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					New York State Association of Traffic Safety Boards

V o l u m e 1 , I ss u e 3 S e p t em b e r 20 0 5

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Improving Ped. Signal Timing NYSATSB Challenge Teen Driving TraCS in Nassau County Traffic Safety News Member Application 2 3 4 5 6

Dear Fellow Members: Welcome to the Fall edition of the Interchange. I hope you have enjoyed a full and safety summer. Soon the holiday seasons will be upon us, as we reflect on the past season and look to the coming ones, may we continue to strive for safer highways and travel for our communities throughout New York State. Our efforts, which are driven by you our members, continue to follow statistically driven focuses in given areas. We, as a group, have also pursued newly discovered areas of traffic safety needs and spearheaded a drive to provide a group designed solutions, using the three E’s; Enforcement, Engineering & Education. In the coming months you will be asked to look for those individuals & groups who have been working with your organization to make a difference in traffic safety. The New York State Association of Traffic Safety Boards will be highlighting those people & programs, statewide, which have a strong positive impact on highway safety in their area of expertise. We will also begin an awards program which will include teens in the development of safe driving information, allowing the traffic safety message to be delivered by a peer, using art, music, video and other means to way in traffic safety education, engineering & enforcement programs. I hope that you will take part in all the Highway Safety Conference in October. There are many new and exciting presentation and vendors scheduled. I look forward to seeing you there! Please take a moment to visit our website ( and review all the continually updated information available for you. It highlights many of the program efforts of the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, and other highway enforcement & safety related organizations. name a few suggestions. These are presently being fleshed out by the assigned committees. During the next year I project our network will continue to grow stronger, as our membership, involvement, & partnerships, continue to increase, as will our profile as an organization leading the I congratulate you all on your efforts which continue to drive the death and injury rates of traffic rated incidents in New York State down. Your involvement will aid in all of our continued success. Safe Journeys, Patrick Carroll President NYSATSB


Interchange is designed to provide NYSATSB members up to date information about traffic safety and injury prevention programs across the state. We invite you to share your knowledge, resources, and ideas with us. We want to hear from you about the current traffic safety issues facing your community and the strategies you have implemented to address them. All submissions can be e-mailed to and should be in text format with any pictures or graphics attached in a PDF.format.

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Volume 1, Issue 3

Improving Pedestrian Signal Timing Clearance Intervals
While the AASHTO Green Book, Pedestrian Guide, and federal/state MUTCD guidance gives designers the “option” of using slower walking speeds; engineers often assume that the 1.2 m/s ”normal” design speed for the “pedestrian clearance interval” should be applied by default. Without due consideration of the user population, using 1.2 m/s can result in “up to half of pedestrians still being in the street when conflicting traffic is free to proceed” (Source: The Continuing Evolution of Pedestrian Walking Speed Assumptions, ITE Journal/September 2004). Crossing Distances, Speeds, and Time
Crossing Distance 7.2 m (2 lanes*) 10.4 m (2 lanes with bicycle lanes) 14.0 m (3 lanes with bicycle lanes) 17.7 m (4 lanes with bicycle lanes) 21.3 m (5 lanes with bicycle lanes) MUTCD Normal Crossing Time at 1.2 m/s 6 seconds 8.5 seconds Older Adult Crossing Time at 0.9 m/s 8 seconds 11.3 seconds Mobility Impaired Crossing Time at 0.8 m/s 9.6 seconds 13.6 seconds

11.5 seconds

15.3 seconds

18.4 seconds

14.4 seconds

19.3 seconds

23.2 seconds

17.5 seconds

23.3 seconds

28 seconds

* Assumes a 3.7 m vehicular lane width, and a 1.5 meter bicycle lane width. Source: Pedestrian Facilities Guidebook, Washington State Dept. of Transportation, 1997. Engineers should consider user populations such as the percentages of people who are disabled, over 65 year’s old, and 14 years old and under, hand-held and head-set cell-phone use, accident history, and roadway changes resulting from the project (such as longer crossing distances, the addition of turning lanes, and complex signal phasing).. For example, the 2004 NYS Statistical Year Book shows that on a county-wide basis; many crossing locations in New York State would likely exceed the 20% Highway Capacity Manual guideline for the percentage of crossing pedestrians over age 65. If we add people with disabilities, the percentage of the population 14 years of age and under, and pedestrians using cell-phones; there remains ample sufficient justification to warrant using pedestrian walking speeds below 1.2 m/s for timing purposes. While an average walking rate of 1.2 m/s is typically considered normal walking speed for design purposes, and is consistent with the guidance in the federal and state MUTCD; some states have MUTCD guidance that notably varies from the latter documents by providing designers with the option of using a “higher” or lower walking speed depending upon “what may be more appropriate at particular locations”. Respected and credible engineering documents that recommend walking speeds below 1.2 m/s, under certain circumstances, include the following: Chapter 11, page 11-4 of the Highway Capacity Manual 2000 Chapter 2, page 97 of the 2001 AASHTO Green Book Chapter 3, page 91 of the 2004 AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities Finally, pedestrian cell-phone (hand-held and head-set) use is a recent phenomena that is contributing (along with an aging, less physically fit, and more obese population) to a trend toward “slower” pedestrian walking speeds, and queuing. An ongoing joint ITE/AAA study mentioned below may provide more information on how the above trends are impacting subgroups (seniors, teens, kids, etc…) and overall walking speeds. Engineers should be aware that “best practice” guidelines would apply a 1.1 m/s minimum walking speed across the street itself (curb to curb) for determining the pedestrian clearance interval; and a 0.9 m/s walking speed across the total crossing distance (top of ramp to far curb) for the entire walk plus pedestrian clearance signal phasing (with the minimum walk signal indication remaining at 4 seconds). For more information, in addition to the three documents cited above, see the ITE Journal article The Continuing Evolution of Pedestrian Walking Speed Assumptions; and Chapter 8, pages 8-16 to 8-18 of Designing Sidewalk and Trails for Access, Part 2 or go to

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Volume 1, Issue 3

NYSATSB Program Challenge
The Program - Last year, 2004, thirty-two elementary schools participated in the Walk Our Children to School Program across New York State. We would like to at least see that number doubled in 2005. Walk to School Day began in 1997 and grew into an annual national and international event focusing on children and adults walking and bicycling to school. The key components of the “Walk to School” initiative are health, the “walkability” of the environment and safety. An organized walk event offers a unique opportunity to teach and practice proper traffic safety behaviors. The setting provides realistic conditions for hands-on activities in a protected environment. The flexibility of the Walk to School program allows you, as a traffic safety coordinator to adapt to the school community’s needs as well as available resources and time. A program can include a community walk, educational presentations, a poster contest, interactive “safety stations” and the distribution of materials to students and parents. Working with local law enforcement, the health department, community groups and private partners makes a more comprehensive program possible. Pedestrian safety has been a high priority area for NHTSA/GTSC funding in recent years. WOCS events can be both fun and effective in getting members of the community together to address the issue. The Challenge – The NYSATSB is offering a chance at a $200 incentive for a member who takes on this program as a new endeavor in 2005. Although, this program is very low cost project, funding could assist with educational materials and/or safety items for the children. Learn More – There are numerous model programs across the State that are varied in content, agency involvement and size--Locations such as Buffalo, Schenectady and Cortland to name a few. Please visit the New York Partnership for Walk to School website at or the Partnership for a Walkable America site at where you can gain additional resources and register for the day or week-long event. Questions, Need Ideas? (These are just some of the people that would be happy to help you with programming) Denise Cashmere – Schenectady County Traffic Safety – (518) 386-2225 Patrick Carroll – President, NYSATSB – (518) 382-2225 Jennifer Hogan – GTSC (518) - 473-7786 Justin Booth – Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo - (716) 851-4052 Gina Gillooley, NYS Health, Bureau of Injury Prevention - (518) 473-1143


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Teen Driving: Experience is the Key
On September 1, 2003, NYS became a Graduated Licensing State. This law affects all permit holders and all junior drivers. The purpose of the law is to allow young drivers time to gain driving experience before obtaining unsupervised driving privileges. The highlights of the new law are as follows: All supervising drivers must be at least 21 years old and must be licensed and valid for the vehicle being driven. An applicant is issued a permit upon passing a written test and an eye test. The permit holder is then required to take a five hour pre-licensing course before signing up to take a road test. Once the permit holder has met these requirements, s/he is subjected to an “intermediate” step if s/he decides to take and successfully passes the road test during the first six months of the permit issuance. Anyone under the age of 18 (17 if the driver has already taken and successfully completed Driver’s Education and has been issued a “Blue Card”) will be issued a “limited” junior operator’s license and has strict limitations on where they are permitted to drive without a supervising driver. Those limitations in Upstate New York from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. are: • to and from a school course or activity • to and from employment • to and from medical appointments • to and from regularly scheduled daycare for your child or a child of a immediate family member All other driving during this time period must be under the immediate supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. From 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the limitations unsupervised are: • to and from an accredited school course • • to and from employment to and from medical appointments interested sheriffs all over the United States and more counties are being added every week. The COMNET program, developed by Don Barrett, is usually part of a Driver’s Education Program. It is a community based program put on by volunteers focusing on DWI and how it affects everyone. Recently, Lafayette High School and the NYS Fairgrounds hosted the Driver’s Edge program from Las Vegas, Nevada. The Driver’s Edge program gives teen drivers a unique perspective on the responsibilities associated with operating a motor vehicle. It is a four hour program that included the importance of car maintenance, occupant restraint information, drinking and the effect drinking has on your driving ability, and two different modules teaching the teens how to handle emergency situations by creating certain driving experiences and actually allowing the teen to drive a vehicle through the simulated situation. Finally, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office has been holding forums in the local high schools and Law Enforcement agencies across the county are increasing awareness by maintaining high levels of enforcement and a zero tolerance policy within the county. We are all working hard and will continue to do so, to get as much information about the dangers of inexperience so that the number of teen deaths is reduced within the county in the future. Kay Staley-Smith Vice Chairperson of Onondaga Traffic Safety Board Office Manager, NYS DMV North Syracuse District Office

All other driving during this driving period must be under the immediate supervision of your parent, guardian, or person who is a licensed driver at least 21 years old. In addition, all junior learner permit and junior license holders, regardless of when they received their permits, must: • Have no more than two passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle unless they have an accompanying driver who is your parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver’s education teacher, or driving school instructor. • All passengers MUST be properly belted or in a proper child restraint seat. • Holders of a junior learner permit or a limited junior license may not have anyone other than a supervising driver sitting in the front seat while operating the vehicle. • All junior learner permit holders must have a minimum of 20 hours (certified by their parents or driver's education teacher) and must present a completed MV262 at the road test site along with the permit and proof of taking the 5 hour pre-licensing course. Teen drivers need to have information made available to them, other than the tragic news we have all heard too often in Central New York (CNY) lately. Programs within CNY that are focusing on teen driving include the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office’s S.T.O.P.P.E.D. (Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers) program, a voluntary, parental notification program that advises vehicle owners whenever anyone under the age of 21 has been stopped while operating their vehicle by any law enforcement officer in Onondaga County for any reason. The program has been shared with other

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Volume 1, Issue 3

By Joanne Mc Garry
On May 18, 2005, Nassau County Executive Thomas S. Suozzi was joined by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Raymond P. Martinez and Regional NHTSA Administrator Thomas S. Louizou, to announce the kick off of the Nassau County Police Department’s participation in New York State’s Traffic and Criminal Software Program (TraCS). This new software program will allow the police to issue electronic tickets for traffic violations using laptop computers, scanners and printers installed in police vehicles, saving residents time and increasing efficiency at several county and state agencies. in 2004. The other half of the computers will be assigned to the Eight Precinct to conduct a pilot program testing the accident reporting function of the TraCS system. The Police Department intends to compile and develop a computerized accident database that county agencies will be able to access quickly for a variety of purposes. The TraCS technology allows quick access to information on all motorists pulled over in traffic stops, and an officer will be able to determine if a license is suspended or revoked, if the vehicle is stolen or if the motorist has an outstanding criminal warrant. The electronic production of tickets virtually eliminates data entry errors, handwriting illegibility and late submission of supporting depositions, which will result in fewer court dismissals of traffic tickets. TraCS can also produce an electronic accident report that can be transmitted electronically to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany.

The county can now begin to collect and organize traffic and “Our priority in Nassau crash data in ways that County is always the can be easily monitored protection of the public Left to Right: Chief Stephen J. Mc Donald, Tom Louizou, Regional Administrator, and analyzed. The safety. This new NHTSA, (at podium) Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, (flanked by) Ray- county will be able to technology will allow our mond P. Martinez, Commissioner, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, assess with accuracy the officers to conduct their James H. Lawrence, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department size of each traffic business quickly and problem, the threat to the public safety efficiently,” said County Executive “The implementation of the TraCS and the most effective ways to Suozzi. “Motorists will spend less Program in Nassau County is a terrific develop viable countermeasures using time sitting is their vehicles on the example of the State’s commitment to available resources. side of the road and the police will partnering with local law enforcement be able to get back on the road more to save lives on New York’s “Our goal is to reduce traffic injuries quickly in order to continue to roadways,” said DMV Commissioner and fatalities along with the heavy enforce the law.” Martinez. “This innovative program emotional and financial costs that automates the processing of traffic always result from these devastating Nassau County received a grant from records, reduces the likelihood of a incidents,” said County Executive the Governor’s Traffic Safety police officer being struck by a Suozzi. Committee that provided funding for passing motorist during a routine the laptop computers, printers and traffic stop, streamlines bureaucracy scanners for 44 patrol vehicles. One and, overall, provides us another half of the cars installed with laptops effective tool in keeping the State’s are assigned to the Highway Patrol roadways among the safest in the Bureau, which issued 50,506 of nation.” Nassau County’s moving violations


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Traffic Safety News
If you start into a curve too fast for some other reason start to lose control ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL can help avoid disaster; lowers risk of fatal single-vehicle crash by 56%. About half of the 28,000 passenger vehicle crashes with occupant deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads involve a single vehicle. “For most drivers ESC isn’t likely to activate frequently. For example, it won’t prevent most of the fender-bender crashes that occur so often in stop-and-go traffic,” says Susan Ferguson, Institute senior vice president for research. When a driver enters a curve too fast, for example, the vehicle may spin out of control. But with ESC, automatic braking is applied to help keep the vehicle under control.” HEAD RESTRAINTS WILL BE HIGHER & CLOSER TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD, thanks to a new federal rule. Last month NHTSA told automakers the head restraints in their passenger vehicles will have to extend higher and fit closer to the backs of people’s heads NHTSA has been asking the agency for years to issue such a standard because too many head restraints still are designed too low and too far behind the head to provide adequate support. When a vehicle is rear-ended with sufficient force that an occupants torso is pushed forward by the vehicle seat, the head has to be supported to keep moving along with the torso. If it isn’t supported, it will lag behind until it’s pulled forward by the neck. This motion can cause whiplash injury. ALL BACK SEATS TO GET LAP/SHOULDER BELTS; PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO BOOST SAFETY OF KIDS RIDING IN BACK. NHTSA directed automakers to equip the middle back seats of their passenger vehicles with lap/shoulder belts. Half of all 2006 models and all 2008 and later models will have to comply. More than half of all 2005 models already have shoulder belts in the middle back. The new requirement was issued in response to a federal law enacted in 2002 and named after Anton Skeen, a 4 year-old who died in a crash. The law is intended to upgrade protection for children who have outgrown car seats. The law also directs NHTSA to develop test procedures and performance requirements for booster seats, which are designed for older children who have outgrown their safety seats to get a better fit using adult belts. THE RISK OF DYING IN ONE VEHICLE VERSUS ANOTHER DRIVER DEATH RATES BY MAKE AND MODEL. The average driver death rate in 1999-2002 passenger vehicle models during 2000-03 was 87 per million registered vehicle years. But the death rates in some models were two or even three times as high, while the rates in other vehicles were much lower. Large cars and minivans dominate among vehicle models with very low death rates. The models with the highest rates are mostly small cars and small and midsize SUVs, many of which also have high rates of death in single-vehicle rollover crashes. If you DRIVE WHILE PHONING you’re far more likely to get into a crash in which you’ll be injured. Common sense as well as experience tell us that handling and dialing cell phones while driving compromise safety, and evidence is accumulating that phone conversations also increase crash risk. New Institute research quantifies the added risk-drivers using phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. More than 300,000 lives have been saved, thanks to vehicle safety technologies. Federal motor vehicle safety standards and various safety technologies saved a reported 328,551 lives from 1960 to 2002. This estimate is from a 2004 report by C.J. Kahane conducted for NHSTA. Even though frontal airbags are a relatively new technology, they’ve already saved an estimated 12,074 lives since 1994. One of the oldest technologies in Kahane’s study, the safety belt, was by far the most effective. Belt use was responsible for saving an estimated 14,570 lives during 2002 alone. Belts in all seating positions were estimated to have saved 168,542 lives during 1960-2002. Two other important safety technologies are energy-absorbing steering assemblies and improved door locks. The steering assemblies saved an estimated 53,017 lives during the study years. Advancements in door locks, latches, and hinges are estimated to have saved a total of almost 30,000 lives by keeping doors closed during crashes to reduce the risk of ejection. The locks, latches, and hinges are especially beneficial in rollover crashes. Would you call yourself a bad driver? When almost 900 licensed drivers were asked to rate their own skills, 48 percent ranked themselves better than average. Another 20 percent reported being much better-than-average drivers. Thirty percent said that they were average, and only 2 percent said worse than average. None of the drivers considered themselves much worse than average. DWI policies reduce crashes: New research indicates that lowering to 0.08 percent the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at which it is illegal per se to drive resulted in a small but statistically significant 5 percent reduction in single-vehicle nighttime fatal crashes. Such crashes are often associated with alcohol-impaired driving. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of South Wales compared monthly crash counts for 3 years before and after BAC thresholds were lowered in 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The study found an even greater effect of enacting administrative license revocation laws, which reduced single-vehicle nighttime crashes by almost 11 percent. Source of Data: Status Reports Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, January 05- April 05


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President Patrick Carroll Vice President Karen Liddle Regional Vice Presidents Region 1 Joanne McGarry Region 2 Vince Bellino Region 3 Robert Monestano Region 4 Richard A. Pearson Sr. Region 5 Debbie K. Kogut Region 6 Lucas Davis Region 7 Sal Trentarelli Region 8 Tom Beachy Treasurer TBD Secretary Bill VanAlstyne

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