In our April edition of the Road Safety Ink, we highlight the movement for work zone safety and learn how bus lane enforcement is creating a faster and more environmentally friendly way of travel, then see what a group of moms are doing to protect their children in school zones.
Verra Mobility, Arizona, April 20, 2023
The goal of Work Zone Awareness week is to encourage drivers to understand how their driving behaviors can have a direct impact on the lives of the workers who are helping to improve our roadways. Speed and distractions can have deadly consequences. Fortunately, the movement to protect all road users is underway and we clearly saw those efforts magnified this month. This month, organizations across the country raised awareness of Work Zone Safety and encouraged everyone to take action to decrease work zone fatalities and injuries. Any driver can tell you – road work never seems to stop. Work zone safety is a year-round effort.
Check out some of the highlights from this month here.
Axios.com, Washington, April 2023
New automated cameras caught drivers illegally using Seattle bus lanes more than 110,000 times last year, the city transportation department says.
Why it matters: Transit-only lanes are supposed to remain car-free so buses can quickly move a large number of people through traffic. When cars clog bus lanes, it makes gridlock worse, transportation officials say.
HawaiiNewsNow.com, Hawaii, April 20, 2023
According to the Department of Transportation, there were eight red-light running violations a day at Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street from April 10 to the 17th.
This is a significant decrease compared to the estimated 88 violations per day by westbound drivers before the installation of red-light cameras and speed humps.
Read HIDOT’s full press release here.
OregonLive.com, Oregon, April 25, 2023
Mobile speed cameras could soon be popping up around the state after lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would allow any Oregon city to use photo enforcement to catch and ticket speeders.
“We are taking proactive steps towards reducing the risk of high-speed crashes and protecting pedestrians, cyclists and kids,” Sen. Aaron Woods, D- Wilsonville, said in a statement the day after the Senate voted 20-9 to pass House Bill 2095. “As a state, we must continue to prioritize safety on roads and invest in evidence-based solutions that make our streets safer for everyone.”
HawaiiNewsNow.com, Hawaii, April 19, 2023
With new technology and acceptance of the use of red-light safety cameras in Oahu, the discussion to expand automated enforcement to create safer roads is open to discussion. Ed Sniffen, Transportation Director Appointee championed for speed safety cameras to reduce speeding on highways and urban roadways to reduce traffic collision injuries and fatalities associated with speeding.
FoxBaltimore.com, Maryland, April 23, 2023
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation is advising motorists that new automated speed enforcement locations will soon be implemented, as part of the City’s Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement System (ATVES).
Baltimore’s ATVES uses automated speed, red-light, and commercial vehicle height monitoring cameras to promote safe driving in city communities. This program is designed to increase safety by reducing driver speeds in school zones and decreasing the incidence of vehicles running red lights. The ATVES program also helps to reduce traffic congestion and damage to streets, homes, and other infrastructure by commercial vehicles that travel along restricted roadways.
MilfordMirror.com, Connecticut, April 17, 2023
Connecticut’s first-ever speed cameras are up and running, but though some infractions will be sent to drivers, the goal is not revenue, according to a state spokesman.
“Success is that we’ve raised awareness, that we’ve changed behaviors, that we’ve slowed people down and we saved people’s lives,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Josh D. Morgan. “We’re looking at this as not a revenue generating program, not a ‘gotcha’ type of program, but really a program to reduce injuries, to save lives. Ultimately, if there were $0, if no one paid a single citation, that’s a win.”
Crashes in work zones are not uncommon. Between 2019 and 2022, there were 3,674 work zone crashes in Connecticut, resulting in 13 fatalities and 37 serious injuries, according to DOT data.
silive.com, New York, April 24, 2023
The new program, which launched on Monday, April 17, at the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week, is intended to protect highway construction workers who are placed at an increased risk of injury by speeding motorists.
“This new pilot program will be instrumental in encouraging safe driving habits in highway work zones and protecting the lives of those who help maintain a safe and reliable highway system,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul.
5NewsOnline, Arkansas, April 27, 2023
Arkansas law enforcement officers could soon have the ability to utilize cameras as a method to aid in enforcing speed limits along highway and interstate work zones.
The law would allow automated speed enforcement devices to capture images of speeding vehicles in work zones across all Arkansas counties.
TampaBay.com, Florida, April 11, 2023
We’re members of the Legislature and also moms, and here is why our bill matters for schoolchildren’s safety. As lawmakers, there are many ideas we sponsor that we feel passionate about and compelled to propose. But this year, legislation that we have jointly filed in the Florida Legislature, Enforcement of School Zone Speed Limits, was filed not only because of our job as lawmakers, but because of our most important job — being mothers to school-age children.
—Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez is a Doral Republican representing District 40 in the Florida Senate. Rep. Traci Koster is a Tampa Republican representing District 66 in the Florida House of Representatives.
Gazette Editorial Board, New York, April 7, 2023
The installation of cameras will help prevent a tragedy in which a driver illegally passing a school bus strikes and injures or kills a child.
And the presence of cameras on the outside of buses that activate when the bus is coming to a stop will not only serve as a deterrent to this dangerous behavior, but also help catch those who break the law.