Category Archives: news

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York Traffic Deaths Dip Again. It’s Not Enough, Mayor’s Critics Say

After two years of major declines in New York City’s traffic deaths, the number of people killed in crashes dropped slightly last year while pedestrian deaths rose, leading to questions about whether Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities has stalled.

Making streets safer has been near the top of the agenda for Mr. de Blasio, who pledged to cut traffic deaths to zero by 2024. While city officials said traffic deaths were at their lowest level in a century, the uneven results last year suggest that the mayor’s goal will be very difficult to achieve.

The overall number of people killed in traffic crashes, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers and passengers, was 229 last year, down from 234 in 2015, according to preliminary data from the city. Pedestrian deaths, which accounted for the largest share of fatalities, increased last year to 144, from 139 in 2015. Cyclist deaths rose last year to 18, from 14 in 2015.

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Drivers, fleet execs to meet with Trump Thursday

Representatives from the American Trucking Associations and a number of carriers, including 12 America’s Road Team drivers, are set to meet at the White House Thursday with President Donald Trump to discuss the trucking industry and healthcare.

In addition to ATA President and CEO Chris Spear, there will be 10 trucking company executives in the meeting, as follows:

1. ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president, Jet Express

2. Jim Burg, president and CEO, James Burg Trucking

3. David Congdon, CEO, Old Dominion Freight Line

4. Mike Ducker, president and CEO, FedEx Freight

5. Eric Fuller, CEO, U.S. Xpress

6. Neal Kedzie, president, Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association

7. Rich McArdle, president, UPS Freight

8. Dennis Nash, CEO, Kenan Advantage Group

9. Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO, Crete Carrier Corp.

It is an honor to be invited to the White House and to meet with the president,” Spear said. “We look forward to telling our story – a story of how trucks move 70 percent of our nation’s freight safely and efficiently, touching every aspect of our economy, including our health care system. This is a tremendous opportunity for our members and drivers to talk about how the health care debate impacts them and their ability to move America’s goods.”

John Smith, chairman, CRST International

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Are poor driving safety laws responsible for surge in traffic deaths?

A new study shows a lack of driving safety laws could help explain the surging number of people killed in accidents.

The report ranks driving safety laws nationwide. It found Rhode Island, Delaware, Washington state, Washington D.C., Louisiana and Oregon as the best states for driving — with Rhode Island at the top of that list. South Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri and Montana are accused of having the worst record.

In Virginia – one of the states the group says needs to do more to make the roads safe – seat belt use is required, but you can’t be pulled over for not buckling up. According to the new report, the measure would save lives. This report comes out as regulators are trying to understand why traffic deaths are surging nationwide, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave.

James Shaffer’s wife, Emma, and their 12-year-old daughter were driving in Denton, Texas last April when they were struck head on by a 24-year-old mother who had her young daughter in the car. Police believe she was texting. All four died in the crash.

“Our lives have been drastically changed and shattered,” James Shaffer said.

Shaffer said he will never forget telling his young son the news. Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated nearly 28,000 people died in crashes during the first nine months of 2016. That number is up about eight percent from 2015, which saw the biggest rise in deaths in 50 years. Since the April crash, Shaffer helped convince the city of Denton to pass a hands-free law and is working on a similar statewide measure.

“It’s astonishing how many people, especially young people, we’re losing due to something as simple as distracted driving,” Shaffer said. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety argue there’s also an economic cost that comes with the crashes. According to the report, motor vehicle accidents cost about $242 billion a year. That so-called “crash tax” boils down to nearly $800 dollars per person in the U.S.

Source: CBSnews.com

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Seeking for Safety: What to do if another driver shows road rage

Two incidents involving road rage in the Cape Fear region made headlines this past week.

Last Saturday in Harnett County, a man flashed his lights at another driver whose lights were too bright. The driver then got out of his car and shot that man at an intersection a short time later. The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office has since taken out warrants charging the suspect with attempted murder and a number of other crimes. He was arrested Friday. On Tuesday, a woman posted a four-minute video to Facebook of an aggressive driver on U.S. 301. That video, which is under investigation by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, has since been shared more than 2,000 times.

Sgt. Shawn Strepay, a spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department, offered advice on what to do should another driver begin acting aggressively. Strepay advised drivers to avoid making eye contact or making other gestures at the driver. He said such actions could cause the driver to act out more aggressively. Strepay said drivers should immediately call 911 and provide a description of the vehicle and the license plate number if possible.

He also advised against following a driver who is acting aggressively. “You could put yourself in danger by doing so,” Strepay said. For instance, in the viral video, the woman followed the aggressive driver. At one point in the video, the driver pulled up to the woman while on the wrong side of the road and shook a finger at her before driving off. An aggressive driver in that situation might start following the other driver, Strepay said. He said in such an instance as that, victims should call 911 and stay on the line with the dispatcher. “If they follow you, drive to the nearest police station,” Strepay said. He said the 911 dispatcher can give directions to the closest police station and also give other advice to drivers. While some may be tempted to take a video of the incident, such video may not be as helpful as one may think.

Even with a video, it is harder to convict a person of aggressive driving if a law enforcement officer does not witness the event. In addition, Strepay said, it is not safe for a person to drive and film at the same time.

If a passenger is able to take a video and it is safe to do so, that would be preferable, Strepay said. www.fayobserver.com