Managing Speed on a State Level

“Speeding Away from Zero:  Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge” was recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) as a part of their Spotlight on Highway Safety series. Highlighting the role of speed in fatal crashes, the new report suggests that despite the significant role speed plays in crashes nationwide, “Speeding remains a publicly-accepted driving behavior that is reinforced among motorists, policymakers and transportation stakeholders.” While GHSA reports that speed played a role in about 26% or 9,717 road deaths nationally in 2017, Nevada saw an even larger proportion of its 2016 traffic fatalities—38% or 125 deaths—that involved speed as a factor.  The report goes on to observe that “Overall progress on the issue of speeding has been limited at best.”

The analysis suggests that federal, state, and local policymakers’ approaches to speed management reflect current cultural attitudes about speed. It notes that many states are increasing certain speed limits and others are granting more local discretion to set speeds according to local needs. GHSA recommends the federal government should better prioritize speeding and create new programs that specifically address the issue of speed.

States and local governments are encouraged to create advisory committees to coordinate speed management, improve data, and use integrated speed management programs to address unsafe speeds. Additional recommendations include increased speed enforcement, use of automated speed enforcement technology, and additional training for law enforcement officers. Setting appropriate speed limits, deploying roadway infrastructure to better control speed, increasing public information, and changing social norms by putting a human face on the danger of speed were also among the report’s recommendations. The full report can be accessed here.

2018: Our Commitment to Zero Fatalities is Stronger than Ever

In preliminary data released by the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, Nevada had 331 fatalities on its roadways in 2018, up 6.4% from 2017’s 311 fatalities. This marks a ten-year record high for Nevada. Some of the notable changes included a 23% increase in unrestrained fatalities and an 18% decrease in pedestrian fatalities. This marks the first time in nine years that pedestrian fatalities trended down. Continue reading “2018: Our Commitment to Zero Fatalities is Stronger than Ever”

NDOT’s New Wrong-Way Driver Program

As a pilot program, NDOT has replaced traditional “WRONG-WAY” signs on off-ramps and has installed flashing warning and detection systems on 20 US 395 ramps in the Reno area. The system uses radar and closed-circuit cameras to automatically detect vehicles traveling up the ramp in the wrong direction and activates red flashing wrong-way signs on the ramp. Once the vehicle passes the second warning sign, other drivers and law enforcement are alerted.

(Photo: NDOT)

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DUI Strike Team

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) have partnered to form Nevada’s first-ever driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement team, known as the DUI Strike Team. Seven full-time sworn officers, including four LVMPD officers and three State Troopers, have been appointed to the task force with the mission of reducing impaired driving related crashes and furthering the goal of Zero Fatalities on Nevada roadways. Continue reading “DUI Strike Team”

Vision Zero Task Force

Members of the Northern Nevada Vision Zero Task Force took to the streets of Reno and Sparks this past November asking for the community’s help with a pedestrian safety survey. The Task Force gathered in high-pedestrian traffic areas requesting pedestrians to complete the survey in person. The survey was also available online in English and in Spanish until January 4, 2019. The team received more than 1,500 responses. Survey results will be shared with the community in the coming months.

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