Happy New Year! Don’t miss the December recap of the Road Safety Ink. This edition covers Verra Mobility’s President, David Roberts sharing his thoughts on the trends of smart mobility in 2023; we see newly implemented automated safety enforcement to close out 2022, and look at the impact of the 24/7 speed safety camera technology in New York.
Forbes.com, National, December 28, 2022
David Roberts, President and CEO of Verra Mobility, takes a look ahead at the smart mobility themes and trends for 2023 on Forbes.com.
“In 2023, we should undertake a concentrated, collective effort to make our roads safer for everyone—drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. The statistics are sobering—despite investments in safety efforts, traffic fatality rates have reached a 16-year high. This year presents us with opportunities to reverse this trend.”
Khon2, Hawaii, December 26, 2022
Over the last few weeks, the Hawai’i Department of Transportation has begun a Red-Light Camera initiative to help mitigate the increasing number of vehicle collisions occurring in and around Honolulu.
Today, Dec. 26, DOT said that it will begin issuing warnings at Pali Highway and Vineyard Boulevard.
For more information, visit the HIDOT Red-Light Safety Camera Program here.
9news, Australia, December 12, 2022
WJCT News, Florida, December 29, 2022
A recently published report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety shows Florida has some of fewest roadway safety laws in the country.
Tara Gill is the senior director of advocacy and state legislation for the organization. She says Florida lags in child passenger safety, teen driving and automated speed enforcement laws, among other issues, and that it’s been tough to get traction on new driving policies in the state.
“Every year, we come back to Florida and we have to defend the state’s red light camera law,” Gill said. “So, it would be really helpful if we could just focus on improving traffic safety laws, rather than having to defend good laws that are already on the books.”
Gill said there are 13 road safety laws that other states have passed. Going forward, she says, Florida needs a focus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists seat belt use, speeding and impairment as top reasons for traffic fatalities, so the organization would like to see the state prioritize laws surrounding those concerns.
AMNY, New York, December 25, 2022
New York City has seen a dramatic reduction in speeding since its speed cameras were turned on 24/7, with violations dropping 27% since the switch was flipped in August, the Adams administration revealed on Wednesday.
The city’s 2,200 speed cameras were turned on 24/7 on August 1, after the permanent program was approved by Albany in June. In their first month of permanent operation, the cameras logged 755,000 leadfoots traveling at least 11 miles per hour above the speed limit, dropping precipitously to 661,000 in September and 586,000 in October.
NYC Streets Blog, New York, December 27, 2022
Streetsblog took a vote to celebrate some of DOT’s best projects of the year which helped make the city a more walkable, livable, and safe place.
So far this year, overall traffic fatalities have declined by more than 7 percent since last year, and pedestrian fatalities have dropped along with it — success the DOT attributes to its work on the street.
“This success is against the backdrop of the rest of the United States, which has seen pedestrian deaths rise to levels not seen since the 1980s,” said DOT First Deputy Commissioner Margaret Forgione during a press conference last week. “We are clearly defying national trends in a big way. How are we doing it? With more street redesign.”
So, let’s join them in celebrating some of the best projects of the year! See who the nominees were.
Komo News, Seattle, December 13, 2022
The city will be adding dozens more speed cameras to Seattle streets to get traffic to slow down near schools. Seattle’s school zone camera program has proven to reduce the number of crashes, and police have issued tens of thousands of citations, but not everyone is on board with it.
The number of crashes decreases year by year in these zones with cameras, with 11 reported collisions from September through December last year, down from 14 in the same time frame in 2020, an SDOT report states. There is typically one collision reported per month in school zones with speed cameras. The report also says there were more than 54,000 citations issued in 2021.
“We want to expand how we protect kids walking to and from school,” Pedersen added.
Metro West Daily News, Massachusetts, December 18, 2022
Motorists are illegally passing stopped school buses at epidemic levels — 41.8 million violations throughout a 180-day school year, in fact.
According to a 2022 survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, American motorists are illegally passing school buses at “epidemic levels.” Four Massachusetts children, that we know of, were struck by motorists who failed to stop in 2014, 2021 and 2022.
A Peabody mom has a child taking the school bus for the first time. She had no idea motorists were ignoring this law until she saw it for herself. After doing research, she found that unless you drive a school bus, or are actively involved in combating the problem, you have no idea how bad the situation is. Because of this, she has created my own awareness campaign for this very serious problem. To support this initiative, please visit https://www.change.org/stopschoolbuspassing.
NJ.com, New Jersey, December 8, 2022
The group behind an annual safety report that called for expanding speed cameras, including in New Jersey, where they’re currently banned, also advocated for another hot button issue in this state — requiring adults to wear helmets when riding bikes and scooters.
Automated enforcement was new this year to the report as a way to curb speeding, said Cathy Chase, Advocates president, during a Tuesday press event.
“Speeding is a leading cause in fatal crashes, that is why for first time, increased automated enforcement is in the report,” Chase said. “Speeding needs to be reduced.”
Portland Press Herald, Maine, January 1, 2023
Jan. 1—Again and again, calls to for Maine drivers to slow down or “be vigilant” have fallen on deaf ears.
Maybe the confirmation that came in last week will be enough to cut through: The number of deaths on our roads in 2022 was the highest in 15 years.