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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 46

October 27th, 2016 Comments off

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Warrant Pending for Driver Who Hit Child, Left Scene
Temple Daily Telegram (Texas), Oct. 26, 2016

The Temple Police Department was waiting Wednesday morning for a warrant to be issued for the arrest of a woman who didn’t stop for a school bus unloading children and struck a 7-year-old child, Officer Joe Thomas said. The child was taken to the medical center with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.

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Boy Hit at Bus Stop Leaves Hospital; Driver Admits to Texting
WBIR-TV NBC 10 (Tennessee), Oct. 26, 2016

A little boy who was struck by a car while getting off the school bus has been treated and released from the hospital. Meanwhile, police are still looking for the driver that hit him. … Dale Lynch, director of Hamben County Schools, said the collision occurred as the bus was stopped with its stop sign out. Other vehicles stopped, but the driver of a two-door sedan drove around them and the bus, hit the boy and kept driving.  (Elk Valley Times image)

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Police Officer Identifies Himself as Red-Light Runner
The Ledger (Florida), Oct. 24, 2016

As the enforcement officer for Haines City Police Department’s red-light camera program, Tim Glover said he’s written citations to friends, relatives, ambulance drivers and even other cops. But until now, he’d never faced having to write a ticket to himself. “That was the most expensive Cuban sandwich I’ve ever bought,” Glover said, referencing the lunch trip that led to his ticket. (The Ledger image by Ernst Peters)

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Lynnwood Extends Red-Light Camera Contract
The Daily Herald (Washington), Oct. 21, 2016

The decision on the future of red-light cameras in Lynnwood could be pushed into January 2018. The City Council recently approved an extension of the current contract into January 2017. At the same time, the council kept open an option to extend the contract for another year after that. (The Seattle Times image by Mark Harrison)

Study: Child Deaths Higher in States Without Red-Light Camera Policy
HealthDay News, Oct. 21, 2016

Traffic crash death rates for American children vary widely among states, and safety regulations are a major reason why, a new study suggests. … Researchers found child death rates were higher in states where a larger proportion of crashes occur on rural roads or during the daytime, and in states without a red light camera policy.

Human Errors Drive Growing Death Toll in Auto Crashes
National Public Radio, Oct. 20, 2016

More people are dying on the nation’s roadways — nearly 18,000 in the first six months of this year. That’s a huge jump of 10.4 percent over the same time period in 2015. More vehicles on the road, as well as increased numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists, account for only about half of the sharp increase in traffic fatalities. The vast majority could be prevented by wearing seat belts, slowing down and putting down the phone. “Ninety-four percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error. Ninety-four percent! Those are the decisions like drinking and driving, speeding or distraction behind the wheel,” said Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety  Check out our history timeline to see where we started and how far we have come! #StopOnRed #RoadSafety atsol.com #ChatATS

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Ohio State Patrol @OSHP If you’re distracted, you’re NOT driving. #justdrive

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Big Move to Electronic Tolling Begins Friday in Massachusetts
MassLive.com (Massachusetts), Oct. 26, 2016

Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials on Monday detailed the timeline for Friday’s switch to all-electronic tolling, a cashless system meant to increase air quality and decrease congestion along the Massachusetts Turnpike. … At 9:45 p.m., it’ll be the end of an era of cash tolls in Massachusetts. The existing E-ZPass Massachusetts system will stop processing transactions at the toll plaza. (MassLive.com image by Gintautas Dumcius)

County Wants Electronic Tolling Expanded in New York
Clarence Bee (New York), Oct. 24, 2016

Recently, New York State announced that it will begin the conversion to 100 percent electronic tolling for several bridges and tunnels in the New York City area. The Erie County Legislature supports expanding this project and outfitting toll plazas in the Buffalo region with the same technology.

Toll Revenues Cover Portion of Cost for Park-and-Ride Lot
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Virginia), Oct. 24, 2016

Northern Virginia officials broke ground Tuesday on a new park-and-ride lot in Loudoun County that will be partially paid for with Interstate 66 toll revenue. The lot will provide 300 parking spaces. Toll revenues will provide more than $1 million toward the $6.1 million project.

 

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Commentary: In New Orleans, a Green Light Means Wait
The Times-Picayune (Louisiana), Oct. 21, 2016

A driver new to New Orleans quickly learns that it’s dangerous here to assume that a green light means go. A green light means “One-Mississippi, Two-Mississippi, Three-Mississippi, go?” Honestly, that might not even be enough Mississippis. If I were waiting behind you at a green light, I’d give you at least five Mississippis before I decided that you were being distracted by Facebook and not worrying about red-light runners. … When it comes to the fatal crashes caused by a failure to obey traffic signals and seat-belt laws, Louisiana is number one, which is to say, the worst.

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 45

October 20th, 2016 Comments off

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A small green note stuck to the outside of a mobile speed van in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday morning expressed a huge sentiment from a concerned resident. The bold hand-printed message reads: “Sir — Thank you very very much for parking the photo van here overnight. The traffic here speeds all the time. Someone will get hurt if it continues. Please make this happen more often. I live on the corner. Again, thank you and do it again!” Signed, a 16 year resident. The city of Scottsdale operates the speed enforcement program in partnership with American Traffic Solutions. ATS thanks this person and all the others who share a similar concern about the danger speeding drivers pose in their communities.

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3 Students Hospitalized from School Bus Stop Crash
WDRB-TV Channel 41 (Kentucky), Oct. 20, 2016

Three children were injured — two of them critically — when they were hit by an SUV while waiting on a sidewalk to board a Jefferson County Public Schools bus early Thursday morning. Louisville Metro Police said the bus was stopped with its lights flashing at the intersection when an approaching SUV did not realize the bus had stopped. “To avoid striking the bus, the driver of the Cadillac Escalade swerved to the right side of the bus and did not see the three children on the sidewalk,” police said. (WDRB-TV Channel 41 image)

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Hagerstown Will Implement Red-Light Safety Cameras
WHAG-TV Channel 25 (Maryland), Oct. 19, 2016

Hagerstown Police and the city are finalizing plans to add cameras at busy intersections around town to prevent drivers from running red lights. Four crossroads will have citation issuing cameras by June 2017. Hagerstown Police Public Information Officer Heather Aleshire said the intersections were picked based on “our accident reports and incidences within intersections. City engineering also worked hand-in-hand with us, and state roads had to be involved because it is all a collaborating effort to make sure that these are some of the busiest intersections that are having the most problems.” See related coverage at Herald-Mail. (WHAG-TV Channel 25 image)

 

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ATS Urges Vigilance During National School Bus Safety Week
News Release, Oct. 17, 2016

As National School Bus Safety Week continues, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) reminds drivers to be alert for students getting on and off school buses. ATS is supporting National School Bus Safety week by partnering with schools and law enforcement nationwide to remind motorists of the laws to obey and safe practices to take when approaching a school bus.

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County Ordinance Paves Way for School Bus Safety Cameras
Fauquier Now (Virginia), Oct. 14, 2016

Fauquier County Board of Supervisors has approved a county ordinance giving the school system authority to install cameras on buses and collect fines from vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses. … The county school district plans to hire a company that would install, operate and maintain the video system. The school would use its share of the fines for transportation safety.

Van Driver Dies in Crash with Stopped School Bus
Brainerd Dispatch (Minnesota), Oct. 14, 2016

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the driver of a cargo van died in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 47 in Kanabec County. The van hit the back end of a school bus that was stopped to let children off. The bus was stopped, with its lights activated and the stop sign out.

An 8-Year-Old Girl Hit by Pickup in New York is OK
KMXK-Radio 98.7 FM (Minnesota), Oct. 14, 2016

An 8-year-old girl who was hit by a pickup in Albany is in stable condition. Witnesses say the driver was not speeding, but he was not able to stop, and the girl was struck with the front bumper. The girl was crossing the street on her way to the school bus, which was down the street.

Vehicle Strikes Girl Beside Stopped School Bus
Chatham Star Tribune (Virginia), Oct. 13, 2016

A 9-year-old Danville girl was hit by a SUV while crossing the street to board a Danville Public Schools school bus, according to a Danville Police Department news release. The investigation showed that the school bus had stopped and its warning markers were visible and lighted, when an SUV failed to stop and struck the girl. The child was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center.

 

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City Directs Fines to Fund Sidewalk Construction
Houston Chronicle (Texas), Oct. 18, 2016

Sidewalks weren’t initially a major priority for the city of Tomball but they had been identified as something to be addressed, most recently through Tomball’s red-light camera fund. The most recent budget calls for $323,000 from the red-light running fines to be used in sidewalk projects.

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New Orleans Mayor Proposes Doubling Red-Light Camera Count
The Times-Picayune (Louisiana), Oct. 17, 2016

There will be nearly twice as many cameras in place to catch drivers speeding or running red lights in New Orleans next year, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed 2017 budget. The mayor said a steady flow of complaints from residents about the safety at dangerous intersections has prompted the city to add another 56 cameras to the 66 already being used.  (NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune image by Kevin Litten)

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Spokane’s School Zone Speeding Fines Could Bring Police Hires
The Spokesman-Review (Washington), Oct. 17, 2016

Spokane City Hall is hoping to use the estimated $1 million to be collected in school zone speeding fines this year to pay for neighborhood resource officers to help battle the city’s property crime problem. That would take about half the school-zone camera revenue, with the rest used for street and sidewalk improvements to make areas around schools safer for students. The council is also considering adding two more cameras to school zones around town. (The Spokesman Review image by Dan Pelle)

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San Francisco Speed Camera Proponent Gets Notable Endorsement
KGO-TV (California), Oct. 13, 2016

San Francisco could become one of the first cities in California to use speed enforcement cameras to crack down on speeding. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin has been working with legislators to craft a bill that would legalize speed cameras in the state. Last week, he got a strong ally — the San Francisco Police Commission. They endorsed the use of speed cameras. (KNTV-TV NBC 11 image)

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Most school bus stop arm violations occur between 4-5 p.m. making it the worst time for school bus stop arm running! Follow #NSBSW

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Retweet #DontDriveDistracted StoptheTexts! @StoptheTexts And the driver never saw him. Please, #StoptheTexts

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Open Tolling on Massachusetts Pike Just Days Away
WCVB-TV ABC 5, Oct. 19, 2016

The days of toll plazas on the Massachusetts Turnpike are quickly coming to an end. The all-electronic tolling system set to go live Oct. 28 will provide a 45-cent discount to drivers traveling the entire length of the Massachusetts Turnpike who have obtained a free EZPassMA transponder. See related coverage at MassLive.com and Boston Herald. (WCVB-TV ABC 5 image)

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Oklahoma Turnpike Tests New Plate Billing System
KOKI-TV FOX 23, Oct. 19, 2016

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is switching to all electronic tolling. PikePass system will remain in effect, but starting in January the authority will test the new PlatePay system at the Peoria and Elm exit in Jenks. The system will take a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and send a bill in the mail to the owner. (KWTV-TV Channel 9 / NewsOn6.com image)

 

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Mercer Island Police Department Operations Commander Dave Jokinen, addressing a joint meeting of the Mercer Island school board and city council, said the new CrossingGuard School Bus Stop Arm Safety Camera Program resulted in 14 citations being issued in the first 22 days of school. Most were issued for oncoming traffic violations. Five buses have been equipped with the cameras. Source: Mercer Island Reporter, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mercer Island School District image)

 

 

 

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 44

October 12th, 2016 Comments off

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‘It’s getting worse and worse’: Motorists blowing through school bus stop signs too often, drivers say
WIRC.com (Virginia), Oct. 5, 2016

Have you ever been in traffic and blown past one a flashing school bus stop sign, thinking you’ve gotten off scot free? Well, you may not have. You’re actually being watched, and the problem has prompted bus drivers in Henrico County to take action. Not only is it against the law to pass a school bus stop sign, it also put kids in danger. To combat the problem, Henrico County Public Schools is asking school bus drivers to keep an eye out.

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School Bus Drivers Fed Up With Cars Passing Bus Stop Signs
Your Basin News (Texas), Oct. 7, 2016

Drivers in Odessa were caught on camera going past school-bus stop signs as children were getting off the vehicle to walk home. It’s a problem many people say must end before a child is hurt, or worse. Lt. Daniels adds between 130 and 140 school buses are out picking up and dropping off kids every day.

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Kindergartner struck by car while getting on school bus
Virginia First.com (Virginia), Sept. 27, 2016

A Roanoke kindergarten student was hit by a car while crossing the street to get on the bus. Police say the kindergartner does not have any life threatening injuries. The driver, 48 year old Matthew Henry, was issued a ticket for passing a stopped school bus while it was loading.

Mercer Island City Council and School Board to hold joint meeting on Oct. 13 | City briefs
MI-Reporter.com (Washington), Oct. 11, 2016

The Mercer Island City Council will hold a special joint meeting with the Mercer Island School District Board from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 13 at City Hall. Topics include school district and city funding constraints, and transportation issues and impacts. Both city and district staff will address safe routes to school and stop-arm cameras on school buses, with city staff sharing information on the number of tickets issued and incidents under review.

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Fatalities in teen crashes spike after steady decline, studies find
USA Today, Oct. 12, 2016

The number of fatalities in crashes involving teen-age drivers spiked nearly 10% last year as teens were often speeding or distracted by cell phones or other passengers, according to a pair of safety studies released Wednesday. Teens are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than adults, according to the report. The crashes involved teen drivers, but the fatalities could have been a passenger, somebody in another car, a bicyclist or pedestrian.

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Sugar Land to install more red light cameras
The Houston Chronicle, Oct. 11, 2016

Sugar Land has used red light cameras since November 2007. They are at four intersections: Texas 6 at Lexington Boulevard, West Airport at Eldridge, Texas 6 at U.S. 59, and U.S. 90A at Dairy Ashford Road. The cameras are intended to cut down on accidents that would have been caused by drivers running red lights and to make Sugar Land’s roads safer by incentivizing people to follow laws at intersections. Brinkley said the program has been successful. Red light cameras reduced accidents at the targeted intersections by 58 percent between 2009 and 2012, he said. Ninety percent of people who get a citation from a red light camera don’t receive a second one, Brinkley added.

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What’s Driving the Rise in Traffic Deaths?
The City Lab, Oct. 7, 2016

It’s too early to attribute this astonishing uptick simply to more drivers on the road. Road fatalities are rising sharply in the U.S. Some 17,775 people died in traffic incidents during the first six months of 2016, up 10.4 percent from 16,100 over the same timespan last year, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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The Road To Zero Begins Now
U.S. Department of Transportation, Oct. 7, 2016

Now, we are at a new milestone. We are embarking on a similarly ambitious quest, and we need you to come with us. We call it the “Road To Zero.” This means zero roadway fatalities. Absolutely zero. It’s a goal that will take time to reach, and it will require significant effort from everyone  – including the public – but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed.

New data on highway deaths suggest that Congress needs to revisit speed limits, advocates say
The Washington Post (Washington) Oct. 7, 2016

The number of people dying on the nation’s highways is climbing, and it’s climbing at an alarming rate that can’t be explained entirely by a healthier economy. Although it’s true that more jobs means more people are driving, some safety advocates also say distracted driving has increased now that everyone has a smartphone permanently attached to the palm of their hand.

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Next week kicks off National School Bus Safety Week founded by the National Association for Pupil Transportation. This week, held each year during the third week in October, is an excellent way for parents, students,  motorists, school administration, local law enforcement and others to join forces and promote the importance of school bus safety. ATS is a proud supporter of National School Bus Safety Week and will be sharing stop arm safety tips and info throughout the week. To show your support, join the conversation by using the hashtag, #NSBSW.

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Speed cameras: Find out which roads had the biggest drop in casualties since devices installed
GetSurrey (United Kingdom) Oct. 11, 2016

Data revealed there was a 61% drop in the number of incidents at roads were fixed speed cameras were installed. Furthermore, statistics showed there were no fatalities within the recent three-year period, with 12 fatalities recorded in the other periods.

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Why Valley businesses may see big impact if Arizona uses toll roads
Phoenix Business Journal (Arizona), Oct. 6, 2016

The proposed State Route 30 corridor would stretch from I-17 at the Durango Curve west to State Route 85, a distance of about 30 miles through the southwest Phoenix area. And to entice drivers to forego driving into another traffic headache for a clearer stretch of road, the state would charge a fee or a toll for a smoother, quicker commute. ADOT will be studying the toll road option for the next six months.

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Letter to the Editor: Right-turn scofflaws
Oak Park.com (Illinois), Oct. 11, 2016

As a frequent visitor to the two intersections with River Forest red light cameras (who by the way has never incurred a camera ticket anywhere), I can only say that I’m surprised by the low number of tickets issued. It’s somewhere between amusing and pathetic to watch how many people blow off the Right Turn on Red rules at those intersections. I happen to know a multiple offender. You’d think people would get the message.

Letter: Enough traffic camera coverage already
Oak Park.com (Illinois), Oct. 11, 2016

A simple web search shows approximately 65 articles written by or published in The Herald about red light technology since 2007. A large majority of those focused on Lynnwood. Although far from perfect, red light camera technology seems to be working in Lynnwood. Residents here generally know where the technology is and have changed their behavior.

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 43

October 6th, 2016 Comments off

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Lawmaker: Study on Cars Passing School Buses ‘Horrific’
News 12 Long Island (New York), Sept. 30, 2016

The Suffolk County School Bus Safety Commission is issuing the results of its year-long study of the number of cars that illegally pass stopped school buses. With stop-arm cameras in use on three buses, the commission noted 1,160 illegal passing in one school year. The commission’s chairwoman supports a change in state law to allow school bus safety cameras. (News 12 Long Island image)

 

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School Bus Stop Arm Safety Cameras Resume in Falls Church
Falls Church News-Press (Virginia), Oct. 5, 2016

Virginia General Assembly updated a Virginia statute making it legal to mail summons to the owner of a car photographed passing a stopped school bus. As a result, the program will resume on Monday, Oct. 31. (Del Ray Patch/Falls Church City Public Schools image)

Driver Faces Charge for Reckless Injury
Wilson County News (Texas), Oct. 5, 2016

The driver who attempted to pass a school bus Sept. 14 and injured a 10-year-old boy has been charged with injury to a child and reckless bodily injury. According to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the school bus had activated its flashers and stopped when the approaching driver “moved over into the improved shoulder” to pass the traffic stopped behind the bus.

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Car Strikes 11-Year-Old on Her Way to School Bus Stop
Time Warner Cable News (North Carolina), Oct. 4, 2016

An 11-year-old girl is in the hospital recovering after being hit by a car. It happened while the girl was walking to her bus stop with her grandmother. A medic says the girl is being treated for serious injuries. “If she wasn’t speeding, my daughter would be here right now,” the grandmother said.

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Arlington Restarts Stop-Arm Safety Cameras
Inside Nova (Virginia), Oct. 3, 2016

The on-again, off-again use of cameras on the stop-arms of Arlington school buses is back on again. County officials on Oct. 3 resumed use of the cameras, which are designed to catch those violating state law requiring motorists to stop when a school bus’s red flashing lights are on. (WJLA-TV ABC 7 image)

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More People Running School Bus Stop Arms, Survey Finds
DelmarvaNow.com (Maryland), Oct. 3, 2016

Virgil Shockley, a Worcester bus driver for 25 years, can only shake his head every day when vehicles speed up to pass the Worcester County bus that’s slowing down to pick up students. … The county recently released numbers that will likely keep Shockley’s head shaking. Worcester County saw a 50 percent increase in school bus stop-arm violations in 2016 compared with 2015, during a one-day study by the Maryland Department of Education. (Town of Ocean City/WMDT-TV ABC 47 image)

Student Recovering after being Hit by Vehicle
KXII-TV FOX 12 (Texas), Sept. 30, 2016

A Chisum High School student is recovering in the hospital while the man accused of hitting her as she was exiting a school bus Thursday remains in jail. Texas DPS troopers say the driver was distracted when he drove around a stopped school bus and hit the 15-year-old girl. She was flown to a Plano hospital with leg, ankle and foot injuries.

 

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Florida Court Ruling Favors Red-Light Camera Violations
Marketwatch, Oct. 5, 2016

A Palm Beach County Court has sided with the city of Boynton Beach in a red-light safety camera violation dispute. In its ruling issued on Sept. 30, the 15th Judicial Circuit Court for Palm Beach County rejected the driver’s argument that his ticket should be dismissed because the city inappropriately relinquished police powers to the program’s vendor, American Traffic Solutions (ATS). “The City’s contract with ATS specifically establishes that ATS does not and cannot make any decisions regarding whether a violation occurred,” the Court stated in its ruling. See related article at Palm Beach Post.  Read the court’s ruling with ATS’ news release here(Boynton Beach Police, Palm Beach Post image)

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Chandler to Turn On More Photo-Enforcement Cameras
The Arizona Republic, Oct. 1, 2016

Chandler police are turning on two more photo-enforcement cameras Saturday. … Warning will be issued until Oct. 31 when citations will be issued for speeding and red-light violations. With the addition of these two cameras, there will be a total of nine cameras at Chandler intersections for speeding and red-light violations.

Red-Light Running Violations, Crashes Drop in Abington
Montgomery Media (Pennsylvania), Sept. 30, 2016

Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) has been in effect since October 2014 at three intersections in Abington Township. Since then, red-light camera violations, combined, have dropped 48 percent at ARLE intersections, crashes have dropped 30 percent and crashes with injuries have dropped 29 percent overall.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Retweet TransportationGov @USDOT “We want America’s transportation system to unite us, not divide us.” @SecretaryFoxx: bit.ly/2d9gJyt #DOTConnects

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Retweet  #StopArmSafety ArlingtonSchools @APSVirginia Our stop arm cameras are active today. Don’t pass a stopped school bus. It’s against the law.

 

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Automatic Tolls Coming to N.Y. City Bridges, Tunnels
The Journal News (New York), Oct. 5, 2016

Automatic tolling is coming to many of New York City’s bridges and tunnels. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will begin rolling out automated tolling at its crossings beginning in January, with all seven bridges and two tunnels expected to complete the transition by the end of next year. The plan is meant to speed up daily commute for 800,000 vehicles that cross on an average day. See related article at New York Daily News. (New York Daily News image)

Poinciana Parkway Is Off to a Fast Start
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Oct. 4, 2016

The Poinciana Parkway is Osceola’s second toll road. It opened April 30, and so far, ridership numbers more than triple what officials initially projected. More than 5,000 drivers took the parkway per day on average in June and July, well above the expected 1,400 daily drivers.

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Arizona Studies Possibility of Toll Road for I-10 Alternative
KPHO-TV CBS 5, Oct. 3, 2016

The Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at the possibility of a toll road in metro Phoenix. It is a common complaint among drivers who commute to or from the West Valley on Interstate 10, that the freeway becomes congested during rush hour.

Moderate Growth to Continue for U.S. Transportation
Fitch Ratings News Release, Oct. 3, 2016

Growth for the remainder of 2016 will remain healthy for all three U.S. major transportation sectors (airports, ports and toll roads) albeit at a slightly lower rate than the first half of the year, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

 

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Letter to Editor: Locals Know Red-Light Cameras Absolutely Work
The Daily Herald (Washington), Oct. 6, 2016

I have driven through the intersection of 196th and 36th twice a day for 22 years. Ever since the cameras were installed, the safety of that intersection has greatly improved. Those of us who use that intersection every day don’t need an annual report to know that the cameras work to reduce collisions. Thank you, city of Lynnwood. Keep up the good work.

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