Monday, December 14, 2015

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

December Celebrations

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, or just Life, December is a busy, happy, joy-filled season. For traffic engineers and police professionals across the world, it’s a critical responsibility to ensure it stays that way. The perils of the road all year long are exacerbated during these hectic weeks. Tensions are high as everyone rushes to get everything done on time and no one wants joy to turn into tragedy. 

Holiday Hazards

People are rushing to do gift shopping, celebrate with friends, and plan upcoming festivities. While the increasing popularity of online shopping may have decreased traffic to stores, it’s also increased the number of delivery trucks on local roads. In addition, many children have time off of school, increasing the number of pedestrians on streets. As distracted driving has become a rampant issue in recent years, it’s an additional factor to consider on holiday-clogged roads.

What Can You Do?

Promoting safe driving on holiday roads should ideally start long before the holidays. Having a traffic calming program in place with driver feedback sign, speed humps, and bike lanes where you need them can ensure that your roads are well equipped for the holiday rush. Even with well engineered streets though, the perils of holiday driving can still be a concern. Educational campaigns can be a great way to offset existing traffic calming by reminding drivers of the importance of driving sober, focused, and within speed limits.

What's being done?

When it comes to educating drivers and pedestrians about street safety during the holidays, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Many resources exist to help you along the way. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a free app called SaferRide that helps impaired drivers get a taxi or call a friend with one click. In Seattle, a holiday pedestrian safety campaign has a wide array of ads and posters to encourage both drivers and pedestrians to exercise extra caution during the holidays while an air force base in Florida has an annual holiday traffic safety campaign Traffic Safety Marketing, a division of NHTSA, also has powerful marketing materials available to help you protect road users during the holidays.

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