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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 39

August 28th, 2014 Comments off

 


Report Highlights School Bus, School Zone Safety
American Traffic Solutions, Aug. 27, 2014

As the school year begins, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is highlighting school zone safety in an effort to remind drivers about the urgent need to be cautious, alert and attentive especially around schools and school buses. See video and report overview here.

 

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2 Puget Sound School Districts Get School Bus Safety Cameras
KING-TV NBC 5 (Washington), Aug. 27, 2014

The Bethel School District in south Pierce County and the Highline School District in south King County are launching school bus safety camera pilot programs for the first day of school. The cameras are designed to catch drivers who speed around stopped buses.


9 Children Hurt in Crash with Stopped School Bus
WSAZ-TV Channel 3 (West Virginia), Aug. 26, 2014

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation tells WSAZ the school bus was stopped to pick up children when the crash happened. A semi was stopped behind the bus when the driver of another semi looked down and then ran into the stopped semi. The impact caused the stopped semi to rear-end the school bus.

Driver Cited after Striking Student Exiting Bus
KATC-TV Channel 3 (Louisiana), Aug. 25, 2014

A 7-year-old girl from Clinton suffered moderate to serious injuries after being hit by a vehicle after getting off the school bus.


Think School Bus Safety
WTNH-TV 8 (Connecticut), Aug. 25, 2014

Thousands of Connecticut school children will be heading back to class, so this is a good time for children and adults to remember the rules of the road in and around school buses. Here is a refresher on the dos and don’ts of school bus safety.

 

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School Zone Safety Camera Times Posted in Renton
Renton Reporter (Washington), Aug. 27, 2014

Renton schools are back in session on Tuesday Sept. 2, and the photo enforcement program is “going back to school” as well. The cameras will be active at the following times and locations. (Renton Patch photo by Dave Nelson)

Keeping Eyes on Speeders
Five Towns Herald (New York), Aug. 27, 2014

Motorists on Peninsula Boulevard, near Woodmere Middle School, will have to limit their speed to 20 mph or be ticketed for speeding through a school zone by a camera that will be installed by Nassau County by Sept. 2, the first day of school for the Hewlett-Woodmere district.

School Zone Speed Cameras Return with Students
City of Longview (Washington), Aug. 25, 2014

School is back in session on Sept. 3, and photo enforcement cameras located in the following school zones will be active.

Authorities Launch Campaign to Keep Students Safe
The Times and Democrat (South Carolina), Aug. 24, 2014

Across South Carolina and locally, authorities are launching a two-pronged campaign aimed at education and enforcement when it comes to school crossing zones and school buses. “There will be a heavy enforcement effort in those areas. We take speeding and school zone safety very seriously,” Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Interim Chief Mike Adams said. “We’re trying to ensure the safety of these kids and minimize the risk.”

 

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Daughter Shares Story from Deadly Red-Light Running Crash
KGUN-TV ABC 9 (Arizona), Aug. 26, 2014

It’s the story of one girl’s amazing journey to recovery. Skylar Mason, 17, survived the car crash that killed her father and changed her life forever. The crash happened July 20 at La Cholla and Lambert. A woman driving a Chevy truck ran a red light and smashed into the Mason’s Volkswagon beetle.


13 North Carolina Kids Killed Since 1999 by Drivers Passing School Buses
WNCN.com, Aug. 25, 2014

Every school day in North Carolina, drivers pass stopped school buses, violating state laws requiring drivers to yield when a bus’s stop arm is extended. … Since 1999, 13 children have died simply trying to get to and from school. One of those children was 7-year-old Alyiah Morgan, of Harrells, who in April 2013 was hit by a truck along Highway 421.

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Red-Light Camera Report Shows Drop in Crashes
WROC-TV Channel 8 (New York), Aug. 22, 2014

A recent study conducted by SRF Associates for the City of Rochester shows a reduction in crashes at intersections with red-light cameras.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety  Traveling to & from school should be safe for kids — but it is not. Check out our report on School Zone Safety http://tmblr.co/ZC9-Wt1PMBCwc

ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety  “Don’t squeeze the lemon” means DON’T race through a yellow light! Drive the speed limit & always #StopOnRed.  http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/redlight/brochure/…

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In 1959, Authorities Found It Easy to Catch Toll Cheaters
The Buffalo News (New York), Aug. 26, 2014

Anyone who ever threw coins into the “exact change” basket at the Ogden or Breckenridge tolls wondered: How would it know if I threw in the wrong amount? Motorists were wondering that as soon as the highway opened, and while Thruway officials say cheaters were few and far between, two early cheaters were arrested and fined $50.

EZ-Pass Scam Targets FasTrak Holders
San Jose Mercury News (California), Aug. 25, 2014

There is a phishing e-mail being sent to drivers across the nation claiming they owe money for unpaid E-ZPass tolls. To report a phishing e-mail, forward it to: phishing-report@us-cert.gov.

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Editorial: School Bus Danger Zone
KSLA-TV 12 (Louisiana), Aug. 27, 2014
Schools all over the ArkLaTex are back in session. That means dozens of school buses picking up and dropping off children. And every year we hear about a child hurt, and sometimes killed, by a motorist that fails to stop for a school bus. A video taken from a school bus camera in West Virginia shows a near-miss that should serve as a reminder to us all — never pass a stopped school bus.

Editorial: School Bus Stop Arm Violations Diminishing, but Not Enough
The Baltimore Sun (Maryland), Aug. 27, 2014

Like turning a battleship around in the ocean, steering unsafe public behavior in a different direction can seem an agonizingly slow process. When the behavior is intolerable, it is all the more frustrating. This is the case with the frequency of a dangerous traffic violation — drivers blowing past school buses that are stopped to pick up or drop off school children.

Editorial: Failing Grades for School Bus Safety
The Baltimore Sun (Maryland), Aug. 25, 2014

The latest survey conducted by the Maryland State Department of Education shows that the students’ fate is being tempted on a regular basis by drivers who seem either unaware of the law or unwilling to follow it. Drivers are forbidden to pass a bus in either direction when its stop arm swings out and its lights are flashing, yet that happens all the time.

Editorial: Cameras Are Rolling; Now Slow Down
The Times/MyWebTimes.com (Illinois), Aug. 22, 2014

You’ve been warned. That’s the prevailing message from Illinois State Police District 17, which this week rolled out a photo enforcement van it plans to use to deter speeding in construction zones. Here are the harsh details:

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Voices: Northwest Dallas County Readers Discuss Cameras on School Buses
The Dallas Morning News (Texas), Aug. 24, 2014

The school bus driver’s job is to get all of his/her kids to school and back safely. Ticketing selfish drivers who ignore flashing red lights and extended warning arms is the best way to help bus drivers do their jobs.

Letter to the Editor: Make Students’ Safety a Priority
The Gazette (Iowa), Aug. 22, 2014

If someone cannot notice a school bus with red flashing lights, how will they notice a small child darting out in front of it? Kadyn could have been your child, grandchild, a niece or nephew. Demand enforcement.

 

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“Success should not be measured by the amount of revenue generated for the county or towns, but whether drivers learn to slow down.”
Dr. Peter Weber, Hewlett-Woodmere’s assistant superintendent for business
Five Towns Herald (New York), Aug. 27, 2014

“We no longer have to be present for a citation to be issued for a stop arm violation. Thanks to technology and video cameras on the school bus, forms will be filled out and information sent to the (state) Department of Public Safety and citations will be issued by way of jurisdiction.”
Mike Adams, Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Interim Chief
The Times and Democrat (South Carolina), Aug. 24, 2014

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 38

August 21st, 2014 Comments off

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South Carolina Busing Students Under New Safety Law
WYFF-TV NBC 4, Aug. 18, 2014

As South Carolina’s schools open their doors for another year, one big change involves a new law. Authorities can now mount cameras onto school buses to make sure drivers are stopping when they need to. Some districts have already made the addition, others will do it throughout the year. See related coverage from WYFF-TV NBC 4.

 

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First-Hand Look at School Bus Traffic Dangers
WFTV-TV Channel 9 (Florida), Aug. 18, 2014

WFTV reporter Steve Barrett rode behind an Orange County school bus Monday morning and caught cars passing a stopped bus picking up children.

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Parents, School Officials Urge Drivers to Stop for Buses
WTVD-TV ABC 11 (North Carolina), Aug. 15, 2014

It’s becoming a growing problem at school bus stops across the state — distracted and defiant drivers refusing to stop for school buses. It’s happening at an alarming rate. Now, state officials are putting out a warning as students prepare to head back to school.

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Truck Driver Faces 2 Charges for Passing School Bus on Right
West Central Tribune (Minnesota), Aug. 14, 2014

The driver of a truck who is alleged to have frightened a 13-year-old girl by passing a school bus on the right, driving between her and the bus, is facing two misdemeanor charges for the incident. See related article from KDUZ Radio 1260 AM.

Schools, Sheriff Out to Stop Dangerous Driving Near Buses
Effingham Herald (Georgia), Aug. 14, 2014

Jimmy Helmly and Brian Mundy have no shortage of stories of local drivers not following the rules for a stopped school bus. There was the log truck that sped past the side of the bus a student was exiting. And the driver who complained about the length of time a disabled student took to board the bus.

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More Red-Light Safety Cameras Could be Miami Bound
WIOD-Radio 610 AM (Florida), Aug. 15, 2014

Miami drivers could be under the scrutiny of additional red-light cameras soon. Officials are looking over proposals to add 150 red-light cameras in three stages. County commissioners will vote on a camera vendor in November.

City Extends Red-Light Safety Camera Program
ITS International, Aug. 15, 2014

The city of Sunrise in Florida has extended its red-light camera program, with systems supplied by American Traffic Solutions (ATS), for a further three years.

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School Zone Speed Safety Cameras to Restart in September
The Daily News (Washington), Aug. 19, 2014

Longview’s school zone traffic cameras will be returning to active duty in September after being deactivated during summer vacation, according to a press release from the city. Since the start of school zone photo enforcement program in 2011, a total of 17,534 tickets have been issued.

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Speeding Driver Detected at 139 mph on 60 mph Road
North Fork View (Scotland), Aug. 17, 2014

New figures obtained by leading road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have revealed the top 20 recorded speeding offences in Scotland for the past 15 months. The speeds were captured on either fixed or mobile speeding cameras and ranged between 114 mph and 139 mph.

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Speed Cameras Activated in College Park
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Maryland), Aug. 16, 2014

In the weeks since a high-profile press conference to address three pedestrian fatalities near the University of Maryland, several measures to increase safety have been put into place. … As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, seven speed cameras in the City of College Park that ticketed drivers Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. now operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (UMD Right Now photo)

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American Traffic Solutions is pleased to announce that the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, recently extended its road safety camera program for an additional year. The extension is the city’s third consecutive one-year renewal of a program that began in 2007. ATS is honored by the city of New Orleans’ decision and looks forward to helping the city achieve its traffic safety goals.

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety HORRIFYING VIDEO: Car crashes after running red light, gets flipped onto its roof http://tmblr.co/ZC9-Wt1Olmvo #StopOnRed

FDOT District4 @MyFDOT_SEFL Florida ranks second nationally for most illegal school bus passings per day. Red flashing lights and extended arm mean STOP.

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Colorado Talks Toll Lanes along C-470
KUSA-TV NBC 9, Aug. 19, 2014

A public meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss a notoriously busy section of highway in the south metro area: C-470 between Interstate 25 and Wadsworth Boulevard. CDOT officials say their solution to ease congestion is to add a toll lane in both directions along the 12-mile stretch of highway. The two free lanes currently in place would still exist.

Poll: Public Prefers Tolls to Taxes for Highway Repairs
Better Roads, Aug. 18, 2014

Among Americans, 73 percent agree that transportation spending is inefficient and most would rather pay for highway repairs with tolls instead of taxes, according to a Reason-Rupe poll. Out of the 1,000 people surveyed, 58 percent say they would rather pay for transportation projects with tolls. View Reason-Rupe poll.

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Commentary: A Unique Color for a Unique Purpose
Estherville News (Iowa), Aug. 15, 2014

Along with its unique color, the school bus was mechanically designed for an even higher purpose, the safe transport of our children. Unfortunately, a number of students have been injured or killed while getting on and off the bus. Most of these incidents involve other vehicles not obeying the flashing red lights when students are being picked up or dropped off.

Commentary: A Psychological Speed Limit
The New York Times, Aug. 14, 2014

On average, vehicles seriously injure or kill someone in New York every two hours; last year, 173 pedestrians were killed. Last week Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill allowing New York City to enact a citywide default speed limit of 25 miles per hour as part of its “Vision Zero” campaign to reduce traffic deaths to nil. As much political wrangling as the bill took, a sterner challenge to the new limit looms: Getting drivers to obey it.

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Editorial: Who Do Toll Deadbeats Think They Are?
Staten Island Advance (New York), Aug. 19, 2014

The Port Authority recently filed a slew of lawsuits in state Supreme Court seeking payment from eight Staten Island-based registered vehicle-owners who appear to have a habit of not paying tolls on P.A. bridges. All told, these eight defendants managed to avoid paying tolls on authority facilities 3,761 times. That’s an average of over 470 violations apiece, if you can believe that.

Editorial: Let Cameras Help Catch Scofflaws Passing School Buses
The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), Aug. 17, 2014

Every motorist makes a mistake now and then. However, there are some rules of the road that even the most middling motorists know not to shirk. And illegally passing a stopped school bus is one of them. Those big, yellow vehicles deserve a wide berth and our utmost attention because they carry society’s most precious cargo — our children.

Editorial: Look Out for School Buses
The Commercial News (Illinois), Aug. 16, 2014

With the beginning of school comes the reminder for motorists to watch out for children, and to obey the laws regarding school buses. Some school buses now carry video cameras so that violators can be easily identified, and bus drivers can call local police when they see a violation occur. The cost of such a violation can be as much as $10,000 in Indiana.

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Letter to the Editor: Keep Cameras and Lower Crash Rate
MyCentralJersey.com (New Jersey), Aug. 14, 2014

Just looking at traffic fatalities in New Jersey we unfortunately kill off about 600 people a year, and of that number about one-third are pedestrians. All traffic regulations work together to keep us reasonably safe, and they all need to be observed.

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Bill Rhyne, Corporal with South Carolina Highway Patrol
“These school zones, those signs are there for a reason. It’s the absolute speed. If it says 25 mph, that’s the speed limit, that’s what you need to go. You’ve got kids that are going to be excited to be going back to school, they’re going to be breaking away from mom and dad, running across those crosswalks.”
Bill Rhyne, Corporal with South Carolina Highway Patrol
WYFF-TV NBC 4, Aug. 18, 2014

“After three fatalities, it was felt that by lowering the speed limit and enforcing it more strictly, we would hope to reduce near misses and pedestrian fatalities.”
Bob Ryan, Director of Public Services in College Park
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Maryland), Aug. 16, 2014 

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“The problem is persisting. Three-thousand times a day or more during the school year a motorist illegally passes a stopped school bus in North Carolina.
Derek Graham, North Carolina Department of Instruction Section Chief of Transportation Services
WTVD-TV ABC 11, Aug. 15, 2014

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Indiana
Officials say the number of school bus stop-arm violations continues to grow. Indiana State Police recorded 932 violations in 1999. As of April of this year, they had 2,577 violations listed. SOURCE: The Commercial News (Illinois), Aug. 16, 2014.

Washington
Since the start of Longview’s school zone photo enforcement program in 2011, a total of 17,534 tickets have been issued. The location recording the highest number of violations in 2014 was at Mark Morris, where a total of 3,258 tickets were dispensed. SOURCE: The Daily News, Aug. 19, 2014.

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 37

August 14th, 2014 Comments off

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Red-Light Camera Provides Clue in Burglary, Hit-and-Run Case
KVOA-TV NBC 4 (Arizona), Aug. 12, 2014

After her car was stolen and involved in a hit-and-run collision that sent a motorcyclist to the emergency room, a Tucson college student found a clue to the crimes in her mailbox. She received a red-light running notice of violation with the photograph of a stranger driving her car. Authorities are calling the driver a person of interest in the case.

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Louisiana School Bus Law Presents Challenges for Drivers
MSNBC, Aug. 12, 2014

A new state law for school bus drivers is presenting some challenges as the school year gets started in Louisiana. The law deals with where drivers can pick up and drop off kids along their routes. It was created in response to a fatal wreck on Paris Avenue in February, when 6-year-old Shaud Wilson was hit by a car while trying to cross four lanes of traffic to board his school bus. His sister was injured as well. See related coverage from WDSU-TV Channel 6.

 

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Public Awareness Is Key Piece of Successful Stop-Arm Camera Program
School Bus Fleet, Aug. 13, 2014

Districts that have deployed stop-arm cameras on school buses have seen success in citing violators, but they also focus on educating the public to help reduce the illegal passing problem. Stop-arm camera system suppliers weigh in on how to succeed in violation enforcement and prevention.

School District Advances Plans for Safety Cameras
KTSM-TV NBC 9 (Texas), Aug. 13, 2014

A plan to put cameras on all Socorro ISD school buses is moving forward, according to district officials. SISD just wrapped up a pilot program aimed at catching drivers who go around buses with flashing stop signs. SISD Chief Technology Officer Hector Reyna told NewsChannel 9 the district was troubled by what it saw: vehicle after vehicle on both sides of the road ignoring the stop signs.

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Stop-Arm Survey Tracks 76,000 Illegal Passing Events
School Transportation News, Aug. 12, 2014

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services released the results of its Fourth Annual National Stop-Arm Violation Count today, and while numbers appear to be down, survey coauthors confirmed they are actually “relatively consistent.”  See report.

Horry County School District Uses Cameras to Enforce Traffic Law
WMBF-TV NBC (South Carolina), Aug. 10, 2014

State lawmakers have passed a law to put a stop to drivers who drive past a stopped school bus. School buses in Horry County will be equipped with exterior cameras, so police will be able to review the video to help find culprits. Horry County Bus Drivers said the violations happen more often than one might think. Drivers saw 80 violations during a two-day period last school year. See related article in The Island Packet.

School Bus Cameras Remain in Place in Clarke County
Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia), Aug. 9, 2014

Children in the Clarke County School District might be a little safer during the new school year that begins this week. Just in the last few months of the previous year, a newly installed camera system helped police to nab 157 motorists ignoring the stop arm and flashing red lights of school buses as they picked up or discharged children. Athens-Clarke County police said each violation represented “157 different times our children could have been fatally injured.”

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Expert: Tickets, Vehicle Collisions Not Necessarily Linked
Tulsa World (Oklahoma), Aug. 11, 2014

Leonard Evans, a Michigan-based guru in the science of traffic safety, said traffic enforcement has a limited impact on public behavior unless used on a large scale. … “The goal of traffic law enforcement is to get no citations,” Evans said. “The goal is to get the people to slow down, not just have them drive like they always have.” Evans is a firm believer in the use of red-light cameras and speed cameras to change motorists’ attitudes regarding traffic safety laws, particularly speed limits. (Tulsa World photo of 2013 collision by Matt Barnard)

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Cameras Inside School Bus Help Police Nab Hit-and-Run Driver
WOIO-TV Channel 19 (Ohio), Aug. 11, 2014

A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the hit-and-run death of a little boy walking to school last October.  The driver’s vehicle was captured by an interior security camera from a passing school bus. See related article from WOIO-TV(Photos from Cleveland Police)

2 Die in Red-Light Running Crash
The Eagle (Texas), Aug. 9, 2014

Two people have been killed in Central Texas when a pickup drove through a red light and struck another pickup, according to police. The two victims died at the scene Saturday morning on Texas highway 195 in Georgetown.

Authorities’ Report Details Red-Light Running Fatality
Bradenton Herald (Florida), Aug. 9, 2014

A 37-page Florida Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Investigation report made public Friday said the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed an elderly bicyclist on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in April was neither distracted nor under the influence of a substance, but claimed to suffer from an attention-deficit disorder and lack of sleep on the day the accident occurred.

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Twins Caught Speeding on Same Day, Same Camera
The Sunday Times (England), Aug. 8, 2014

It’s sometimes said that twins have a psychic connection, and if the experience of two twin brothers is anything to go by, there may be something in the idea. Dave and Paul Dooley (58), both retired army driving instructors, were caught speeding within hours of each other by the same camera on the same stretch of road in Warrington, Cheshire, England. It is the second time in 15 years that the twins were clocked on the same day.

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American Traffic Solutions is pleased to announce it has signed a new road safety camera agreement with the city of Bellevue, Wash. The new five-year agreement continues the traffic safety partnership that began in 2009. ATS is honored to remain a part of the city’s efforts to improve intersection safety. ATS is also excited to announce its new contract with Bethel School District, in Washington. Under the terms of the agreement, ATS will install its CrossingGuard School Bus Safety Cameras on the district’s buses to help prevent vehicles from illegally passing stopped school buses and endangering children. ATS looks forward to working with the school district.

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NCSR@SaferRoadsUSA This week’s video of the week from Nassau County, NY reminds us all how important it is to #StopOnRed http://bit.ly/1yrdAej

Healthy_Ohio@HealthyOhio Red-light safety cameras have proven to help cut down on red-light running. Remember to #StopOnRed2014  http://bit.ly/1mVCFrn

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Massachusetts Awards Contract for Electronic Toll Installation
The Boston Globe, Aug. 13, 2014 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has awarded Raytheon Co. a $130 million contract that calls for Raytheon and its partners to install all-electronic tolling systems for the Massachusetts Turnpike as well as for the Sumner/Callahan and Ted Williams tunnels, Raytheon said Wednesday. (The Boston Globe photo by Jessica Rinaldi)

Electronic Toll Facility a Part of Turnpike Project’s 1st Phase
The Inquirer (Pennsylvania), Aug. 12, 2014

Construction will start late next month or in early October on the long-awaited direct connection between Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The first stage will include the two high-speed “flyover” connections, a new mainline turnpike toll plaza, and a new all-electronic toll facility to collect tolls from westbound-only traffic just west of the Delaware River.

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Commentary: Police Chief Uses Ticket Experience to Remind Public
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), August 11, 2014

Police Chief Harold Medlock on WFNC radio last week said he once got a speeding ticket from a traffic camera, years ago in another state. He said he knew he had been speeding, and he took responsibility for it. He mentioned it to make a point that people in Fayetteville have to take responsibility for their driving as the city installs traffic cameras to catch drivers running red lights.

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Letter: No Rush on Red-Light Camera Removal
The Courier (Texas), Aug. 12, 2014

What’s the hurry on ending red light cameras? A simple phone call to the city of Conroe or an Internet search could explain there is a contract involved that isn’t up until February 2015. It was very well publicized in the media. I got a red-light camera ticket, and it made me be more careful. I’m grateful because I was simply allowing myself to be distracted, and it reminded me I need to be focused when I drive all of the time, not just at intersections with working cameras.

Letter: Triple Fines Suggested for Red-Light Offenders
The Gazette (Iowa), Aug. 8, 2014

We have endured much controversy about the traffic cameras.In the past week on three occasions, I was stopped at a red light when a car in the lane next to me sped past me and through the red light. How long will it be before these people cause an accident? Speed limit signs are posted. A red light means stop. Maybe in place of the cameras we should hire more officers and triple the fines to pay for them.

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Florida
According to a Florida Department of Education survey conducted in 2012, more than 21,000 drivers illegally passed school buses in a single day. That represents over 3.7 million possible violations by motorists in Florida during the 180-day school year. Each illegal pass-by could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. SOURCE: Bay News 9 TV, Aug. 11, 2014.

National
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 21 children under 19 die each year getting on and off buses. On average, each school bus is illegally passed once every day. SOURCE: The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), Aug. 8, 2014.

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 36

August 6th, 2014 Comments off

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National Stop on Red Week enters the middle of its campaign today in full stride. Police, city officials and drivers in the news stories below are taking to the streets and airwaves to let people know it’s better to stop on red than to race ahead. Reckless red-light running kills hundreds and injures tens of thousands every year, and, as RanARedLight.us shows, these terrible collisions occur at intersections across the U.S. Please, stop on red. For more information about National Stop on Red Week and how to get involved, visit ATS on Facebook, the National Coalition for Safer Roads or the Federal Highway Administration. Then go to the ATS Twitter page and spread the message using #StopOnRed2014!

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Police, Locals Get Involved in Stop-On-Red Week
KTNV-TV ABC 13 (Nevada), Aug. 6, 2014

Police officers, safety advocates and hospital workers are taking the streets to remind drivers not to run red lights. Red Light Running Day is being hosted by Sunrise Hospital. A lot of their trauma patients are people who’ve been hit by cars. Many happen when drivers speed through a red light. This also puts other drivers at risk.

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Wilmington Officials Urge Drivers to Stop on Red
WECT-TV NBC 6 (North Carolina), Aug. 6, 2014

Wilmington’s 13 traffic cameras tell the stories of several red light runners. To mark National Stop on Red Week, city officials are urging drivers to stop by releasing video of accidents and near misses red light runners cause.

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Red-Light Camera Program Helps Sarasota Decrease Crashes, Violations
Herald Tribune/SNN (Florida), Aug. 6, 2014

Sarasota Police Officer John Lake says red-light running crashes and violations are decreasing at the city’s intersections with red-light safety cameras. Twenty cameras are installed at 10 intersections, with some locations showing violation drops by as much as 50 percent and crash decreases of 10 to 14 percent.

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City Committee Endorses Hiring Agency to Collect Unpaid Fines
Tuscaloosa News (Alabama), Aug. 5, 2014

A City Council committee has endorsed the hiring of a debt collection agency to recover outstanding parking ticket fines and unpaid civil penalties for red-light violations captured on the city’s camera network. A total of 657 red-light violators have gone at least three months without paying their issued citation.

Police Pull Red-Light Camera Footage in Robbery Investigation
Riverside-Brookfield Landmark (Illinois), Aug. 4, 2014

Riverside police say that a 70-year-old Hillside man was beaten and robbed of an undetermined amount of jewelry by two masked men after he got out of his car in the driveway of a friend’s home on East Burlington Street on Sunday afternoon. Two Riverside police officers have been assigned to collecting evidence for the case, including obtaining surveillance camera and red-light camera footage along the victim’s route to Riverside.

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Knoxville Police Chief Supports National Stop on Red Week
Knoxville News Sentinel (Tennessee), Aug. 4, 2014

Sunday marked the beginning of National Stop on Red Week and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch is embracing the concept sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. National Stop on Red Week runs from Aug. 3-9 and is “dedicated to educating Americans about the dangers of running red lights and to reducing the number and severity of traffic citations and crashes,” according to a news release from the Knoxville Police Department. (WVLT-TV Channel 8 image)

Staff to Newark Council: Crashes Decrease with Cameras
The Star-Ledger (New Jersey), Aug. 4, 2014

The city placed red-light cameras at intersections as part of a state pilot program about five years ago. Since then, the city has seen a drop in the number of accidents near intersections with cameras and other nearby intersections, Jack Nata, manager of traffic and signals, said.

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Coalition Directs Attention on National Stop on Red Week
MYGTN.TV (Florida), Aug. 4, 2014

National Coalition for Safer Roads will recognize National Stop on Red Week (August 3-9, 2014) by promoting safe driving and raising awareness about the dangers of red-light running. … Red-light safety cameras are a critical tool in improving driver behavior and reducing red-light running. Nationwide, 89 percent of drivers who received a ticket issued by a red-light safety camera in 2013 have not received another.

Davenport Accepts Ticket Amnesty Program Results
WQAD-TV Channel 8 (Iowa), Aug. 4, 2014

Davenport’s red-light amnesty program that was introduced on June 3, 2014 ended August 4 with 1,500 people paying their overdue fines while avoiding late fees. All the money generated from the red light/speed camera tickets goes toward the police general fund. Starting August 5, a $25 fine will be added to all overdue, unpaid red-light camera tickets and a notice will be sent to the state of Iowa to hold the vehicle registration.

Pedestrians Wave Flags to Warn Drivers
Star Tribune (Minnesota), Aug. 4, 2014

A new safety program lets pedestrians who cross the street at five intersections on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue carry bright orange flags and wave them to get the attention of motorists who might not otherwise see them. The new pilot project kicked off Sunday and is the latest initiative from the Summit Hill Association to educate motorists about state crosswalk laws and improve pedestrian safety. And it comes as St. Paul is holding its first citywide Pedestrian Awareness campaign this week.

Red-Light Violations a Growing Problem
WilliamsonDailyNews.com (West Virginia), Aug. 3, 2014

Running a red light has become a national problem, but locally this issue is also widespread and all too common. There are more injuries due to red-light running than any other type of crash, and the death rate caused by red-light running is increasing more than three times the rate of all other fatal crashes.

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Will Amped Up Traffic Enforcement Improve Safety on Gratiot Road?
MLive.com (Michigan), Aug. 1, 2014

A new effort to increase safety for motorists traveling on Gratiot (M-46) will begin next week. Officials announced the formation of the Enforcement Coalition that will focus its efforts on red-light running, seat belt use and speed enforcement, the major contributing factors to the majority of recent fatal crashes. (MLive.com photo by Jeff Schrier)

Red-Light Runner Caught on Dash Camera
Orange County Register (California), July 31, 2014

Today, I was stopped at an intersection. A person in the lane to my left blew through the red light. My dashboard camera caught it all. Should I send the video to law enforcement? You could see the license plate.

Don’t Let Red Light Be Last Thing You See
ITBusinessNet.com (California), July 31, 2014

August 3-9 is National Stop on Red Week, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is reminding Californians to slow down, stop for red lights and stop signs, and practice safe driving now and at all times throughout the year. Stop sign and red-light running caused 141 deaths in California in 2011, along with over 20,000 serious injuries.

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Aurora Considers Speed Van to Assist Traffic Enforcement
KDVR-TV FOX 31 (Colorado), Aug. 5, 2014

As students in Aurora returned to school on Tuesday, city leaders debated whether to give police officers a new tool to fight speeding in school zones. In addition to the officers who spend time patrolling school zones before and after school, the Aurora city council will soon decide whether to spend money to operate a photo radar van in school zones. See related coverage from KMGH-TV ABC 7.

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School Zone Speeders Photographed in Nassau
12 News Brooklyn (New York), Aug. 4, 2014

Drivers traveling through Nassau have been warned: cameras have started snapping photos of school zone speeders. White vans equipped with photo radar are now operating in front of select schools in Nassau County. Drivers who go more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit will receive tickets in the mail for $80.

Speed Camera Coming to Lido Boulevard School Zone
Long Island Herald (New York), July 31, 2014

Nassau County has begun installing speed cameras in school zones, part of an initiative to crack down on speeding, protect children and make roads near schools safer. The County Legislature approved a contract amendment with American Traffic Solutions on May 19 to install the cameras.

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School Officials Call Illlegal Bus Passing a ‘Serious Problem’
Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia), Aug. 5, 2014

Despite flashing lights and stop signs warning drivers to keep a distance, about 500 motorists illegally pass school buses each day in West Virginia, a survey conducted by the state Department of Education has found. (WMBG-TV image of West Virginia incident)

Kentucky Urges Drivers, Students to be Cautious
MiddlesboroDailyNews.com, Aug. 4, 2014

It’s back-to-school time and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is reminding drivers to be alert, use extreme caution and be safe behind the wheel. In 2013, there were 825 collisions either directly or indirectly involving a school bus in Kentucky. These collisions resulted in 316 injuries and one fatality. See related news coverage from WDAM-TV NBC 7.

School Bus Safety Cameras Launch in Decatur
School Transportation News, Aug. 1, 2014

City Schools of Decatur will soon become the 12th school district in Georgia to partner with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to deploy CrossingGuard, ATS’ technology to help school districts address the growing problem of illegal passing of school buses that are stopped and boarding or disembarking children.

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Cameras, Deputies on Duty to Protect Students
WHAG-TV NBC 25 (Maryland), July 31, 2014 

The effort continues to make sure students are safer when they get back on and off school buses. The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention awarded 53 agencies from 22 jurisdictions $540,722 to help make the trip to and from school safer for Maryland’s children. Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore, said his department received $9,000 to help install more cameras on school buses and provide overtime for deputies to travel the school bus routes along the buses.
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City of Cleveland TX @CityClevelandTX Wed #StopOnRed2014 tip: Occupant injuries occurred in 45% of red-light running crashes compared w/30% of other crash types. #clevelandtx

AAA Foundation @AAAFTS @SaferRoadsUSA Time 2 work on the 1/3 of drivers who say they ran a red light in the past month! #StopOnRed2014 https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default…

NHTSA If the light’s red, STOP. It might seem like an easy message, but many still run red lights, putting pedestrians … http://fb.me/3ipa1qOLm

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Toll Dodger Who Owed $5,000 Arrested
The News Journal/DelawareOnline, Aug. 5, 2014

A New Jersey driver wanted for dodging more than $5,000 in tolls and fees on the Delaware Memorial Bridge was arrested last weekend, authorities announced Monday. Delaware River and Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon said the arrest should serve as a  teachable moment for others.

Push to Electronic Tolling Brings Demand for Pass Cards
WGGB-TV ABC 40 (Massachusetts), Aug. 4, 2014

The push by Massachusetts Department of State Transportation to have the Mass Pike cash free by the summer of 2016 prompted dozens of people to sign up for EZ Passes at the ABC 40 station today. The electronic toll system will eventually replace every toll plaza in Massachusetts. That means, no more booths with toll takers.

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Verrazano Bridge Will Soon Accept Debit, Credit Cards for Payment
Staten Island Advance (New York), July 31, 2014

The Verrazano Bridge will soon be accepting debit and credit card payments — potentially within several weeks, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson Judie Glave. In addition to cash-paying customers, EZPass users with negative account balances will be able to use cards to pay the cash-rate toll. (Staten Island Advance photo by Bill Lyons)

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Commentary: Our Priority Is to Keep Kids Safe
School Bus Fleet, August 2014

Changing driver behavior is at the heart of all of American Traffic Solutions (ATS) road safety camera solutions. Whether the problem is speeding, running red lights or rushing past stopped school buses, our products provide law enforcement with additional resources to help improve traffic safety. This is especially true of CrossingGuard, ATS’ school bus stop arm enforcement solution.

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Editorial:  Dangerous Intersection Needs Expert Fixes
Tampa Bay Times (Florida), July 31, 2014

Twenty years ago, traffic experts anticipated the problems that now plague the Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road intersection in Clearwater. But opposition from residential neighborhoods along with the expense of acquiring right-of-way, led the county to never substantially widen the commercial stretch north of Druid Road. In hindsight, what a mistake that was. The hazards are plain to see, but it took the May death at the intersection of a popular school crossing guard and retired police officer, to prompt new action from local and Florida Department of Transportation officials.

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Letter: It Is the Law
Kane County Chronicle (Illinois), Aug. 5, 2014

I am a 39-year resident of Wayne, and ever since the red light cameras went up, I stop a complete stop before turning right – no matter the time or traffic. It is posted, and whether I agree with the law or the means of enforcement, it is the law and I stop.

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“When they’re driving and they’re making stops, their focus is on students exiting the bus or boarding the bus and trying to keep an eye on traffic, so if they do have a violator it’s nearly impossible to identify the make of that vehicle, get a tag number and be able to report that effectively. As far as it’s good for students, it’s a matter of saving a life, that’s how important it can be.”
Barbara Scotto, Washington County Public Schools Transportation Supervisor
WHAG-TV NBC 25 (Maryland), July 31, 2014  

District 3
“Innocent lives are lost every day when drivers recklessly or inadvertently run red-lights. Most of the time these incidents happen because the driver is in a hurry to get to their destination, but it’s important that all drivers remember that being late is infinitely better than losing their life or injuring others due to a careless decision.”
Rhonda Craft, California Office of Traffic Safety Director
ITBusinessNet.com, July 31, 2014

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Indiana
Lafayette School Corporation Transportation Director Jim Scroggin said the School Transportation Association of Indiana’s annual survey to see how many people disregard the stop arms on school buses revealed more than 2,500 violations this year. This year, nearly 200 school corporations participated with 7,500 school buses. SOURCE:  WLFI-TV Channel 18, Indiana, July 31, 2014.

Minnesota
Statewide 35 pedestrians were killed in and 867 injured in 2013, and 369 have been killed since 2004, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. SOURCE: Star Tribune, Aug. 4, 2014.

North Carolina
Crash counts are rising again at the three Knightdale Boulevard intersections where red-light cameras nabbed violators until last October – a 32 percent increase in accidents, when the first six months of 2014 were compared with the same period of 2013, according to the town. SOURCE: The News & Observer, Aug. 4, 2014.

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 35

July 30th, 2014 Comments off

 

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Red-light running is an aggressive driving behavior that killed 683 people and injured 133,000 in 2012. Ending this recklessness is the aim of Stop on Red Week, which begins Sunday. Along with hearing what the experts have to say in your city about safe driving and its many benefits, make a pledge this year to stop on red. The change you make, may just save a life. For information about raising awareness about red-light running hazards, visit ATS on Facebook, the National Coalition for Safer Roads or the Federal Highway Administration. Then go to the ATS Twitter page and spread the message using #StopOnRed2014!

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Vehicular Assault Charge Filed in Red-Light Running Crash
KMGH-TV ABC 7 (Colorado), July 30, 2014

Denver prosecutors have formally charged a woman with vehicular assault after they said she ran a red light and crashed into another car injuring six people.

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2nd Red-Light Camera Program in Pennsylvania Launches
Montgomery Media, July 30, 2014

Ten red-light safety cameras will become operational at three intersections in Abington Township on Friday. In addition to Philadelphia, Abington is the only other municipality in the state to use a red-light camera system to aid in traffic safety. (21st Century Media photo by Geoff Patton)

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Mount Vernon, New Rochelle in Line for Red-Light Safety Cameras
New Rochelle Daily Voice (New York), July 29, 2014

New Rochelle and Mount Vernon motorists are going to have to exercise a little more caution when approaching yellow lights in their cities after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to install red-light cameras at intersections. The legislation, which was sponsored by State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who represents Mount Vernon, allows Mount Vernon to install cameras at up to 20 intersections, while New Rochelle can install as many as a dozen. (Photo by Marcus Yam for The New York Times)

Local Governments Turn Red Lights into Green
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM  (Washington D.C.), July 28, 2014

Red-light cameras are pulling in big dollars for local governments in the Washington, D.C., area, according to new data from AAA Mid-Atlantic. Red-light camera programs in cities like D.C. and Rockville, and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Arlington counties raked in $21 million combined in 2013, the data show.

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Bellevue Expands Photo Enforcement Program
ITS International, July 25, 2014

Bellevue City Council, Washington, has approved an expansion of the city’s photo enforcement program, supplied by American Traffic Solutions, from three red-light cameras and two school-zone cameras to six red-light cameras and three school-zone cameras.

Fayetteville Red-Light Cameras to Return
WRAL-TV Channel 5 (North Carolina), July 24, 2014

Red-light cameras will likely reappear at some Fayetteville intersections soon. Last week, lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that will allow the program to be paid for through a joint agreement between the city and the Cumberland County Board of Education.

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Speed Cameras Cut Speeding 43% in Chicago
Streetsblog Chicago (Illinois), July 21, 2014

The City of Chicago’s automated speed enforcement system continues to succeed in reducing dangerous speeding around parks and schools. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the number of speeding cars observed by its 51 speed cameras has fallen an average of 43 percent ever since the first week of the cameras’ operation. At some locations, the number of speeders dropped as much as 99 percent. See related city press release. (WGN-TV Channel 9 image)

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Talk Now with Children about School Bus Safety
Newswise.com, July 28, 2014

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, from 2001 through 2010, 1,368 people died in school transportation-related crashes – an average of 137 fatalities per year. “As families begin to prepare for children returning to school, it’s important for parents and children to go over school bus safety tips together,” says Dawne Gardner, injury prevention coordinator, Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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Speed Cameras Begin Operation in Nassau School Zones
Newsday (New York), July 26, 2014

Nassau County has started operating speed cameras at school zones as part of a state-approved plan aimed at improving traffic safety and raising money for the county. On Friday, cameras were placed at three schools, which are open for summer school. Each received a mobile unit, an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine, to place nearby. (Newsday photo by Steve Pfost)

Speed Camera Set for School
Levittown Tribune (New York), July 25, 2014

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. The new systems will be implemented on July 25. In the Island Trees Union-Free School District, the Memorial Middle School was picked as the location for the new camera system to try and encourage safety while reducing the speed of traffic around the school.

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ATS Primary Logo

American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is proud to announce the extension of its road safety camera agreements with several long-standing clients. The cities of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, along with Florida City and Opa-Locka, Florida, all recently agreed to continue operating their photo enforcement systems. Opa-Locka, a client since 2009, and Baton Rouge, a client since 2007, both signed five-year extensions, while Florida City, an ATS client since 2007, extended their agreement by three years. ATS is honored to remain a partner in road safety with Opa-Locka, Florida City, Baton Rouge and all of its clients.

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ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety Tip Tuesday: Driving while using a mobile reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37%. http://pinterest.com/pin/437412182532168707/

NCSS_Transportation @SchoolBusNCSS Help us protect students. Never pass a school bus when the stop arm is extended! Please RT. #ncssbethebest

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Electronic Toll Installations Proceed in Miami-Dade County
Miami Herald (Florida), July 28, 2014

Partial evening closures on two major east-west expressways in Miami-Dade County are in effect this week. Workers are installing electronic tolling equipment on state roads 836 (the Dolphin Expressway) and 112 (the Airport Expressway). The overhead scanners will do away with the need for tollbooths. They will also close loopholes that allow some cars traveling between certain exits to escape tolls. See additional Miami Herald news coverage.

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Data Shows Switch to Automatic Tolling on Tobin Bridge a No-Brainer
BosInno (Massachusetts), July 22, 2014

When the Massachusetts Department of Transportation switched the Tobin Bridge from its traditional toll-taking methods to the contemporary and electronic E-ZPass system, it seemed like a no-brainer. Still, I wondered if it was a bit unfair that the preeminent entranceway to Boston from the north is more accommodating to the E-ZPass crowd? I figured as much … until I saw the data.

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Commentary: Red-Light Cameras Are Picture Perfect for Speeders
The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada), July 28, 2014

The police seem very busy whenever they set up shop for speeders on the 403 overpass. But why are we using highly paid, highly skilled people when we can mount a camera and get everyone? Right now, the police are limited in the number of speeders they can catch because when they’re busy with one, others are sneaking through. With photo radar, we can catch them all. We have the technology, why aren’t we using it more effectively?

Commentary: Cameras Returning, and It’s about Time
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), July 26, 2014

Driving in Fayetteville will be safer soon – at least at some busy intersections. Red-light cameras are coming back. That makes me happy. Red-light cameras made so much sense here earlier. And the police had the numbers to prove they worked. The cameras caught the idiots in action and mailed them tickets. Each of those intersections got safer. There was no question about the cause and effect.

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Letter: Run a Red Light – Get a Ticket
Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), July 29, 2014

The state of Texas has a law about running red lights, and that’s what last week’s letter-writer did – and got caught. The writer can complain all he wants, and spend all the time he wants in researching an ordinance and then venting his anger in a letter to the editor, but running a red light is running a red light – a violation worthy of a ticket.

Letter: Don’t Run Red Lights – Problem Solved
Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), July 27, 2014

In reference to the guest column (Look at the big picture of Amarillo’s red-light traffic cameras, July 19, amarillo.com), it is nice that the author did all his homework on red-light requirements. Too bad he didn’t do his homework and research on red-light cameras actually in Amarillo.

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“Technology has been made available to us that will help us accomplish our traffic safety goals and help us do so perfectly. We’d be remiss not to say, ‘Let’s go and try it.’ Why would we ignore that technology just because some people see it as controversial? We want to reduce the number of violations, reduce the number of accidents, and most importantly, reduce the number of accidents with injuries.”
William Kelly, Police Chief of Abington, Pennsylvania
Montgomery Media, July 30, 2014

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“The new law will dramatically increase the safety of our pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Those who recklessly run red lights will no longer be tolerated. By creating awareness, people will modify their driving behavior and everyone will be safer.”
Ruth Hassell-Thompson, State Senator, New York
New Rochelle Daily Voice, July 29, 2014

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“For quite some time, the community has expressed concern with the traffic and the traffic pattern in front of the middle school. I imagine this new law will slow things down in front of this building, in turn, improving student safety for our secondary students.”
Charles Murphy, Island Trees Schools Superintendent
Levittown Tribune (New York), July 25, 2014