National Stop on Red Week

redlight cam pictureThe Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA) has selected the first week of August as “National Stop on Red Week”  This week is devoted to increasing public awareness of the dangers of red-light running through both education and enforcement activities.

This is an important tie-in to the start of the school season as well — children will be walking to school, along rural roads to bus pick up locations and crossing streets at intersections.  It is especially critical to reduce the frequency of red-light running to minimize collisions with pedestrians — especially school children.

To be as effective as possible, the FHWA encourages local communities to do their part in promoting this cause.  They’ve suggested ten specific ways to boost awareness of the issue that range from holding press conferences to setting up targeted enforcement areas.

The suggestion for employers to issue paycheck reminders (i.e. targeted messages to employees and their families) begs the larger question of how employers routinely educate their drivers (and office bound commuters, sales drivers, etc.) to obey traffic laws, signs and signals.

In the past, SafetyFirst has published Ten-Minute Training Topics on the dangers of red light running, and one of our very first Videos / Online training modules ever produced dealt with this issue, too.

FHWA provides additional information at this web site – http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/redlight/

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also has a page dedicated to red light running – http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/red-light-running/qanda#red-light-running

The Traffic Safety Coalition has produced a video to promote “National Stop on Red Week”:

Here are some more stunning videos of the aftermath of red light running:

Construction Season Reminders

The Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA) recently posted a press release reminding all drivers to show extra care and caution when driving through or near work zones on highways.

The memo was to celebrate National Work Zone Awareness Week, but the message is appropriate at all times of the year:

National Work Zone Awareness Week is held each April at the traditional start of construction season, when the number of workers on roads and highways increases. Though highway workers are often among the victims of such crashes, it’s important for drivers to understand that four out of five victims in work zone crashes are actually drivers and their passengers. In a typical five-day work week, an average of seven motorists and one worker are killed. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through a work zone or do not pay attention to the changing road conditions and run into other vehicles, highway equipment, or safety barriers or drive off the road completely.

The problem is getting worse, too.  Consider that during 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, 587 people died in highway work-zone fatalities – an increase of 11 fatalities compared to 2010.

“Workers put themselves in harm’s way to help the rest of us by building and maintaining the roads and bridges that get us where we need to go as safely as possible,” said FHWA Administrator Mendez. “When it comes to keeping highway workers and drivers safe, we’re all in this together.”

To learn more about National Work Zone Awareness Week, navigate to this link — http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm.