Anthony Weinmann, Pittsburgh Paramedics Union2020-09-23T02:28:00-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.

Anthony Weinmann has worked as a paramedic in Pittsburgh for 30 years. For the past 6 years, he’s served as President of the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1, the union that represents the city’s 160 paramedics.

Safety Street had the chance to  ask Anthony about some of the traffic safety problems he and his members face every day.

Safety Street: How much of your work  revolves around responding to automobile collisions?

Anthony Weinmann: A significant amount of our time is spent responding to automotive crashes across the city. Pittsburgh EMS Rescue is the only entity that is responsible for rescue situations.  There are two trucks designated to rescue 24/7 that are equipped with tools like the “Jaws of Life,” which are designed to enable rescuers to remove people out of the entrapments that often result from car collisions.

Safety Street: What do you think is the most common cause of auto collisions?

Anthony Weinmann: In my experience alcohol plays an important role in vehicular collisions. in addition, most collisions occur at areas such as intersections, stop signs and red lights. I think most problems originate from people being in a hurry, trying to beat a light or cruising through a stop sign.

Safety Street: Do your members respond to many collisions with pedestrians and cyclists?

Anthony Weinmann:  Definitely. Many of the car incidents we respond to involve pedestrians.  It may be when they are walking, crossing at intersections, or riding on their bikes.

Safety Street:What is the number one thing drivers in Pittsburgh and across the country could do to be safer? What is the most important tip you would give them?

Anthony Weinmann:  Distraction while drivers are talking and texting on their cell phones have increased in recent years.  It is becoming more common and more concerning, and the consequences can be devastating. I can’t stress enough the importance of the following four points: wearing seat belts; storing cell phones while driving; obeying traffic lights and driving at posted speeds.

Safety Street: Pittsburgh City Council recently voted to authorize red-light safety cameras. What was your reaction to the news?

Anthony Weinmann: I was pleased, as were my members.  We believe the cameras will help decrease the number of crashes that involve running a red light. It will make people more aware of the lights and less likely to speed up to “beat” them.

Safety Street: Why does your organization support the use of red-light safety cameras?

Anthony Weinmann: We believe the cameras will lead to a reduction in collisions and a reduction in injuries. That’s our bottom line. Paramedics believe overall safety will improve once people realize that they will pay a price for running red lights, even if police officers aren’t able to monitor every corner.  Our job is saving the lives of people who are in injured during crashes. Reducing the number of people who are injured unnecessarily is an objective we all support.

Safety Street: Is there a particular part of Pittsburgh where reckless drivers are a big problem?

Anthony Weinmann: It’s hard to narrow it down to a single area. As with many communities, there are many busy intersections in town and not just one problematic area. Some areas of town that are particularly vulnerable to problems are those that have a large amount of traffic or major roadways.

Downtown and Oakland where the universities and hospitals are, including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, are both found to be especially problematic when it comes to pedestrian and cyclist collisions.

Eric Boerer, Bike Pittsburgh2020-09-23T02:28:28-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads. 

Founded in 2002, Bike Pittsburgh is a charitable non-profit that works on behalf of the Pittsburgh community to make the city safe, accessible, and friendly to bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Eric Boerer has been a safety advocate nearly a decade. He started with Bike Pittsburgh part time in 2005 and is now its full time Advocacy Director. Safety Street had the chance to ask Eric about his views on the value of red-light safety cameras for cyclists in Pittsburgh and across the country.

Safety Street: What is the biggest challenge that cyclists face on the road?

Eric Boerer: The biggest challenge is aggressive driving. It’s something that I feel has changed dramatically over the years as more cyclists appear on the road. Thankfully, drivers have been improving in recent years, but it only takes one aggressive driver to ruin someone’s day or ruin someone’s life. Aggressive driving is probably the thing that scares Bike Pittsburgh members the most.

Safety Street: What’s the number one thing you hope drivers will keep in mind?

Eric Boerer: What Bike Pittsburgh is really trying to do with its driver education programs is humanize cyclists. Bikers are just normal folks trying to get somewhere. We could be your cousin, your doctor, your teacher. We’re not out there trying to annoy anybody, we’re just trying to get where we’re going.

Safety Street: The Pittsburgh City Council just approved a rule allowing red-light safety cameras in the city of Pittsburgh. What do you hope will be the outcome?

Eric Boerer: For one, we hope the outcome is that people actually stop at red lights. The cameras work, according to our research. Overall safety will be improved once people start obeying the law. On a broader level, it raises awareness of traffic safety in general.

Safety Street: Bike Pittsburgh has been an outspoken supporter of red-light safety camera technology. Why do you feel red-light safety cameras are so critical to cyclists?

Eric Boerer:  It’s about safety. Any tool that helps police enforce safety on our streets is good for cyclists and really good for everyone who uses the roads. Once people think there’s a chance they could be penalized for doing something illegal, they’re far less likely to do it.

Safety Street: In Pennsylvania, fines paid by red-light runners will go in part to funding safety projects for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Are there are strong cycling safety projects on your radar?

Eric Boerer: We’re working on bike lanes throughout the city in many different neighborhoods. Last summer, we released the Better Bikeways vision, which outlines that system. They’re bike lanes that encourage physical separation between cars and bikes. We’re trying to step up the level of bike lane beyond just a stripe on the road, whether that is in the form of painted lanes or in some cases concrete. Some additional funding for safety improvements could make current lanes safer, too.

Safety Street: Which neighborhoods in the city do you think are best for cycling? What are they doing right?

Eric Boerer: Last spring, the city painted intersections on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield at the Bloomfield Bridge. Where cars need to cross bike lanes in order to turn, the city painted the lanes bright green, which helps raise awareness to the driver that there could be a cyclist in the lane.

The East End plateau has some of the best areas for cycling, because it has the best access to parks and the most bike infrastructure in place on the roads now. It helps that it’s one of the flattest areas of the city. The city has responded to that success by adding more bike lanes.

Safety Street: In your opinion, which neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are the next big thing for cycling?

Eric Boerer: We want to focus on Oakland and downtown Pittsburgh next. In August of this year, Pittsburgh will be launching its first bike share. That means there will be a lot of new people riding bikes in those areas.

Oakland has the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, meaning more than 40,000 students attend class within one or two square miles. Thousands of students ride bikes already or would ride them if the streets felt safer. Given how congested that area can be, and how much foot traffic it gets, it seems like a no brainer to make it as safe as possible for bikes.


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

Alton Loper, Retired Police Detective and Current Instructor of Driving Safety Courses for AARP2020-09-23T02:28:51-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.

Alton Loper was a Police Detective in Chester, PA serving in the Police force for 27 years. In that time he responded to more collisions than he could possibly count. He has been a long-time advocate of red-light safety cameras in Pennsylvania and wishes his city could utilize this life-saving technology. Safety Street got to talk to Detective Loper recently about his views on the value of red-light safety cameras.

What kind of collisions have you seen during your time as a police detective?

It would be easier for me to explain what kind of collisions I have not seen.

during my career as a police detective. I have seen almost every crash you can possibly imagine, from a driver being decapitated by a flying object from another vehicle, to little children struck on their bikes, to the total shut down of highways and streets, because of collision. I once witnessed a tanker truck crash that closed down a portion of I-95 for three months. The number of motorcycle collisions I’ve witnessed are too numerous to even mention. I’ve see too many fatalities to last a life time.

Do you support the use of red-light safety cameras? And if so, why? 

Yes I support the use of red-light safety cameras, because they deter people

from running red lights. It is a proven fact, that if you are caught once, you are very cautious of every red light that you come upon afterwards. It changes the way a person drives going forward.

Do you view cameras as valid alternative to having a police officer sit and monitor an intersection?

Yes I do. Red-light safety cameras free up police manpower, since they don’t have to

assign any patrol cars to monitor the intersection or traffic light. In this day and age police have far more important things to do than sit at an intersection and monitor traffic light violators.

To learn more about Mr. Loper’s opinions on this topic, read hirecent letter to the editor from the Delaware County Daily Times.


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

Tom Hanley, Red-Light Running Collision Victim2020-09-23T02:29:16-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.

Tom Hanley’s life abruptly changed forever when a shuttle bus driver transporting his entire wedding party ran a red-light. His best friend and wedding officiant was killed instantly in the tragic collision and Tom suffered injuries that still affect him today. Since the accident, Tom has worked closely with NCSR to share his story as a cautionary tale of the consequences of red-light running.

Safety Street had a chance to speak with Tom about the collision that changed his life and his thoughts on red-light running and road safety. Read the Q&A below to learn more:

You have a very powerful story. Can you briefly describe your experience with red-light running and how it has affected you?

In June of 2010, I was on board a commercial vehicle for a wedding here in Indianapolis with close friends and family.  Our driver failed to stop at a red light and collided with an SUV, which caused our bus to flip on its side.  My best friend Jim was partially ejected from the bus upon impact and died instantly. In addition, I suffered two broken vertebrae and a brain injury, both of which continue to impact me more than three years later and will most likely play a role for the rest of my life.

Jim, myself, or the other 12 other innocent passengers on the bus had a reasonable expectation for an attentive commercial driver in control of our bus. Instead, we had a driver that, without any real explanation, was improperly licensed to drive the vehicle, ran a red light and forever changed our lives. If he had properly stopped at the intersection, Jim would still be here today.

Has your experience changed the way that you approach driving and road safety?

From a young age, I have traveled a lot and always made the effort to be acutely aware of avoiding distracted behavior while driving. I have always tried to make driving my complete and total focus while behind the wheel.  My experience made me realize that no matter what I do, I can’t control what other drivers around me are doing. I pay very close attention now when entering intersections, no matter how long I have had the right of way, to check and see if vehicles might be running a light as I enter. I also typically wait a split second after a light turns green to allow for anybody who was trying to beat a yellow light to enter and exit the intersection.

In my collision, we had a driver who carelessly ran a red light. No matter what qualifications somebody may have, their carelessness can still cause injury and death to innocent people.

You have been a long-time partner of NCSR, using your story highlight the message that red-light running has serious consequences. Why is it important to you that drivers change their behavior in and around intersections?

The sights and sounds of my accident are something that will haunt me forever.  In a perfect world, not a single person will have to try and revive their best friend in the moments after an accident; not a single person will have to carry the weight that there was nothing that could be done to save them; and not a single person will ultimately have to learn that their accident was caused by a red-light runner.

Not paying attention, trying to beat a red light or simply disregarding a signal can impact innocent bystanders for a lifetime. I live this reality every day.  I miss my friend Jim all the time, as do the family and friends he left behind.

I know you are also a very active cyclist. On that front, what dangerous habits and road safety efforts do you regularly encounter?

As a cyclist, we have the same rights and rules of the road as any motor vehicle and I make sure to respect the same rules as if I were driving my car. Not all drivers are aware that cyclists have the same rights and many drivers don’t realize the speeds that can be carried on a bicycle. Therefore, I always try to make eye contact with drivers as I approach an intersection and I always try to anticipate what actions drivers will take as I approach. Even if I have the right-of-way, I’ll still come out on the losing end of a collision with a car so I make sure I am aware of what is going on around me.

What road safety policies and behaviors would you like to see implemented more across the US?

I would like to see more standardized enforcement of existing red-light running laws. Specific to our experience, I’d like to see better enforcement of commercial vehicles.  Our driver walked away with $150 ticket for running a red light, despite the fact he killed one, injured 14 others and was improperly licensed to be driving the commercial vehicle.  It is my goal that my ongoing work with NCSR will help carry a vocal, serious focus on the dangerous consequences for red-light runners not just here in Indiana, but across the country.


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

Joseph M. Fiocco, Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer2020-09-23T02:29:48-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads. 

Joseph M. Fiocco brings more than 25 years of experience to his firm, Fiocco Engineering, LLC, which specializes in highway safety and traffic engineering. A registered professional engineer in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,  Joseph also serves as the appointed traffic engineer for Lower Southampton Township in Bucks County, Pa. Since 2010, his firm has worked with a large network of public and private sector engineering partners in the Delaware Valley to develop safer, more efficient roads. Safety Street had the chance to talk to him about ways engineering and technology are making our roads safer.

Safety Street: Is traffic safety a problem in your community?

Joseph Fiocco: I think the better question to ask is: are we doing everything we can to reduce crashes on Pennsylvania roads? Last year in Pennsylvania, 1,310 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions. Of these, 65 were killed in Bucks County, where I live and work. Clearly, there is much more we can do.

Safety Street: Can you tell us a little bit about your role and experience in traffic safety?

Joseph Fiocco: I’ve completed hundreds of highway safety studies throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These safety studies ranged anywhere from investigations into a single vehicle crashto complete corridor studies. I’ve done road safety audits and traffic impact studies. I’ve also designed a number of traffic signals, so I understand the costs associated with the design, construction and maintenance of these controls.  The goal is to maximize safety and minimize delays, while staying conscientious  of what is reasonable and affordable. For many municipalities these days, resources are limited and the biggest challenge for any community project is funding.

Safety Street: Pennsylvania recently passed a law that allows more municipalities to consider red-light cameras at dangerous intersections.  As an engineer, do you see advantages from these cameras?

Joseph Fiocco: I have extensive experience with traffic signals, multi-way stop analyses and traffic control designs. Red-light cameras have been proven to reduce illegal red-light running and improve safety at intersections. In Bucks County, three communities (Falls, Middletown and Warminster Townships) are among the municipalities now eligible to consider red-light cameras in Pennsylvania. I recommend these municipalities give the safety devices a serious look. Anything that has the potential to save lives at a reasonable cost should be considered.

Safety Street: Some people argue against safety cameras in favor of re-engineering. Is it either/or, or both? What are your thoughts?

Joseph Fiocco: There is no one, single answer. We should consider all the tools available when it comes to saving lives and reducing injuries.  Red-light safety cameras aren’t the answer to all of our road safety problems, but they definitely are a very cost-effective part of the solution. There’s also an added benefit for municipalities in terms of overall public safety that shouldn’t be ignored.  Police officers who previously had to sit and monitor an intersection in order to catch red-light running violators can now patrol nearby neighborhoods and increase the level of security for us all.

To learn more read Mr. Fiocco’s recent letter to the editor in the Bucks County Courier-Times.


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

Gabriel Cordell of Roll With Me2020-09-23T02:30:19-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads. 

The impact left Gabriel Cordell paralyzed from the chest down and near death, the collision with a red-light runner having sent him flying through the soft-top roof of his Jeep and into a telephone pole. And on October 17, 1992, his life was changed forever. Despite his initial 30 percent chance of survival, Gabriel went on to spend the next 20 years fighting drug addiction and struggling for his independence — until he found meaning in his circumstances and decided he could make a difference.

Now, Gabriel is rolling across the country in his wheelchair to raise awareness and inspire others to believe in their own potential. On March 30, he began his journey in Santa Monica, Calif. with a film crew to document the trek. He will arrive in West Hempstead, N.Y. in time for his 25th high school reunion. Gabriel hopes the documentary, Roll With Me, will inspire people to realize that anything is achievable and to pursue their dreams in spite of any perceived limitations.

Safety Street had a chance to speak with Gabriel about the collision that changed his life, his thoughts on road safety and his cross-country journey to raise awareness. Read the Q&A below to learn more:

Safety Street:  Would you please tell us a little bit about the details of your collision?

Gabriel:  I was driving in my Jeep Wrangler and approaching a small intersection. I had the green light and as I was going through the intersection. I saw a car coming in my peripheral vision and I knew she was going to run the red light. Although she didn’t quite T-bone me, she came close. She hit the rear quarter panel of my driver side just before the wheel well.  I felt myself start to fly out of my soft top and the next thing I remember is waking up on the street with the steering wheel in my hand because I was holding on so tight that I had ripped it out of the column. So, I woke up with the steering wheel in my hand, my soft top wrapped around me, and my Jeep on its passenger side three feet away from me.

I knew immediately that I was paralyzed – all I felt was tingling from the bottom of my chest down. Although I can’t recall it, I learned that I flew seven feet in the air and hit the telephone pole with my back, causing the vertebrae on both sides to crisscross and crush my spinal cord. My spinal cord wasn’t severed, but it was crushed to the point that it was a complete injury where it just smushed all the nerves.

Safety Street:  How has the collision impacted your life today and how is it a driving force in the Roll With Me campaign you created to raise awareness?

Gabriel:  It’s affected me in two ways. The first way is physical. I don’t have control over my motor skills from my chest down.  I do have complete control of my upper motor skills, my head and my arms, which gives me independence. Now the older I get, the more wear and tear I put on my shoulders and this journey has helped show me that. Everything hurts more acutely because my sensation is so limited that I’m ultra-sensitive where I can feel. But, I’m still independent. I’ve lived 18 of the 20 years that I’ve been in a wheelchair by myself. I drive my own car. I mean I do everything except going upstairs.

The collision has also impacted me emotionally. The day of my accident, I was lying on the street with two things running through my head. One, I was paralyzed; two, this is not the thing that is going to make me different; however it’s going to be the vehicle that will allow me to do something extraordinary. I knew that this was an accident that happened to me, but it wasn’t by accident. And twenty years later, that’s how I wound up on this trip.

Safety Street:  In light of the collision, what’s the importance of road safety to you?

Gabriel:  Road safety is important because it saves peoples’ lives. I actually recognize that even more now that I’m on this journey. I can’t tell you how many crosses I roll by that are obviously there because of car accidents. Now I have every perspective that one could possibly have because I’ve been on some city streets, on one-lane roads, and on the interstate. I pray every day that no one gets hurt on my crew cause that’s something I could never live with. Their safety is very important to me.

Safety Street:  Tell us a little bit about how Roll With Me got started and what it means to you?

Gabriel:  Eleven months ago, I was a full blown drug addict and when I got out of it, I wanted to do something that was the extreme opposite of what I was doing, living and being at the time. And so I started thinking about how I could make an impact on people. First, I started researching messages that I could bring to people. Then I said, well what if I roll my wheel chair across the country? Has anyone ever done that? So I did research, and there were three people who had done it, but none had done it in an everyday, standard wheelchair.

Then I decided it would be a shame to roll across the country and not have it documented. It was me wanting to make a difference. It took me 20 years to figure out the real reason why I was put in a wheel chair. And now I am living that – I’m kind of rolling away from my past life and rolling into my future.

I’m doing it to give people hope and inspiration that they can do whatever they want and they don’t have to be held back by their circumstances. The human will is powerful and limitless. If you want to do something, you can do it. You really can. And it’s amazing to see not just the affect and inspiration that we are having on people, but to see the affect that we’re having on ourselves. It’s a humbling, beautiful thing.

Safety Street:  That’s amazing. How did you choose your route across the country?

Gabriel:  I called my friend when I decided to do this and asked him to find the quickest legal route possible. There are states like New Mexico where you are allowed to go on the interstate and others where you are not. So he routed the most direct path and I think it was 3,300 miles. Then when I got my crew, one of the producers cut it down by like 150 miles. So, the route started in California and includes Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York.

Safety Street:  What avenues are available for people to get involved and help you out?

Gabriel:  The biggest avenue is obviously our website: RollWithMe.org. It’s the most direct way to get involved, but people can also follow our trip on Facebook and Twitter. We’re also on JUNTOBOX Films, which allows people to “like” the project. If we have enough followers to make an impression then JUNTOBOX actually invests in the movie.

For more information on Roll With Me and Gabriel Cordell’s journey across the country, visit RollWithMe.org. You can follow Gabriel as he promotes road safety and a positive outcome from such a dangerous and life-altering collision. The consequences of red-light running are serious, often resulting in injuries or fatalities. Gabriel Cordell has seized his survival as an opportunity to encourage others to tap into their own potential.


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

Sheriff Eileen Behr of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County2020-09-23T02:30:42-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads. 

Safety Street welcomes Sheriff Eileen Behr – one of Pennsylvania’s leading public safety experts – as the featured guest in our latest Q&A series. Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Behr joined the Whitemarsh Police Department at age 19 and rose through the ranks in her 34 years there to become the first female police chief in Montgomery County.  In April 2011, she took on her current position as the county’s first female sheriff.

Pennsylvania recently passed a law in July 2012 allowing more municipalities to consider the use of red-light safety cameras at dangerous intersections. In Montgomery County, eight townships are currently eligible to take advantage of this technology. Several of the townships have begun discussing red-light safety cameras at town hall meetings and several local police and traffic safety officials have come out in support of the measure.

Safety Street had the chance to ask Sheriff Behr a few questions and get her thoughts on public safety in Montgomery County, improving safety in intersections, and more:

Safety Street: What are some of the major concerns of Montgomery County residents regarding roadway safety in their communities?

Sheriff Behr: Over the past two decades, Montgomery County has been growing in population and development, in particular retail and office space. With the growth, vehicular traffic has increased on roads that had not been designed for the volume. Many roads are narrow, single lane roads through areas that had previously been mostly residential or open space. With the growth in population, new schools are being built and enrollment is increasing. Pedestrian traffic and school bus transportation has increased. Most roads do not have sidewalks to accommodate the heightened amount of pedestrian traffic.

Safety Street: How has traffic changed over the years as the county’s population has grown?

Sheriff Behr: Traffic volume has increased drastically with growth in population and development. Improvements over the past twenty-five years to limited access highways into Montgomery county – such as 476, the Blue route and the 422 bypass –have greatly impacted the number of drivers on the roadways. We have seen development along these routes and throughout adjacent areas. That being said, many of the roads leading to the limited access highways have not been improved and traffic congestion has increased. Congestion and delays create frustration for local motorists. Frustration leads to speeding, road rage, and disregard for traffic control devices.

Safety Street: In your 30-plus years of experience, what have been the most effective tools for intersection safety?  Which have been the least effective?

Sheriff Behr: In my experience, I have seen some traffic improvement projects at intersections that truly increased safety.  Many intersections have been improved by providing left turn lanes and left turn signals. This has decreased accidents at some of the major intersections. Installation of pedestrian signals at intersections has also improved safety and reduced injuries. Continual enforcement of signal violations or presence of marked, visible police vehicles near an intersection increases driver awareness of the signals and is a definite deterrent to speeding and red-light violations.

Safety Street: What do you see as a best practice to encourage motorists to be better aware at intersections?

Sheriff Behr: Advanced warning signs of signaled intersections helps to increase awareness, even more so when there are pedestrian signals at the intersection. Safety campaigns such as the “Click-it-or-ticket” programs near intersections provides officers the opportunity to have contact with motorists. Public safety campaigns that focus on specific intersections and incorporate police, local officials, and health officials would be a logical solution to help heighten awareness in communities. Open communication between police departments and local media on current accident and injury data combined with traffic safety recommendations from the officers may also help to reduce crashes.

Safety Street: What is the effect you see in communities where red-light safety cameras are in place? Is there a greater feeling of security for other drivers and pedestrians?

Sheriff Behr: Since Montgomery County doesn’t currently have a program, I haven’t had enough direct experience with red-light cameras. I have attempted to follow the progress of the red-light camera program that is in place in Philadelphia. From media reports on the cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard, it appears that camera installation and continual media messages on the program are reducing serious crashes.

Safety Street: Do you think motorists are more likely to avoid running red lights if fines are involved, i.e., does it change behavior? Why or why not?

Sheriff Behr: Motorists are always concerned with high cost of a traffic fine, regardless of the violation. I am not convinced that high fines are the most effective deterrent. Loss of driving privilege or increased insurance rates are more of a concern to the public. In my career, traffic fines have continued to increase while violations continue to occur. In local areas, motorists are always aware of the intersections and areas that their local police target.  More officers to enforce the violations or possibly the use of red-light cameras may decrease violations at intersections and reduce crashes. Successful traffic enforcement is designed to increase safety and reduce crashes.

To learn more about Sheriff Eileen Behr please visit Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s existing red-light safety camera programs, please visit the Philadelphia Parking Authority.


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

NOYS – National Organizations for Youth Safety2020-09-23T02:31:07-04:00

The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads. 

Safety Street is pleased to kick off the Q&A series with a focus on teen driving safety. A recent study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles increased dramatically for the first six months of 2012. Teen driving safety is a crucial platform for all road safety advocates. One of NCSR’s partner organizations – National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – has created multiple focus areas when it comes to traffic safety and our nation’s youth. Safety Street recently had a chance to learn what NOYS is doing in 2013 for youth traffic safety, specifically discussing their upcoming Act Out Loud contest. Here’s what Julie Kettner, National Campaign Manager had to say:

Safety Street: The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) has been a long time partner of NCSR when it comes to traffic safety for youth, but your organization has a hand in many things. What are the core platforms NOYS focuses on?

National Organizations for Youth Safety: We are a collaboration of over 70 national, youth-serving organizations, including non-profit organizations, business and industry leaders, and government agencies, with the common goal of promoting safe and healthy behaviors among our nation’s youth.

Our main platform is youth traffic safety, which is the focus of our largest campaign – Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™.  NOYS and its members also focus on health and wellness, injury prevention, substance abuse prevention, and violence prevention in addition to our work on youth traffic safety.

Safety Street: May is a big month for NOYS. Can you tell us what Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM) entails?

NOYS: Each May youth across the country unite during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™ to focus on the leading cause of death for them and their peers; traffic related crashes.  Global Youth Traffic Safety Month empowers youth to develop and lead traffic safety education projects and support law enforcement and effect legislation to protect teen drivers. This year there are several ways to get involved and support Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.

Global Launch Event on May 8 – Launch rallies will be hosted around the globe!  The U.S. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month anchor rally will be in Washington, DC with events that start with a bike rally, lead on then to a rally at the Washington Monument, then a walk ‘n roll to NTSB building for a Youth Traffic Safety open house that will satellite feed in four other rallies going on around the country.

Act Out Loud® is a youth-led contest that was developed to engage and empower youth to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in our nation’s high schools.  The 2013 Act Out Loud contest will engage over 300 high schools across the country hosting a youth-led Act Out Loud rally to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in their schools and communities. More information can be found at www.ActOutLoud.org.

The Long Short Walk ‘n Roll is new for 2013.  In support of the Global Road Safety Week 2013 and the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the Zenani Mandela Campaign (in memory of Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter who lost her life in a crash) has launched the ‘Long Short Walk’ for safer, healthier, greener mobility. Youth are participating in this effort to encourage walking and biking, which is good for safety, for health, and for the environment.

Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition designed to bring about change. Applicants submit a video designed to motivate, persuade and encourage teens to not text while driving. The first place winner will receive a scholarship in the amount of $5,000. Second-place finisher will receive $2,000. Third-place finisher will receive $1,000.

Recognize a youth health and safety leader – NOYS youth are presenting the annual NOYS Youth Choice Awards as part of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month 2013 in May.  These awards are to honor non-profits, business and industry leaders, and legislative leaders who have done great work in the area of youth traffic safety.  Visit www.noys.org for more information.

Safety Street: In the lead up to GYTSM, you are also encouraging students to participate in the Act Out Loud contest. What is this contest and how can students get involved?

NOYS: Act Out Loud® is a youth-led contest that was developed to engage and empower youth to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in our nation’s high schools.  The 2013 Act Out Loud contest will engage over 300 high schools across the country hosting a youth-led Act Out Loud rally to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in their schools and communities. More information can be found at www.ActOutLoud.org.

Students can get involved by visiting www.ActOutLoud.org and registering to host a rally in April or May at their schools or in their communities. The grand prize is $10,000 with another $10,000 in runner-up awards. Teams receive a FREE toolkit full of giveaways to hand out at their rallies and if they are registered by March 4, they will also receive $550 towards their rallies.

Safety Street: Beyond GYTSM, what other programs does NOYS participate in to raise awareness about traffic safety among our nation’s youth?

NOYS: Every year, we host a Teen Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC where youth and adult leaders from across the country meet to discuss prevention strategies and solutions to address distracted driving at the local, state and national level. This past year, over 100 high school students attended the event.  They brought the knowledge they gained from the Summit home with them where they are planning individual community summits on distracted driving in their hometowns.  The 2013 Distracted Driving Summit will take place in October.  More information on the Summit will be posted on www.noys.org as we come closer to the date of the event.

UnderYOURInfluence is a resource created by NOYS for parents of teen drivers.  By visiting www.underyourinfluence.org, you will discover teen safe driving resources, including, state driving laws, parent-teen driver contracts, a parent’s perspective blog and archived monthly newsletters.

NOYS is excited to announce two new programs that will be available to all youth soon!

Making NOYS for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety will be available this summer and includes the inclusion of pedestrian and bicycle safety resources into existing NOYS programs and recognizing youth who show leadership in pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts in their community.  Be on the lookout for these resources on www.noys.org in Summer 2013.

Engaging Youth Leaders and Parents in Fighting Against Underage Drinking will launch full force for the 2014-2015 school year!  This program gives youth leaders the opportunity to bring their community together to focus on the issue of underage drinking.  Youth will host an event to bring together law enforcement, school officials, experts, adults and their peers to bring attention and open discussion to what underage drinking looks like in their community.

Safety Street: As you know, NCSR’s main goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of red-light running. In your close work with students, do you feel like they recognize this as a serious issue? Is there any significant youth effort you know of that is focused on combating red-light running to promote better intersection safety?

NOYS: We’ve recently partnered with the Roadway Safety Foundation and American Traffic Safety Services Association Foundation on a pilot project called TeenRSA™.  We have piloted this program in four high schools and hope to get funding to continue the program.  Through this project, we go into the high schools and host a Teen Road Safety Assessment. The teens that have been involved in this project realize the dangers of red-light running, and this project gives the students a better understanding of intersection safety both as a pedestrian and a driver.  We are currently seeking funds to help us launch this program on a national scale and provide train the trainers at events and meetings.

Safety Street: The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a study revealing that the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles increased dramatically for the first six months of 2012. Do you plan to make this a focus in your upcoming awareness efforts with GYTSM?

NOYS: We will include this as part of outreach to the press in seeking assistance to help parents and educators understand these risks and help youth mitigate the dangers that is part of novice driving.  We need to analyze possible cause and comparison to other drivers for this same time frame.

Safety Street: For anyone that wants to get more involved with NOYS, what resources do you have available and how do they begin?

NOYS: There are several ways to get involved with NOYS. Organizations and businesses can partner with NOYS for Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, become a NOYS member, and sponsor different events. To partner with NOYS for GYTSM, you can complete this form.  Partnership is free and gives you an assortment of ways to get involved in teen traffic safety.  If you are interested in becoming a member, you can find more information here.  NOYS needs sponsors for different events, if this is something you might be interested in; you can contact us at info@noys.org.  If you are interested in hosting an Act Out Loud rally, please contact jkettner@noys.org or register your team at www.ActOutLoud.org.  Together we can all make NOYS for road safety for all!

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

Go to Top