Jul 22 by GJEL

California Car Accident Deaths Decline, State Wins Federal Grants

In April, the Department of Transportation reported that 32,788 people were killed in car accidents nationwide last year, the lowest number in 60 years. The statistics were just as impressive in California, which reported 2,715 accident deaths, a 12 percent drop below 2009 figures and the lowest number since World War II, according to the Office of Traffic Safety. The California OTS announced Wednesday that the state is being rewarded $76 million in federal traffic safety grants for this impressive drop in car accident deaths. With budgets tight, California will need to get clever about how to allocate these funds, and will hopefully support initiatives that will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety as well.

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Jul 20 by GJEL

Will Bike Lanes on Oak & Fell Reduce San Francisco Bicycle Accidents?

It’s no secret that biking on San Francisco’s Oak and Fell streets can be incredibly dangerous. In fact, the cross-town city arteries have proven dangerous for motorists as well, as emphasized by last week’s fatal big rig accident at the corner of Oak Street and Octavia Boulevard. To heal this problem, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency has developed a plan to make these streets safer for motorists and cyclists alike by adding cross-town bike lanes. But this comes with a catch that could derail the plan altogether: the proposed bike lanes would replace a full lane of moving traffic or parking spaces, which some San Francisco residents have deemed unfeasible.

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Jun 27 by GJEL

San Jose Traffic Sensors Could Improve Bike & Motorcycle Safety

We’ve all had moments where it feels like the traffic light will never change to green. Many intersections have sensors underneath the concrete that alert the traffic light when to let cars through. But what happens when your preferred mode of transportation isn’t heavy enough to trip the sensor? That’s the problem for bicycle and motorcycle riders who are too often stranded at intersections, unable to change the light. That could finally change, thanks to a pilot program in San Jose that could lead to more advanced traffic light technology that will sense the presence of a motorcycle, or even a bicycle.

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Feb 03 by GJEL

Report: Red Light Cameras Reduce Fatal Car Accidents

You know those annoying cameras that catch you accelerating through the end of a yellow light and send you a fat bill? In addition to eating a portion of your paycheck, a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that these red-light cameras save lives. In fact, the report found that the cameras, newly installed in 14 cities between 2004 and 2008, saved about 160 lives that would have been otherwise lost. And if the cameras had been implemented in all major American cities, 815 lives could have been saved.

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Nov 18 by GJEL

Helmet & ‘Lane Split’ Laws Could Reduce Motorcycle Accident Deaths & Injuries

The National Transportation Safety Board is taking on a tough crowd in its effort to implement a national law requiring motorcycle helmets for all ages. The Wall Street Journal reports that motorcycle deaths “more than doubled” in the decade before 2008, a troubling statistic the NTSB blames partially on insufficient helmet laws. The most recent data, from 2008, indicates that about 65 percent of people killed on motorcycles were not wearing helmets. The agency hopes the helmet law will reverse this deadly trend.

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Nov 09 by GJEL

California Pedestrian Accidents Decrease As Oregon’s Increase

Pedestrians beware, as we head into the holiday months, generally considered the most dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists due to increased traffic, worsening road conditions, and dimmed visibility. Thanks to daylight savings and the holiday rush to acquire presents, it’s no surprise that the final three months account for about 40% of the year’s total pedestrian accidents. But even before the statistics for November and December roll in, Oregon has noticed a significant increase in pedestrian accidents this year.

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Sep 02 by GJEL

California Cracks Down on Drunk Driving on Dangerous Labor Day Weekend

Like we’re back in school, 34.4 million Americans, including more than 4 million Californians will join me this Friday night to travel more than 50 miles to a vacation getaway for the long Labor Day weekend. In California and across the country, this holiday weekend’s travel predictions mark a ten percent increase over 2009 numbers, which indicates that it will be marked by more traffic, and likely more accidents, than last year.

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