fbpx

Tag: safety

Automated enforcement?

Automated enforcement?

Our streets are experiencing a rise of serious injuries
and fatalities. As the Boston Globe recently reported, all
traffic deaths in 2017 are up 46% over the same period
of 2013
. This unacceptable trend affects people walking,
biking, and driving. Drivers who are distracted by texting
and apps are a major cause of crashes.

An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (Senate Bill 1905 /
House Bill 2877) is intended to make our roads safer in
the face of troubling trends. Drafted with broad input,
it has 85 cosponsors led by Senator Will Brownsberger
and Representatives Jon Hecht and David Rogers.

Recognizing that cities and towns need tools to enforce
traffic rules, the legislation allows use of automated road
safety cameras to enforce speeding, red-light, and school
bus stop sign violations. While Massachusetts does not
currently enable this, 29 states have some form of camera
enforcement and it is common in other countries.

Research shows automated cameras are effective. In Montgomery County, Maryland, streets with speed
cameras experienced a 39% reduction in fatal and
serious injuries. A University of North Carolina
Highway Research Center study found installation of red-light cameras can
contribute to a slight rise in rear-end crashes, but almost always leads to
significant reductions in typically more severe side-impact crashes. The
National Transportation Safety Board has endorsed automated enforcement
as an effective way to reduce speed and crashes.

With the right regulations, automated enforcement can be a highly effective
safety tool, and one that doesn’t increase traffic stops—a concern by many in a
time of increased racial profiling, and immigration issues. The language In this
bill is designed to ensure the best system of enforcement:


• Location of cameras would be based on safety benefits, not targeting any
population or neighborhood.
Cameras would be at high-crash locations
where other interventions such as road redesign are not feasible.

• It would not be a money grab.
The best cameras act as deterrents and
not to trick people into fines—few violations are a sign of success. The
bill directs the majority of revenues into road improvements, not general
funds. Cameras would be well-marked. Revenue-sharing with private
camera installation or operating companies would be prohibited, avoiding
inappropriate incentives.

• Photographs would be of rear license plates, no faces or identifying
information, and only if a violation has occurred.
Photos would be
permanently deleted after ruling. Fines, assessed to the owner of the
vehicle, would not exceed $50, won’t increase with additional violations,
nor add to insurance points. Law enforcement would need a court-approved
warrant to access photos for purposes beyond traffic enforcement.

• There would be state oversight, an appeals process, and common-sense
emergency exemptions.

Charlie Ticotsky is the policy director of Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA). Sign up for their email list & follow T4MASS on Twitter.
This article was featured in WalkBoston’s October 2017 newsletter.

————————————————————————————————
Join WalkBoston’s Mailing List to keep up to date on advocacy issues.

Like our work? Support WalkBoston – Donate Now!
Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook

Ellis School Walk Audit

Ellis School Walk Audit

The Ellis School is concerned about the safety of children walking to school. Students at the Ellis are encouraged to walk to school through Walking School Buses and events such as Walk-to-School Day. However, WalkBoston observed that cross- ing the streets, especially Walnut Avenue, where drivers regularly go 35 mph and over, is unsafe for children. This Walk Audit recommends street changes to slow traffic.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAudit-EllisSchoolWalkingSafetyReportFinal-Roxbury

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox is participating in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Complete Streets Funding Program to secure funds for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in town. Lenox has completed the first two steps to receive funding by passing a Complete Streets policy and submitting a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. WalkBoston completed a walk audit in Lenox Center in the summer of 2016. Many of the infrastructure recommendations made in that audit were included in the Prioritization Plan. The Town of Lenox staff wanted to give Lenox Dale residents the same opportunity to participate in a walk audit to identify needed infrastructure improvements in the Dale.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAudit-LenoxDale

Green Elementary School Walk Assessment

Green Elementary School Walk Assessment

On May 10, 2017, WalkBoston conducted a walk assessment in the vicinity of the William S. Greene Elementary School in Fall River, in partnership with the Fall River Mass in Motion program and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. The goals of the walk assessment were to examine pedestrian safety issues that may preclude children from walking to the Greene School and to recommend improvements to the local built environment that enable safer walking. Support for the walk assessment was provided by MassDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement and Awareness Program.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-GreeneElementarySchoolWalkAssessmentUPDATED 06-23-17-FallRiver

Huntington Village Center Walk Audit

Huntington Village Center Walk Audit

Volunteers and staff members in the Town of Huntington responded to a Healthy Hampshire Request for Proposal for walkability project funding. The focus of Huntington’s proposal was the planning and construction of a “River Walk” along the Westfield River to better connect residents and visitors with the natural assets in the region. The proposal also suggested an analysis of the safety and quality of existing walking routes currently used by senior walking groups and running groups in Huntington. These routes include the proposed River Walk site.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAudit-HuntingtonVillageCenter-Huntington