Traffic Safety

I’m about to head to Washington, D.C. for the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting (more on that below). But before I hit the road, I thought I would leave you with a few links to some recent transportation-related reports and articles that might be worthy of your time. I have items on mileage-based user fees, the future of tolling, speed limits, the road building industry forecast for 2013, transit-oriented development and how to communicate the value of preserving infrastructure.

We have several new transportation-related publications here in the Knowledge Center this month. Here are a few updates and additional resources on the topics they address.

Stateline MIdwest ~ October 2012

Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state identification cards next year that meet the initial security standards set out under the federal government’s REAL ID program. According to the Quad City Times, all new driver’s license applicants will be given Iowa’s new cards. Individuals with existing licenses will not have to make the switch.

Stateline Midwest ~ October 2012

A new Nebraska law is dramatically changing how DUI offenses are handled, the Lincoln Journal Star reports, with the use of interlock ignition devices on pace to increase by 20 percent in 2012.

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Stateline Midwest ~ September 2012

If a driver in North Dakota gets stopped by police for driving 65 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone, he or she leaves the scene with a $10 fine. That amount is too low, an interim legislative committee has decided, as are many of the state’s penalties for speeding.

While MAP-21, the surface transportation authorization bill approved by Congress this summer, had numerous provisions (and a few notable omissions), observers say the legislation’s establishment of transportation performance measures is one of the key reforms with the potential to be truly transformative for the federal-aid highway program. National transportation goals will be emphasized and there will be important roles for state governments and metropolitan planning organizations in developing performance measures and targets. CSG has long been a supporter of state performance measurement initiatives through efforts like our States Perform website. That’s why we jumped at the chance to host an upcoming webinar for Cambridge Systematics that will help the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) design a performance reporting approach that policymakers at all levels will find useful.

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2012

Michigan has repealed a state law requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, leaving Nebraska as the lone state in the Midwest with such a law on the books.

Primary seat belt enforcement laws, in which a person can be ticketed solely for not wearing a seat belt, have resulted in an increase in national seat belt usage rates and a corresponding decrease in the number of automobile fatalities.  

As they age, seniors face many transportation challenges. There are numerous ways state governments can help meet these challenges both for seniors who are still behind the wheel and for those who are no longer able to drive. They include policies to make road and pedestrian infrastructure safer, improve access to public transportation and better coordinate limited transportation resources.

With the number of older Americans on the nation's roads on the rise, some states have turned to driver's license renewal policies to ensure that seniors remain fit to drive. But states seeking to adopt such policies often face opposition from senior citizen lobbying groups and must carefully weigh questions related to physician reporting, costs of new testing procedures and regulations and the efficacy of the policies in actually improving safety.

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