Your August Edition of Road Safety Ink

Verra and Redflex: What Happens Now?

ITS International, National, August 16, 2021

In a call with ITS International, Talbot says of the two companies: “We pursue the same market: we have the same mission, which is automated enforcement, it’s making roads safer, reducing congestion and reducing overall emissions from vehicles.”

“Anybody who’s responsible for road operations, public safety and, as we move into the urban environment, mobility in general – those will be our target agencies,” he adds. “It’s a matter of being a trusted vendor and technology provider, for us to then expand and radiate into other aspects of the agency’s overall mission. But again, in broad scope, we want to make the road safer, we want to reduce congestion, increase the flow of traffic – and, as a byproduct, reduce harmful emissions.”

NSC Shares Important Safety Precautions Ahead of Labor Day Travel

National Safety Council, National, August 25, 2021

The National Safety Council encourages every vehicle owner to put safety first when coordinating late-summer travel. This is a time when many Americans will be taking road trips with their families and driving more often for the back-to-school season. NSC estimates that over 460 people may die on the roads during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. This year’s holiday fatality estimate is 19% higher than the 2020 Labor Day estimate of 390. Following a year with increased motor vehicle fatality rates across the country, NSC urges all Americans to proactively maintain the condition of their vehicles and practice safe driving.

 

DriveSmart BC – Nominate the Driver

Fraser Valley News Network, Australia, August 22, 2021

The state publishes an annual review of speed camera programs, the latest available is for 2019. It claims that at fixed speed camera locations there has been a:

36 per cent reduction in casualty crashes
74 per cent reduction in fatalities
41 per cent reduction in injuries

representing a saving of $530 million to the community.

 

Speeding Incidences Up Since Start of Pandemic

NBC News, National, August 22, 2021

With emptied city streets and drivers getting on the open road, the pandemic has led to an increase in car speeding incidents. Highway deaths were also at their highest in more than a decade.

 

© Noam Galai/Getty Images The pandemic appears to have caused in a major rise in reckless driving habits. In this photo, traffic is seen on a highway in Brooklyn, May 21, 2021.

‘Ridiculous’ Rise in Speeding, Impaired Driving Seen During Pandemic Not Subsiding: Police

MSN, National, August 8, 2021

The speeding and reckless driving seen on wide-open roads during the pandemic appear, like COVID-19 itself, to be sticking around longer than wished. Even as driving and travel habits bounce back to normal, the dangerous behaviors do not seem to be subsiding.

Deaths on highways skyrocketed last year to levels not seen in over a decade, according to the AP. Considering that COVID lockdowns drastically reduced the number of miles driven, officials pin this increase in deaths on an uptick in speeding, first and foremost, as well as increases in impaired driving and decreases in seatbelt use. These trends were seen even in the earliest days of the pandemic.

$50K Grant Helps Cops Crack Down On Speeders

New Haven Independent, Connecticut, August 20, 2021

Lead-foot drivers beware: These officers will be out in force in coming weeks to catch you in the act of endangering lives.

The above-pictured officers are members of the police department’s traffic enforcement unit. You see them with lasers and radar guns recording speeds at hotspots around town.

You will see them more than usual through Sept. 6. A $50,000 Connecticut Department of Transportation Speed and Aggressive Driving Enforcement Grant is paying for extra shifts at six treacherous speedways: Whalley Avenue, Townsend Avenue, Dixwell Avenue, Forbes Avenue, Foxon Boulevard, Ella Grasso Boulevard.

Connecticut has already this year matched the 192 traffic-related fatalities it recorded in 2020, Torquati reported. New Haven has had 13 traffic-related fatalities this year; it had 26 last year. Torquati said that so far in 2021, the city has recorded 1,206 speeding-related crashes, 485 of them involving injuries. Last year the city recorded 1,564 speed-related crashes, with 786 involving injuries.

 

Michigan Bill Would Allow for Speeding Enforcement by Cameras

ABC 12, Michigan, August 19, 2021

House Bill 5284 was introduced by Rep. Sarah Anthony, a Democrat from Lansing, and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.

The bill would allow police to deploy cameras for speed enforcement if the devices meet the following conditions:

  • That have a speed timing device inside.
  • They are connected to Michigan’s license plate management system.
  • They produce an image of the vehicle clearly showing the license plate, where it was located and when it was taken.
  • A sign is placed before vehicles are in range of the camera warning of its presence.

Kingston City Council to Identify Areas for Possible Photo Radar Speeding Ticket System

Global News, Canada, August 10, 2021

“I think we’ve all received lots of complaints from concerned parents about requesting greater number of police looking to catch people speeding in school zones, and this is a way of achieving that,” said Coun. Jim Neill.

The photo radar program was introduced into the Highway Traffic Act through the Safer Schools Act, and can be implemented specifically in municipally-designated school zones and community safety zones where the speed limit is less than 80 km/h, according to the staff report from council.

“It is intended to be used in conjunction with other road safety strategies, such as police enforcement, road calming measures, and education campaigns,” said the report by Sheila Kidd, the city’s commissioner of transportation and public works.

 

Fines for passing a stopped school bus in Illinois doubled in 2020

‘Death Zone’: What To Know About Passing A School Bus In Illinois

Patch, Illinois, August 18, 2021

School Transportation News reports an average of 19 children are killed every year getting on or off the bus, while about seven a year die in school bus crashes.

“Motorists need to pay attention to what’s going on around them,” National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services President Michael LaRocco told School Transportation News after the back-to-back days of children’s deaths at school bus stops.

 

 

Caution Urged as Kids and Buses Head Back to School in Comal County

Herald-Zeitung,  Texas,  August 20, 2021

“It’s grace, patience and grace. We urge all drivers to please be patient, slow down, be on the watch for kids crossing streets, be aware of where school buses are and drive carefully around them.”

NBISD schools and campuses begin the 2021-22 school year on Monday; Comal ISD schools open Tuesday. Comal County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will be stepping up enforcement of traffic laws around school buses, especially those prohibiting hand-held cell phones and reduced speed limits in school zones.

 

 

My Turn: It’s Pretty Clear, We Should be Slowing Down

Concord Monitor, New Hampshire, August 21, 2021

I know it’s anecdotal, but the first time we travelled in New Zealand we noticed that on the rural roads a great many drivers were exceeding the limit a lot of the time. Then a few years later, speed cameras were deployed (you can get a map of their locations) and it was clear that in those areas speeds had come down. A study of crash data in the 20 months following the introduction of static cameras in New Zealand found a 23% reduction in fatal and serious crashes at urban static camera sites and an 11% reduction in fatal and serious crashes at rural static camera sites.

So, let’s all do a little logical thinking about all this. Yes, it’s great to get places more quickly, but do we really need to? And shouldn’t law enforcement have all the tools at their disposal to encourage people to drive at more reasonable speeds? Speed cameras are prohibited by New Hampshire law. It’s time to change that.

 

By |2021-08-25T13:55:27-07:00August 24th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Your August Edition of Road Safety Ink
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