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Road Safety Ink
ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 37
As the school year begins, parents are breathing a collective sigh of relief as they send their kids back to the classroom. Still, it’s only natural to feel worried about kids’ safety on their way to school. Deva Dalporto, who blogs at My Life Suckers, takes on both the celebration of parents having kid-free time again and the importance of school bus safety in her latest parody of the 1980s rap hit Bust A Move, titled Bus, Don’t Move. … Dalporto says she partnered with American Traffic Solutions — creators of the CrossingGuard school bus stop arm that stops traffic while kids pile onto buses — to spread awareness of the dangers involved with transporting kids to school. See related coverage from Good Morning America. (NBC News image)
Serious Red-Light Running Collision Caught on Camera
WTVD-TV ABC 11 (North Carolina), Aug. 26, 2015
New video gives us a clear look at a T-bone accident involving four cars in Fayetteville, and police say it’s the result of a driver who ran a red light at the corner of Law Road and Ramsey Street. It’s the latest release from the City of Fayetteville and its red light camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions. (ATS and WTVD-TV ABC 11 image)
School Zone Cameras Enter 10th Year in Akron
WEWS-TV ABC 5 (Ohio), Aug. 25, 2015
The city of Akron will be deploying more than 60 traffic cameras in all school zones throughout the city for the tenth consecutive year beginning Aug. 27. The traffic camera program started in 2005 after a young boy was hit and killed in a school crosswalk. (WEWS-TV ABC5 image)
Fayetteville Nabs More than 1,400 Red-Light Runners in 6 Weeks
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015
More than 1,400 drivers have been caught running red lights in the nearly six weeks the Fayetteville Red-Light Camera Safety Program has been operating. “That’s an average of 32 violations a day,” City Manager Ted Voorhees said. (The Fayetteville Observer image)
Los Alamitos, Garden Grove Vote to Keep Red-Light Cameras
The Orange County Register (California), Aug. 26, 2015
Red-light cameras are staying put in Los Alamitos and Garden Grove, the last two Orange County cities still using the devices. … Council members cited safety, cost-effectiveness, and major traffic within Los Alamitos — considered a gateway city into the county — as reasons for their vote.
Tamarac Poised to Turn Red-Light Cameras Back on
Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 24, 2015
The city briefly halted its red light camera program, but the cameras could be turned back on as early as Wednesday. The Tamarac City Commission agreed to vote Wednesday on reviving its cameras with tweaks that are “considered to be cures” to make the program legal, said Mark Mason, the city’s finance director. Commissioners said they are ready to try again. (RSI note: The motion passed 5-0.)
Lincolnwood Renews Contract with ATS
The Chicago Tribune (Illinois), Aug. 21, 2015
The village of Lincolnwood Board of Trustees voted to renew its red-light safety camera contract with American Traffic Solutions at the Aug. 18 meeting. The village has operated one camera since 2009.
Springfield Appeals Red-Light Camera Ruling
Dayton Daily News (Ohio), Aug. 21, 2015
The city of Springfield has appealed a local judge’s ruling regarding its authority to operate red-light cameras to a state appellate court. … Springfield Law Director Jerry Strozdas said “We believe this is a power granted to the city by the Ohio Constitution. We think it’s important and it needs to be addressed.”
Vehicle Crashes into SUV Stopped for School Bus
KWON-Radio 1400 AM (Oklahoma), Aug. 27, 2015
A three vehicle crash within feet of a school bus stopped for students ended without injury to students. The bus was stopped for students with a red pickup stopped in the lane next to it. The driver of a black SUV coming up on the vehicles did not stop, hitting the red pickup and forcing it to hit another red pickup. KWTV-TV Channel 9 reports the bus had its stop sign out, and the driver of the SUV was pinned for 30 minutes then flown to a Tulsa hospital in serious condition.
Vehicle Strikes Girl after She Left School Bus
Herald Tribune (Florida), Aug. 26, 2015
A 12-year-old girl suffered minor injuries Tuesday after being struck by a hit-and-run driver who was passing another vehicle stopped for a school bus in Ellenton, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. … The girl was struck with the car’s left sideview mirror, and the vehicle continued southbound and left the scene. (WDBO-FM 96.5 image)
Bill Hiking Fines for Passing School Buses Advances
WNCN-TV NBC-17 (North Carolina), Aug. 26, 2015
A bill to increase penalties for people who pass a stopped school bus made it out of a key House committee on Wednesday despite some significant objections. … But the bill was praised in committee by others. One lawmaker called it a bill “about the health and safety and welfare of the children who ride our school buses in North Carolina.” See related coverage at WNCN-TV NBC 17.
School Bus Cameras Increase Convictions
WLOS-TV ABC 13 (North Carolina), Aug. 25, 2015
The percentage of motorists convicted of illegally passing Buncombe County school buses has shot up over the last year. The district began installing cameras on the sides of buses last year, and officials now say the rate of convictions, for drivers who pass while students are boarding has gone up from 25 to 50 percent.
Teen Struck by Car While Boarding School Bus
KYKR-Radio 91.5 FM (Texas), Aug. 25, 2015
A 16-year-old student suffered multiple injuries after he was struck by a car while attempting to board a Port Arthur school bus this morning. The bus driver had activated the bus’ lights and stop sign, when the driver of a car went around the bus and struck the teen. The passing vehicle driver faces possible criminal charges.
Legislator’s Bill Holds Vehicle Owners Responsible for Passing Buses
WRAL-TV CBS 5 (North Carolina), Aug. 25, 2015
Each day, about 3,000 vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses in North Carolina, putting children’s lives in danger. … State lawmakers strengthened the penalties for drivers who blow by stopped buses. Now, State Rep. Nelson Dollar is sponsoring legislation to hold drivers more accountable.
Bus Stop Running Video Prompts Pledge for Action
Metro News (West Virginia), Aug. 24, 2015
The majority leader in the state Senate is promising quick action from lawmakers on a law change that would let law enforcement officers more easily punish those who fail to stop for school buses as required by law. “We want to make darn sure with our laws that they have complete authority to utilize that information to save children’s lives. That’s our whole focus,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael said. View video here.
Reminder: School Zone Speed Cameras
City of Issaquah (Washington), Aug. 24, 2015
To increase safety and reduce speed violations near several Issaquah schools, the speed cameras along Second Avenue Southeast will be reactivated Sept. 1, 2015, in conjunction with the first day of school. (The Issaquah Press image by Greg Farrar)
Speeding, Red-Light Running Fines Go Up in Seattle
West Seattle Herald (Washington), Aug. 25, 2015
Ticket fines have gone up for school zone speeding and red-light running caught on camera in Seattle. … According to the city, the cameras may have mitigated the severity of crashes. There were fewer injury crashes and fewer persons injured in crashes at test intersections before the cameras were installed. … Results have been positive with school zone cameras as well. (West Seattle Herald image by Patrick Robinson)
Floating Bridge Set to Open Spring 2016
Bellevue Reporter (Washington), Aug. 26, 2015
Construction crews installed the last major section of the 520 bridge on Monday, one of 776 precast, interlocking roadway deck sections that will make up the new 7,710-foot-long bridge, making it the longest floating highway in the world. … A portion of the project’s revenue, about $1 billion, does come from tolling on the existing and the new 520 bridge. (WSDOT image)
Maine Toll Numbers Skyrocket
Boston Globe (Massachusetts), Aug. 26, 2015
More passenger and commercial vehicles rolled through Maine tolls in June and July since at least 2007, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. Records show that the number of vehicles — as measured in toll transactions — driving on the Maine Turnpike has surpassed the amount before the recession hit in 2008.
Commentary: Safety, Money, Data Make Cameras a Win, Win, Win
Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015
The private company that runs the city’s red-light cameras showed off its new office on Wednesday. We stood around a monitor as office staff and Charles Territo, a spokesman for American Traffic Solutions, showed us a video of drivers running red lights in the city, day and night. Check out the YouTube video to see what we saw. It’s an education.
Editorial: Traffic Violators Would Be Wise to Stop
Press Republican (New York), Aug. 27, 2015
Running a stop sign or red light is one of the most common moving violations in New York state. And it can be dangerous, even fatal, in a lot of cases. … If the light is red or if there’s a big red sign that says “STOP” — stop.
Letter to the Editor: Community Wins with Red-Light Cameras
The Tampa Tribune (Florida), Aug. 22, 2015
Unfortunately for many, laws or moral responsibility do not motivate them as much as a hit on their wallet. What is a human life or that of a family worth? How about a manslaughter charge or a stretch in prison — what’s that worth? In view of the alternatives, if these things can be prevented, a $158 fine sounds like a pretty good deal. … Red-light cameras have been shown to be effective in reducing intersection crashes by almost 60 percent. That’s no small feat.
“We have had a red-light running problem for years. We’re here to send a message that drivers need to change their behavior.”
Ted Voorhees, Fayetteville City Manager
Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015
“This safety program was begun in 2005 after the death of a 10-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in a school crosswalk, after pushing his little sister to safety. Akron’s program is used solely for the safety of its children, is only used in school zones, and only during restricted hours when school is in session.”
Jeff Fusco, Mayor of Akron
WOIO-TV CBS 19 (Ohio), Aug. 27, 2015
“Red lights change people’s behavior and if people know they are going to run the risk of getting a ticket for blowing a red light, they are going to drive safer.”
Harry Dressler, Mayor of Tamarac
Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 24, 2015