Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Back to School For You Too

Back to School For You Too

Unless you’re actively involved in school zone street safety or you’re a parent of school-age kids, there’s a good chance back to school hasn’t really crossed your mind. True, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer but the weather is still hot, the calendar still reads summer, and not much changes in September for most adults. The truth is though, back to school applies to everyone.

All New Yorkers

A clever campaign by the NYPD reminds New Yorkers that back to school is for everyone. Even if you’re not a parent of young kids, chances are you drive through school zones and need to be alert to changing speed limits, increased foot traffic, and less observant (and smaller!) pedestrians. Avoiding distracting behaviors and being focused and alert behind the wheel becomes even more important as children head back to school.

Vision Zero and Back to School

Many cities across the country have issued written statements and safety sheets to help encourage drivers to improve safety with the increase in walking, biking, busing, and carpooling students on the roads. Awareness, coupled with traffic calming measures to slow cars down, can go a long way to improving safety on local streets. With car accidents a leading cause of death for young children in the US, it’s important for drivers to recognize that their choices behind the wheel can actually save a life.

Not Too Late

Even for cities where back to school didn’t go as safely as planned, it’s not too late to make a difference. Educational campaigns are a great tool to remind local drivers to be alert but physical, ongoing solutions arean important part of safe school zones. Whether speed humps or cushions to compel drivers to slow down or flashing beacons and speed display signs to remind them of lower speed limits, traffic calming solutions can help ensure that students are safe in school all year long.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

5 Things You May Not Know About Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety

Complete Streets

Engineers, city officials, and regular ordinary people who walk or bike to their destinations, are helping to spread awareness of the need for complete streets. Unlike traditional US roadways that were designed with only the needs of cars and trucks, complete streets consider all users in their design, including those on foot or bikes. Whether that involves completely new design or retrofitting existing streets with new features, responsive roads are key to safety. Here are some facts you may not know about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Improving Safety

1- Communities that encourage biking and walking are a high priority for the US Department of Transportation. These have been coined “livable communities,” and have the goal of providing safe transportation of all kinds to all its citizens.

2- FHWA has taken aggressive action to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by providing free assistance to cities and states with the highest biker/walker fatality rates. Latest data on which areas are included can be seen on this map.

Key Statistics

3. Most bike crashes take place in urban areas, between 6-9 pm, and not at intersections. Most bicyclists that are killed or injured are male and the average age has slowly inched upward over a 10 year period from 39 to 44.

4. Dedicated bike lanes really do make a difference. One study in New York found that injury rates fell significantly on roads where protected bike lanes were installed. In San Jose, CA, protected bike lane curbing is used to physically diverts vehicles from bike lanes.

Shared Roads

5. Walking and biking are growing in popularity and are healthy for the body and the environment. However, since vehicles move so much faster than legs or bikes, pedestrians and cyclists are always at a disadvantage when sharing the road. Effective complete streets not only are responsive to the needs of all users but require effort from all as well. Safer streets certainly need better design such as walking or bike lanes and vehicle slowing measures such as speed humps, road narrowing, and speed display signs. However, most importantly, they need the care and concern of drivers, riders, and walkers to share the road with everyone who uses it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Have Traffic Laws Gone Mad?

Do These Laws Make Sense?

As engineers and police departments work to craft and maintain safe roads, people are sometimes left wondering why certain laws exist. Does this road really need to be one way? Does every corner need a stop sign? Are these annoying speed humps actually serving any purpose? In most cases, traffic laws are there for a good reason but in some cases, they are actually pretty off the wall. 

Crazy Traffic Laws

Some states have enacted laws that leave people scratching their heads. Some notable ones? 

  • In Eureka, CA it’s illegal to sleep on the road
  • In GA, it is against the law to drive through a playground
  • In Sag Harbor, NY, it’s illegal to undress in your car
  • In West Virginia, it’s against the law to eat road kill
  • In CT, it’s illegal to shoot whales from your car
  • In UT, there are birds that have the right of way
  • In MA, it’s illegal to drive with a gorilla in the backseat

Method to the Madness

While outlawing using the road as a bed sounds preposterous, statistics on traffic safety and road accidents demonstrate that most traffic laws are enacted for a good reasonLower speed limits on residential roads are not just arbitrary, they can actually save lives. One Swedish study found that after reducing speed limits, traffic fatalities were reduced even several years down the line. Keeping traffic moving at a safe, steady pace on residential roads can make the difference between a narrowly diverted accident and an untimely death.

Maintening Safety

Enacting appropriate speed limits is a great start but many studies find that speed limits alone do little to curb speeding drivers. Speed limits in conjunction with enforcement measures, however, can be powerful in creating safer roads and neighborhoods. Using speed limits in conjunction with road narrowingspeed humps, or speed indicator signs can ensure that the laws on your streets not only make sense but are adhered to.

Nature and Traffic Calming

New Season, New Roads

Every season has its own energy and each brings its own beauty to the landscape around us. In turn, each presents unique challenges  for safe driving, riding, and walking on local streets. From summer beach-traffic clogged roadways to autumn leaf covered lanes, and from snowy winter streets to wet spring pavement, every season’s roads are unique. The FHWA reports over 1 million crashes caused each year by weather related road conditions. Being aware of what to be careful for and what nature, and other drivers, have in store, can help you protect your roadsno matter the season.

Seasonal Challenges

Everyone knows winter driving  can be tough. Snow, ice, and slushy pavement cause 44% of weather-related crashes. Even savvy winter drivers with well equipped cars have to share the roads with many others who aren’t. Autumn brings changing weather, wet road surfaces, heavy winds, shorter daylight hours, and more student pedestrians and cyclists headed to and from school while spring often means wet or even slushy pavement. Rain causes 46% of weather related crashes while wet pavement causes a whopping 73% of such accidents. No season offers foolproof driving.

Mother Nature

Just when Mother Nature’s surprises seem to have subsided and beautiful sunny summer days lie ahead, new challenges are in store for drivers. More drivers are on the roads during the summer than any other months, increasing the probability of any one person being involved in an accident. In fact, July and August are among the highest of the year for fatal crashes. Perhaps part of the cause of this is that nature offers little traffic calming in the summer. In the fall, spring, and winter, the rain, slippery roads, and snow remind drivers of their limitations. In summer, when anything seems possible, caution can fall to the wayside.

Keeping People Safe and Aware

No matter the weather conditions and the traffic calming that nature has in mind, it’s the responsibility of cities to engineer roads that encourage safe driving. Whether that involves narrower roads, bicycle lanesspeed humps, or traffic circles, roads that are designed for slow driving are more likely to be safe for all those who use them.

Solutions such as speed display signs can be powerful tools to remind drivers to slow down and be alert to weather issues, or other temporary concerns, that may affect the safety of their drive. Mother nature can be fickle. Road safety shouldn’t be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Case Study: Leading Car Manufacturing Plant

Case Study: Leading Car Manufacturing Plant 

Producing Cars, Promoting Excellence

In the leading Japanese car manufacturing plants in Canada, a new car is driven off the lot every minute. Each car is meticulously crafted and fastidiously tested to ensure that it meets the company’s superior standard for car production. However, there was no system in place to ensure that the cars were treated with the same level of car once they were driven out of the plant to the holding area. The company needed a system that could monitor vehicle speeds so that the cars got the same level of care once they left the facility’s doors.

Extending Excellence Beyond the Plant

The SafePace 100 compact speed display sign offered the leading car manufacturer a unique solution to their needs. By using the signs at their Canadian plants, the company is able to monitor vehicle speeds, confirm whether posted speed limits are being adhered to, access real time data on driving behaviors and patterns, and alert team members as soon as an issue is detected. The SafePace Cloud lets the company access the robust software interface from any device at any time to monitor, review, and report possible lapses in vehicle handling.

Safer Vehicle Operation

The full-featured SafePace 100 signs  offer the company just what it needs for safer vehicle operation at their manufacturing plants.  Some of the sign highlights include the light enhancing, anti glare LEDs that show team members their speeds in bright, highly visible digits; the ability to program the speeds at which the digits and/or built-in strobe flash to warn drivers; up to the minute statistics on driver behavior; stealth mode to collect driver data while it appears to be off; and the portable, lightweight design that allows the signs to be used at different locations throughout the plant.

Immediate Intervention 

The new program extends the high standards of the car manufacturing plant beyond the production process. The signs reinforced what the company already knew- that most employees were handling the brand new vehicles with the meticulous care they expected. However, in instances where drivers were exceeding threshold speeds as they transport the vehicles, the management can now conduct intervention immediately to curtail the behavior and compel improvement. The Traffic Logix speed display signs have been met with enthusiasm at the plant as they continue to build on the company’s protocol of excellence.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Go Ahead, Text And Drive

The business savvy know that no matter the catastrophe, there's always a way to make money. When a Toronto billboard for Wathan Funeral Home seemed to be encouraging people to text and drive to help drum up business for the funeral home, drivers were understandably enraged. 

Angry motorists who saw the billboard and googled the funeral home to protest the horrifying message found a company web page with this message:

If you're here, you've probably seen our "Text and Drive" billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you'd be right.
It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we're not a funeral home.
We're just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That's right. More. And while most people wouldn't even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That's more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers' lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.
The billboard was in fact a brilliant, albeit dark, marketing campaign to remind Toronto drivers what's at stake when they choose to text and drive.
Shock value marketing is nothing new but this campaign managed to do it without the blood and horror often used with a simple reverse psychology message.
What a powerful reminder to stay safe behind the wheel.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Community Associations (CAI) Tradeshow Next Week

Traffic Logix will be exhibiting next week at the 2016 CAI Annual Conference & Exposition. The premiere event for community associations, the CAI conference attracts community managers and association board members from around the world.

The Conference will take place in Orlando, FL from May 4-7. With great networking opportunities, creative learning sessions, and an array of products and solutions, it's the best event for small communities looking to thrive.

Traffic Logix will be exhibiting our safety solutions in booth 829 including the:
Want to learn more about the Traffic Logix line of traffic calming solutions?

Visit us at www.trafficlogix.com.