between 2003 and 2010, the traffic safety cameras prevented approximately 4,498 fatalities, and after seven more years, they stated that another 15,193 lives were saved.

When compared to the United States, France saw more than double the rate of improvement on their roadways. The main difference between the installation of traffic safety cameras in France and traffic safety cameras in the United States is that there was popular and political support for the program in France.

The lesson we should all learn from France is that traffic safety cameras, including red-light safety cameras and speed safety cameras, are proven to be effective tools in preventing traffic-related injuries and fatalities. If we support the programs and allow them to function as they should, we can help support traffic safety and save lives.

 

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