– President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966
Help Available to Fight Speeding Crashses
Speeding is considered a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes. In 2008, there were 37,261 fatalities on our roads, of which 11,674 (31 percent) were speeding-related.
The cost of speeding-related crashes is estimated at more than $40 billion a year. That’s almost one-fifth of the total cost of crashes.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) says the nation’s Interstate system has the best safety record of all roads and the lowest fatality rate of all road classes. In 2003, 86 percent of speeding-related fatalities occurred on roads that were not Interstate highways. Almost 50 percent of speeding-related fatalities occur on lower-speed collector (usually 55 mph or less limit) and local roads (often 35 mph or less limit), which carry only 27.9 percent of the total vehicle miles traveled.
So U.S. DOT set up the multimodal, multidisciplinary Speed Management Team to attack the problem.
A number of factors, alone or interacting, influence speeding. What the public thinks is a fair speed and the link between that idea and the posted speed limit is a key one. The performance capabilities of the vehicle are another and so is the attitude of the driver behind the wheel. Broadly, road design also impinges on speed, as do the characteristics of the road, its surface and the road’s load and environment. Law enforcement habits and practices also influence drivers. “Accordingly,” says FHWA, “an interdisciplinary approach involving engineering, enforcement, and education is needed.” This comprehensive approach is “speed management.” With speed management, FHWA has a number of goals, including: applying road design and engineering measures to obtain appropriate speeds; setting speed limits that are both safe and reasonable; applying enforcement efforts and appropriate technology that effectively targets crash-producing speeders and deters speeding; effectively marketing communication and educational messages that focus on high-risk drivers; and soliciting the cooperation, support and leadership of traffic safety stakeholders.”
The U.S. DOT established the Speed Management Strategic Initiative to work toward reducing the number of speeding-related fatalities and serious injuries. A variety of resources are available on the Speed Management Safety website at http://www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt.v
2 bears, 3 elk, 1 coyote (roadkill)
I-90 Wildlife Watch (www.i90wildlifewatch.org) is a citizen-based wildlife monitoring project that invites motorists to report wildlife sightings along Interstate 90 in the Snoqualmie Pass region of Washington.
Why? So we can better understand how this road affects wildlife and so make the road safer for wildlife and people. Roads interrupt animals’ natural travel patterns, but until this initiative reports of animals have been sporadic at best in this vast area. I-90 intersects the rugged Cascade Mountains in Washington’s Snoqualmie Pass region, a critical link in the north-south movement of wildlife.
So if you’re passing through, log on and record the wildlife you see (dead or alive i.e. the website also wants sightings of dead critters).
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