Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

April 16, 2014         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

LATEST ROAD SAFETY NEWS

NTSB safety rec's to NHTSA include blind spot mitigation, underride guards, trailer data collection

Source: Commercial Carrier Journal, April 7, 2014

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that regulations be put in place to require new trucks to be equipped with systems to boost blind spot awareness and side and rear underride guards and to require that better data be collected on trailers involved in crashes. NTSB made the recommendations earlier this month to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, breaking the three general recommendations into seven specific recommendations in a letter from outgoing NTSB Chair Debora Hersman, who requested NHTSA respond within 90 days. To see the full article, including details of the recommendations, go to: www.ccjdigital.com/ To see the full report from the NTSB, click here: www.ntsb.gov/

NSC releases latest injury and fatality statistics and trends

Source: National Safety Council News Release, March 26, 2014

The National Safety Council has released the 2014 edition of Injury Facts®, which details safety statistics and trends across the U.S. and worldwide. Injury Facts has been the Council's go-to resource for all safety statistics for more than 90 years. Among the findings, cell phone use is now estimated to be involved in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes – up from the previous year. An estimated 5% of crashes involve texting, while 21% involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones. Both of these numbers represent an increase over the prior year. To see the full news release that highlights the additional findings, go to: www.nsc.org/

NHTSA study says 30% of drivers ignore recalls

Source: Auto World News, March 18, 2104

In the midst of a host of vehicle recalls including the General Motors' ignition switch issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released data indicating that as much as 30% of people continue driving their cars as is. Motorists tend to overlook recalls that haven't yet been related to injury or death, The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch reported. The NHTSA found that the overall recall response rate is about 70%; however, even that figure doesn't mean that all the responding consumers completely followed through on the recall. If no injuries are reported and the car seems to be fine, motorists tend to put off the issue even when dealers are offering to fix the vehicles. To see the full article, go to: www.autoworldnews.com/

You're less likely to die in a car crash nowadays — here's why

Source: Vox, April 2, 2014

Vehicle fatalities in the United States have been steadily declining since the 1970s. They peaked in 1969 at 55,043. By 2012, that number had plunged to 33,561. That drop has been a major public-health success. One reason for the decrease: drunk drivers are killing fewer people. Also, we're wearing seat belts more often. But there are still too many people dying. So what's next? Better roads, better drivers and even self-driving cars will hopefully continue the positive downward trend in crashes. To see the full article, go to: www.vox.com/

Why is America falling behind other nations on street safety?

Source: Streetblog USA, April 9, 2014

Vox, a new reporting venture launched earlier this month featured an article explaining that "traffic deaths are way, way down" in the United States. It was exciting to see Vox show an interest in street safety, but the writer missed the mark with her take on the issue. Vox called a decades-long reduction in traffic deaths to 33,561 in 2012 "a major public health victory." What we're talking about here is that only 11 of every 100,000 Americans were killed in traffic that year, which, she rightly points out, is a dramatic improvement compared to the 1970s, when the fatality rate was 27 per 100,000 people. But compared to our international peers, the United States is still doing a poor job of reducing traffic deaths. Rather than hailing the decline in traffic fatalities in America, we should be asking why we continue to fall behind other countries when it comes to keeping people safe on our streets. To see the full article, go to: usa.streetsblog.org/

New NHTSA report reveals school buses still safer than other modes of transportation to school

Source: School Transportation News, March 20, 2014

The eight students killed onboard school buses in 2012 brought the 10-year total of such fatalities to 55, according to the latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On average, six of the approximately 25 million student school bus riders nationwide are killed in crashes on the school bus each year. The total number of school bus occupant fatalities from 2003 through 2012 increased to 106 when factoring in the 46 driver fatalities reported in the newly released data. Meanwhile, 962 occupants of other vehicles and 244 pedestrians have been killed in these crashes within that 10-year span, which accounted for slightly more than one-third of one percent of all 348,253 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred in the same period. To see the full article, go to: www.stnonline.com/

Roadway Safety Foundation announces 2014 Roadway Safety Guide

Source: Roadway Safety Foundation, March 20, 2014

The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) announced that the 2014 Roadway Safety Guide: A Primer for Community Leaders is now available on-line at www.roadwaysafety.org. The Roadway Safety Guide is a hands-on, user-friendly document designed to provide community leaders and local elected officials with basic information to improve roadway safety in their communities. Originally published by RSF in 2000, this new/updated version includes information on numerous new technologies and engineering treatments like modern roundabouts and median barriers that have been revised with years of safety research and data now supporting their implementation. The Guide includes helpful information such as checklists for identifying roadway trouble spots, information on building successful coalitions, and tips for getting concerns prioritized by the right people who can address them. Written for non-engineers, it retains the readability that made the first edition so popular, and draws people from all backgrounds into the roadway safety conversation. To see the full news release, go to: www.roadwaysafety.org/

Report: Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked? Part 5: Update through 2012

Source: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, April 2014

In three of the previous four reports in this series, the changes from 1984 to 2011 were examined in the number of registered light-duty vehicles, and the corresponding changes in distance driven and fuel consumed. The units of the analyses were both the absolute numbers and the rates per person, per driver, per household, and (where appropriate) per vehicle. The main finding of those three reports is that the respective rates all reached their maxima around 2004. It was argued that, because the onsets of the reductions in these rates preceded the onset of the recession (in 2008), the reductions in these rates likely reflect fundamental, noneconomic changes in society. Therefore, these maxima have a reasonable chance of being long-term peaks as well. The present report provides a brief update on these measures through 2012. View the PDF of the report here: deepblue.lib.umich.edu/

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STATE and regional ROAD SAFETY INITIATIVES

Potholes and snow plowing punish state budgets

Source: The Pew Charitable Trust, March 20, 2014

Fallout from the freakishly cold winter will linger well into spring as states grapple with damage to road budgets. As a demanding pothole season begins, many state legislators are still looking for money to pay the bills for winter work. Snowstorms forced states and localities to spend millions of dollars more than they budgeted for salt, sand, fuel and overtime for employees who drive the plows and fill the potholes. The Massachusetts legislature approved a $30 million increase in the agency's winter budget and gave it the authority to borrow up to $50 million more. Other states, such as Delaware and North Carolina, are using money originally set aside for summer maintenance to cover winter expenses. The winter budget crunch comes at a time when many state transportation budgets are already under duress. Gas tax revenue is not keeping up with expenses for many states and the federal government. To see the full article, go to: www.pewstates.org/

Text while driving in the bay area and you might end up on a billboard

Source: Gizmodo, March 24, 2014

This month, some residents of San Francisco could discover photographs of themselves engaging in rather embarrassing behavior. A website has been collecting photos of people texting while driving, and some of those photos have now found their way onto billboards throughout the region. The project, called Texting While in Traffic (TWIT) is the brainchild of San Francisco graphic designer Brian Singer. Singer began the project after he recently started commuting along the 101 Freeway, where he couldn't believe how often he saw drivers on their phones. Singer collected his images of texting drivers at a website, which includes stats about distracted driving and encourages readers to engage in "TWIT Spotting" by sending their photos as well. (Singer insists that he is a passenger, not a driver, when he takes the photos, and requires that contributors are as well.) The billboards—which have no copy on them whatsoever—will hopefully show drivers in a very public way that they're being watched... and judged. To see the full article, go to: gizmodo.com/

Roadside hit-and-run alerts become law in Colorado

Source: Associated Press via Yahoo.com, March 25, 2014

Colorado will be the first state to issue statewide roadside and broadcast alerts for hit-and-run crashes under a bill signed into law Tuesday. The law creates an Amber Alert-style notification system when authorities are looking for vehicles involved in serious hit-and-run crashes. The system includes quickly alerting the media and issuing bulletins on electronic highway signs that describe the fleeing vehicles. It will be implemented next year. The notifications will be called "Medina Alerts," after 21-year-old valet worker Jose Medina, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Denver three years ago. When Medina was struck by a car, a Metro Taxi driver followed the vehicle, wrote down its license plate number and helped authorities locate the driver. Denver and Aurora already have citywide Medina Alerts, created by former police officer Larry Stevenson. During the two years they've been in place, there have been 17 alerts that resulted in 13 cases being solved. To see the full article, go to: news.yahoo.com/

Michigan aims to increase safety for workers, drivers with release of 2014 construction map

Source: AASHTO Journal, March 28, 2014

To keep the public informed of work zones across the state, which should translate to keeping drivers and people working in those areas safer, Michigan Department of Transportation has made available a map of all planned road and bridge construction across the state. The free annual "Paving the Way" state highway construction map identifies resurfacing projects, bridge repairs and replacements, highway reconstruction projects, ramp realignments, intersection upgrades, and many other tasks MDOT has planned for 2014. Also included in the document are contact information for regional MDOT offices, a list of various traffic laws to abide by (such as speeding in work zones, texting while driving, and seat belt usage), as well as information on MDOT's Toward Zero Deaths safety campaign. To see the full article, including the link to a PDF of the map, go to: www.aashtojournal.org/

Florida tests high-tech devices to prevent wrong-way crashes

Source: Sun Sentinel, April 10, 2014

Florida is moving forward with a high-tech plan to prevent wrong-way crashes on portions of Florida's Turnpike and the Sawgrass Expressway. Solar-powered, flashing signs that warn wrong-way drivers and also alert authorities to their presence will be installed this summer at 10 ramps on the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike and five ramps on the Sawgrass Expressway. The signs use radar and cameras to send images and location information about drivers traveling in the wrong direction to the state's traffic management system and the Florida Highway Patrol's command center. The system will sense the vehicle driving in the wrong direction and it will activate LED lights on the sign to warn the driver and when the driver passes the sign, radar will send an alert to police. Officials said there were 24 wrong-way crashes along the Turnpike from 2010 through 2012, and news clips show 22 fatal crashes in Broward and Palm Beach counties from 2009 through 2013. To see the full article, go to: articles.sun-sentinel.com/

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WORKPLACE ROAD SAFETY

Using employee safety scorecard indicators to step out of the shadows and into the light

Source: knowledge at Work, March 25, 2014

The safety scorecard is one of the most powerful tools health and safety professionals can use to increase visibility. Without visibility, a determination cannot be made on how effective (or ineffective) health and safety programs are within their organization. Winning organizations depend on data and metrics to measure success and bring visibility to how they are performing. But are these organizations gathering the kind of information they need to reach their health and safety performance goals? An understanding of the most informative performance indicators is a good starting place. Safety professionals acknowledge the differences between lagging and leading indicators and generally agree that leading indicators provide more value in driving an organization to excel. Safety indicators do allow us to define the number, type and severity of incidents and associated costs. In turn, this provides a baseline for financial reserves needed to reduce financial impact on the organization and ultimately its insurance program, an operational cost directly affecting profitability. To see the full article, go to: www.knowledgeatwork.com/

On-the-job training for off-the-job safety: Part 1

Source: Safety Daily Advisor, April 4, 2014

Would it surprise you to know that fewer workers are injured or killed at work than away from work? One study placed the off-the-job percentages at more than half as many injuries and over two-thirds as many deaths as resulted from on-the-job accidents. Other statistics indicated more lost workdays resulting from away-from-work injuries. Formal training in most of the tasks involved in a company's operations is already provided, either as an OSHA requirement or because of the good sense of managers and supervisors. The importance of safety is also likely to be reinforced by bulletin board notices or booklet handouts. So why not, at very little cost, emphasize off-the-job safety when providing training in activities likely to be engaged in away from work? Vehicle-related accidents are the prime cause of fatalities both on the job and off. Stress to workers, and their families, the importance of:

  • Seat Belts: Buckle up as soon as you are in the car.
  • Good Driving Habits: Obey speed limits and traffic signs; be alert to what is happening ahead of, behind, and next to your own vehicle; don't tailgate; adjust to weather conditions.
  • Proper Maintenance: Have all engine parts inspected regularly; check lights, fluids, and tire pressure; ensure maximum visibility by keeping windows clean and wipers in good condition.

To see the full article, including other areas to be emphasized for off-the-job safety, go to: safetydailyadvisor.blr.com/

Four steps to help keep employee drivers distraction-free

Source: Business Wire News Release Via the Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2014

In observance of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Travelers is providing important information to help businesses with employees who drive as part of their job safeguard against distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, the average work-related motor vehicle injury claim costs $69,206, which is twice as much as other work-related injuries. More than two in three drivers admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving, according to the AAA Foundation's 2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index. Additionally, one in four drivers admits to typing or sending a text message or email while driving. Despite these behaviors, a recent survey of Travelers' customers found that only 27% reported having a formal policy on distracted driving that was strictly enforced. Travelers recommends a four-step program to help businesses better protect their employees from distracted driving that includes creating formal policies, communicating, leading by example and promoting safe driving behavior. To see the full article, go to: online.wsj.com/

Report: Telematics to dominate non-trucking fleets by 2019

Source: Automotive Fleet, March 24, 2014

Adoption of telematics by commercial fleets is expected to reach par with long-haul trucking telematics by the end of 2014 and dominate commercial fleets by the end of 2019, according to new research from ABI Research. Telematics technologies and services, which were first adopted by the long-haul trucking industry, should reach 50 million vehicles in the coming five years, ABI predicts. Use of telematics has increased in several non-trucking sectors such as utilities; private transportation including taxis, private hire vehicles, and rental fleets; construction and mining; government; emergency services; and local delivery markets. Other non-trucking sectors, including government fleet managers, see telematics as a way to demonstrate the satisfactory completion of tasks such as refuse collection or road gritting. To see the full article, go to: www.automotive-fleet.com/

Essential guide to road safety for small businesses can help cut costs and save lives

Source: Fleet News (UK), March 28, 2014

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on small businesses with employees who drive for work to explore how they can cut costs and improve road safety, using its free comprehensive guide. The guide is published through Brake's Fleet Safety Forum with the support of the Department for Transport. The guide outlines practical, low-cost steps small businesses can take to save money, and protect their employees and the wider community from the devastation a crash can cause. It includes first steps in drawing up a policy and communicating safe driving messages to drivers, with sample policies and links to downloadable tools and further guidance. To see the full article, including information on how to obtain the guide, go to: www.fleetnews.co.uk/

Age vs. experience vs. distractions

Automotive Fleet, March 2014

There's something about wisdom — whether it's a product of age or experience — that can give a driver a sixth sense about what to do and not do when sitting behind the wheel. For fleet managers, experienced drivers can save thousands of dollars in missed accidents and safer driving behaviors. But, age is not always a tell-tale sign of a safe driver. According to 2012 statistics from fleet safety company Fleet Response, drivers aged 26-35 and 46-54 are neck and neck (24.4% versus 24.1%) when it comes to the percentage of those involved in accidents. As with the insurance policy of parents with newly licensed drivers, rates can jump whenever a fleet manager adds a younger driver to his or her staff. While most fleet drivers are above the "youthful driver" age range of 16 to 24, companies still need to be aware of the possibility of increased premium costs. To see the full article, go to:
www.automotive-fleet.com/

Safety goes virtual at UPS

Source: Automotive Fleet, April 2014

With more than 7,200 employees honored in 2014 for having more than 25 years on the road without a crash, safety is at the core of UPS's fleet. When hired, drivers are put through a rigorous training program of in-class instruction and behind-the-wheel coaching; however, some situations are difficult to cover using traditional training methods. "We know inclement weather and other variables are hard to duplicate when you're out on the road, so we decided to replicate them in an off-road, non-business environment through a simulator," said Emilio Lopez, global fleet safety director for UPS. Drivers are taking the training as seriously as if they were actually in the cab of one of the iconic brown UPS trucks, according to Kevin Gates, UPS North Atlantic District health and safety manager. The training is broken down into bite-sized chunks with each module focusing on a particular safety issue. Going through the entire virtual program takes about an hour, limiting driver downtime. To see the full article, go to: www.automotive-fleet.com/

Keeping your focus on the road

Source: Automotive Fleet, March 31, 2014

In recognition of April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Automotive Fleet is sharing a short video produced by the USAA Educational Foundation, on the importance of eliminating potential distractions while driving. This makes a great resource to share with employees to raise awareness on the issue. To see the full article with the link to the video, go to: www.automotive-fleet.com/

Arrive alive - don't drive when tired!

Source: Shell.com

Global road safety leader, NETS Board of Director's member and GRSP member Shell has started a series of monthly safe driving tips on its website. The first, 'Arrive alive - don't drive when tired!' is based around driver fatigue. The simple, easy to navigate page provides facts as to the risk and sleep cycle, the warning signs of fatigue and how to safely manage: in short, STOP - REVIVE - SURVIVE. To view the first in the Shell monthly safe driving series, go to: www.shell.com/

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Innovation and Technology

IIHS says rearview cameras more effective alone than with parking sensors

Source: Autoblog.com, March 17, 2014

Rearview cameras sound like a good bet if you're concerned about safety, but a new study just published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that their benefits may be limited. Parking sensors, says the study, provided drivers with no more safety protection than using just mirrors, and combining those and backup cameras together was actually more dangerous in some cases. The study examined volunteers who were asked to perform normal driving behaviors. When they left a parking spot, the cutout of a child either jumped up or moved into place to surprise them. The vehicles were equipped with parking sensors, backup cameras, both or neither. Parking sensors were found to be almost useless in these cases. The major problem was that they had a range of only around eight feet, which doesn't give enough time to react. They were made even less helpful in combination with backup cameras because drivers were less likely to look at the video display when the vehicle was equipped with the sensors. To see the full article including the surprising study results, go to: www.autoblog.com/

U-M to triple number of talking cars in Ann Arbor to 9,000 as connected vehicle research ramps up

Source: MLive.com, March 25, 2014

The University of Michigan wants 9,000 intelligent vehicles operating in Ann Arbor within the next two years. Nearly 3,000 wirelessly connected cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles and bikes are already operating throughout Northeast Ann Arbor as a part of a research project conducted by the U-M's Transportation Research Institute and funded in large part by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The model deployment, launched in Ann Arbor in the late summer of 2012, studies how cars equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) wireless communication devices interact with one another and with wirelessly equipped infrastructure, such as intersections and street lights. The idea is not only to improve safety — a V2V car will alert the driver of the sudden braking of another V2V car further up the road — but also to test the feasibility of automated, driverless vehicles. To see the full article, go to: www.mlive.com/

Goodbye, side mirror: Automakers push for cameras

Source: CNBC, April 6, 2014

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers—a consortium that includes VW, Toyota and General Motors—as well as Tesla Motors, has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to permit manufacturers to replace mirrors with digital cameras. The request comes on the heels of a NHTSA announcement made recently, which outlines a long-delayed mandate that will require all vehicles to be equipped with backup cameras starting in May 2018. Volkswagen will begin delivering the first of its ultra-efficient XL1 coupes by midyear, featuring a set of three video screens, rather than rear and sideview mirrors. By replacing the traditional mirrors with micro-compact cameras built into the car's body, VW designers were able to significantly improve the vehicle's aerodynamics—a critical factor in helping it achieve a record fuel economy. But while VW plans to build only 250 of the cars, none will be shipped to the United States. That's due, in part, to the current federal U.S. rules that require all vehicles be equipped with left- and right-side exterior mirrors. To see the full article, go to: www.cnbc.com/

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INTERNATIONAL ROAD SAFETY

China's bike culture forges way into deadly traffic

Source: USA Today, April 12, 2014

In car-choked, smog-bound Beijing, vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians compete to break the rules. Changing bad behavior remains an uphill struggle even in a police state. As regular bike use fades, up to 200 million electric bikes now cruise China's roads. These e-bike users are former cyclists and wannabe car owners who take their bicycle culture and habits onto a more vehicle-like mode of transport. Unlicensed and uninsured, speedy e-bikes are leading to a rising numbers of crashes, injuries and deaths, says He Jinglin, senior program officer on road safety projects for WHO in Beijing. WHO research in Chinese cities showed that most bikes exceed national speed limits and few riders wear helmets, He said. WHO tries to change cultural attitudes by using social marketing approaches and social media platforms to reach the young drivers who most commonly display illegal behavior. Over 60,000 people die in road accidents each year in China, according to the police, but national disease surveillance system statistics put the real toll at more than four times higher. By comparison, there were almost 33,000 road traffic deaths in 2010 in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization's 2013 road safety report. To see the full article, go to: www.usatoday.com/

Industry analyzing U.S., EU auto safety standards

Source: Wards Auto, March 17, 2014

Automotive industry organizations from both the European Union and the U.S. are conducting a study of the equivalence between safety standards of vehicles on both sides of the Atlantic. Final results of the study are expected to help negotiators establish mutual acceptance of auto safety standards in the trade agreement, rather than try to blend EU and U.S. technical regulations. Automakers strongly support making the trade partnership negotiations successfully establish technical equivalence of regulations on both sides, starting with safety matters. Such a coming together of the EU and U.S. sectors also could provide a counterbalance to the rise of China as the current No.1 global player in terms of production and sales. The EU is the second-biggest producer of vehicles, followed by the U.S. The situation is reversed for sales, with the U.S. No.2 worldwide and the EU third. To see the full article, go to: wardsauto.com/

Communication instead of collision: research project focuses on the interaction between cyclists and drivers

Source: Press release from FWF - Austrian Science Fund, April 10, 2014

As an important contribution to traffic safety, the communication between cyclists and motor vehicle drivers is currently being examined by a scientific project under way in Vienna. Both infrastructure and intersection design are being considered as factors contributing to communication. The project, which is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, uses video recordings and interviews to analyze real communication situations under real-life road-use conditions. In 2011, there were a total of 5,760 accidents involving cyclists in Austria, 659 of which occurred in Vienna alone. Fatal accidents and accidents involving serious injuries mostly happen between cyclists and car drivers. As part of a doctoral research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, scientific data on communication processes between these road users are being surveyed and analyzed. The aim of the project is to understand how these processes unfold, which strategies underlie certain types of behavior and what kinds of impact they have on road safety for cyclists. To see the full article, go to: www.openpr.com/

International Driving Laws: The biggest danger travelers face abroad is on the roads

Source: Global Traveler, April 2014

If you've ever had a scooter scream up behind you on a Rome sidewalk, held your breath as the taxi driver negotiated a stretch of wet mountain road while sending a text, or narrowly escaped being mown down by a foreign bus in a clearly marked pedestrian crossing, you know traffic laws too often have little — or nothing — to do with reality. The truth is that how safe they are depends on a vast number of details. Not least of these is how an individual government views the importance of road safety. Measureable factors including maintenance and infrastructure, signage and surface conditions, and traffic laws and their enforcement are only part of the equation. More subtle and every bit as important is the issue of road culture. In cities throughout Italy, for instance, wide pedestrian crossings and lights give the false impression that pedestrians have the right of way. The truth, however, is that road culture dictates the right of way belongs to vehicles approaching the crossing from any direction. To see the full article, go to: www.globaltravelerusa.com/

The first 'masters' of road safety management

Source: Global Road Safety Partnership, March 25, 2014

Renault Foundation this month celebrated the first graduates of the Road Safety Management Masters, a programme launched by the Renault Foundation in March 2012. The programme, the first Master of its kind, offers an 18-month, trilingual, multidisciplinary programme covering the following fields: vehicle safety, road safety, law enforcement and legislative framework, road users' behaviour, post-crash care and road safety management systems. Developed with the input of a panel of international experts including the Global Road Safety Partnership, it is expected that this Chair will become a regional and international model in terms of road safety. To see the full article, go to: www.grsproadsafety.org/

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U.S. DOT NEWS

NHTSA announces final rule requiring rear visibility technology

Source: NHTSA News Release, March 31, 2014

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds by May 2018. This new rule enhances the safety of these vehicles by significantly reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents. Today's final rule requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation. On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31% of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26%. To see the full news release, go to: www.nhtsa.gov/

U.S. DOT launches first-ever national distracted driving enforcement and advertising campaign

Source: U.S. DOT News Release, April 3, 2014

To kick-off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the Department of Transportation's first-ever national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. As part of the effort, television, radio and digital advertisements using the phrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. will run from April 7-15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans. From April 10 to April 15, thousands of law enforcement personnel nationwide will use traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive. The national campaign builds on the success of two federally funded distracted driving state demonstration programs that took place in California and Delaware, Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. To see the full news release, go to: www.dot.gov/

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx urges caution in nation's highway work zones

Source: U.S. DOT News Release, April 8, 2014

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is urging people to drive carefully in highway work zones as the start of construction season begins in many states, putting more highway workers and drivers in close proximity. In 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 609 people died in highway work-zone crashes – an increase of 19 fatalities compared to 2011. National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by federal, state and local transportation officials each April, draws attention to the safety needs of road workers during construction season. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through a work zone, do not pay attention to changing road conditions, run into other vehicles or highway equipment, or drive off the road completely. In 2012, speeding was a factor in more than 35% of fatal work zone crashes. Nearly four in five victims in work zone crashes are not highway workers, but drivers and their passengers. To see the full news release, go to: www.fhwa.dot.gov/ For more information on this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing available here: www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/

To access NETS Drive Safely Work Week toolkits on this topic:
Focus: Safe Driving is Serious Business
Focus 360: Safe Driving is Everyone's Business

May 5, 2014 Cinco De Mayo

For drunk driving prevention materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing to share with employees, go to: www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/

May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month

For materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing, go to: www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/

May 7, 2014
International Speed Congress, London (UK)
Hosted by Brake

The congress will present latest research, initiatives, evaluation and policy thinking in reducing speed, and provide a forum for road safety professionals to network. For more information and to register, go to: www.speedcongress.com/

May 19, 2014
ASIRT Annual Gala: Safe Youth, Safe Roads, Safe Future
Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC

For more information or to obtain tickets, go to: app.etapestry.com/

June 8-11, 2014
Safety 2014 Professional Development Conference & Exposition
Orlando, FL

Annual meeting of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).
Dr. Stephanie Pratt, NIOSH liaison to the NETS Board of Directors is speaking in the session titled, "Reducing Road Risk Using Journey Management." For more information, go to: www.safety2014.org/

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