Monday, August 29, 2011

School’s Open – Drive Carefully

Back to school marks a change in seasons and a change in traveling for everyone. With school buses lining the streets and crossing guards posted at street corners it is important to be alert and aware on our roadways. That is why since 1946, AAA has conducted its annual School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign in an effort to educate the public on important traffic safety messages and ultimately reduce school-related pedestrian deaths.  This campaign helps support the work of more than 600,000 school safety patrollers in 31,000 schools across the U.S.  Also, this year AAA decided to collaborate with Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries to help spread the word about the importance of back to school safety. 

Whether commuting to work, carpooling to school or heading out for daily activities please take caution to ensure that everyone gets to where they are going and back home safely. Here are some helpful hints for everyone to keep in mind as we adjust to the increased traffic in our neighborhoods:
  • Take Your Time – Allow extra time for school zone traffic or adjust your route to avoid it.
  • Avoid Distractions – Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Focus on where you’re going, no matter how you’re getting there.
  • STOP at Stop Signs. Treat a stop sign as you would a red light—come to a complete stop every time.
  • Slow Down! – Speed limits in school zones tend to be 5 to 10 miles per hour below the posted speed.
  • Brake for Buses – Passing a stopped school bus is against the law, so don’t do it.
  • Watch for Walkers and Cyclists – Be cautious and prepared, especially on sidewalks and be extra cautious around driveways, intersections and residential neighborhoods.
  • Cross at the Crosswalk – Keep to where you’re most likely to be seen, and where you have the right-of-way.
  • Look for AAA School Safety Patrollers. If you see one of the more than 600,000 AAA School Safety Patrollers at 31,000 schools across the country, you know you’re approaching a school zone.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

    UPDATE (8.29.11)- Check out Secretary LaHood recent blog about the upcoming Labor Day Weekend and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

    According to NHTSA, drunk driving claimed the lives of 10,839 people in 2009, approximately a third of all fatalities on our nation’s roadways that year. In fact, 87% of people surveyed feel that drunk driving is a very serious threat to their personal safety (page 7)—second only to distracted driving—and 98% say they personally consider driving while intoxicated an unacceptable act.  As law enforcement gears up for their annual crackdown with a new campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, it is clear that impaired driving remains a critical safety issue despite public perceptions.

    Changing this potentially deadly behavior is a long-term effort. Success truly hinges on drivers making the right decision at the end of the night to find a safe and sober way home. Combining highly visible enforcement with strong public education equals a recipe for success when combating such challenging safety culture issues as drunk driving, seat belt use and most recently distracted driving. Recognizing that laws are most effective if there’s a strong belief that they’ll be enforced, this national effort will be cracking down on impaired drivers.

    Respect the law, respect other drivers and respect yourself enough to remove drugs and alcohol from your driving equation. A single bad decision, like getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, may get you caught, killed or kill someone else.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Drivers Reminded to Stop On Red Next Week

    Next week (August 7-13) is National Stop on Red Week, a program started back in 1995 by the Federal Highway Administration to remind the public how important it is to pay attention to traffic signals and how dangerous it can be to try and sneak through an intersection as the signal changes from yellow to red. Red means stop is a lesson learned in elementary school and a fundamental building block of driver education. However, red-light running crashes are responsible for an average of 885 traffic fatalities a year—more than two fatalities a day—from 2000 to 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Most tragic is that these fatalities are 100% preventable. Drivers who run red lights typically are in a hurry, driving aggressively, are distracted or believe they won’t get caught for such a minor infraction. In fact, in a 2010 survey, more than one-third of motorists admitted going through a red light when they could have stopped safely in the previous month. Multi-vehicle or pedestrian-related crashes caused by red-light runners can be devastating, leaving fatalities or severely injured people in their wake. Waiting at a red light, especially when you’re feeling rushed, can be annoying and even make you late for work, but the results of running a red light can last a lifetime.

    So, use this week as a reminder to go back to basics behind the wheel:
    •  Green means GO.
    •  Yellow means SLOW.
    •  Red means STOP!
    If you’re still not convinced, check out the top 10 reasons to stop on red. Stopping at a red light is the law and it applies to everyone. Saving lives beats saving time every day of the week.