Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Work zone workers may not be what you think

You can’t drive very far between April and October in the North Country and not encounter a highway work zone. The window for doing road work is relatively short. But work zones mean delays, and drivers don’t like delays. In work zones, the most pressing thing is the safety of the workers ...

Comparing drivers with airline pilots is interesting

Although most all of us are drivers, very few of us are airline pilots, but a little knowledge of the “rules of the road” for airline pilots caught my attention. I really wasn’t aware of there being strict rules of the road for pilots, but there are, and the rules and regulations are ...

Stop arm cameras approved in New York

A new law authorizing school districts to install stop arm cameras on school buses will take effect on Sept 5 to deter motorists who pass stopped school buses. For several years, New York Association for Pupil Transportation has advocated for this legislation. It is estimated that ...

Driver courtesy triggers yet another collision

Monday morning, Aug. 5 saw yet another crash caused by a driver who thought he or she was doing a good deed, something Chief of Police Chris Premo says occurs too often in Malone. I have written at least three of these weekly articles based on this problem over the past 12 years. As drivers, ...

System names, instrument cluster play important role

Last week’s article addressed the fact that drivers are not often up to speed on the capabilities and limitations of some of the automation features on today’s cars. Some of the confusion derives from how the manufacturer names the system. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ...

Automation can be confusing to drivers

If you’re a regular reader of these weekly articles, I have tried to keep you abreast of the automation involved in today’s cars, like lane departure and adaptive cruise control, to name a couple. Vehicles are getting increasingly sophisticated, with more and more of them able to stay in a ...

Fatality drop tied to enforcement

Most of you have never heard of Kankakee, Illinois — I hadn’t. But I did after reading an article in the Kankakee Daily Journal in which Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey reported that there had been nine fatal accidents last year, compared with 19 the year before. That’s quite a ...

Turn signals: Why don’t drivers use them?

If you’re a regular reader of these weekly articles, you have read numerous times about using your turn signal — every time, all the time! A great article in the New York Times last month by Norman Mayersohn on this subject was near and dear to my heart. He points out that around the ...

Seat belt reminders as effective as interlocks

The most important safety device available to drivers and passengers in a vehicle is the seat belt. Our nation’s goal is 100% compliance. Currently, we are at about 90% for drivers and front seat passengers. But that’s not 100%, so how do we close the gap? You might think the last 10% ...

Let’s ride bikes

If you’re over 60 and reading this article you most likely rode your bicycle all over town when you were a kid. Other than walking, it was your only way to get around — parents didn’t drive their children everywhere back then. However, times have changed, and we need to get back to when ...

Speed limit 85 MPH

Twenty five years ago the nation’s maximum speed limit was 65 mph. Interestingly, in 1993, a few states, New York included, still had a maximum speed limit of only 55 mph. Over the past two-and-a-half decades, maximum speed limits have been raised in most states, and now the maximum speed ...

How crashes are reported influences attitudes

News stories often play a key role in shaping public understanding of traffic safety. And when news stories victim-blame or fail to convey the larger context in which these crashes take place, they do deep injustice to the victims and the conversation about road safety in general. Two new ...

Slow-moving vehicle speed limit raised to 39 mph

Effective Wednesday, slow-moving vehicles such as farm tractors and other equipment will be able to travel at higher speeds on New York roads. Changes to Subdivision 36 of Section 375 of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law raises the speed at which slow-moving vehicles can travel from 25 ...

Insurers, regulators monitor cellphone distractions

Last week’s column discussed elements of the distracted driving report by Zendrive, a traffic-data startup. The report makes it clearer and clearer each year that millions of Americans can’t stop themselves from talking, texting, livestreaming and, yes, even using FaceTime while ...

Phone addicts are the most dangerous threat on the road

Phone Addicts are glued to their phones, so they’re more distracted, more dangerous, and more likely to cause a crash than even drunk drivers. They pick up their phones four times more than the average driver, use their phone six times longer than the general population, and are on the road ...

U.S. Route 11 vs. state Route 11

Fact! There is no state Route 11. But, you argue, we have state Route 11 in Franklin County. Well, not really. We only make the mistake of erroneously designating U.S. Route 11 as state Route 11. So, who’s guilty of this? Everyone that refers to Route 11 as state Route 11, including the ...

Transportation consultant brings new ideas

Is Malone a village that is easy to walk in? Is it a bikable village? Is it a village that outsiders might want to visit? These were some of the questions that Mark Fenton, public health, planning and transportation consultant, asked of the public officials and local business people during his ...

Analysis of a collision

Last week’s article promoted the concept that crashes on our highways are not really accidents, which implies that nothing could have been done to prevent the incident from happening. It makes more sense to call them crashes or collisions, which is what they really are. Take a good look at ...

Drop the ‘A’ word

Roadway fatalities are soaring at rates not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers. The operative words here are “caused by drivers.” So don’t call them accidents anymore! This is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, ...

Intelligent speed adaptation possible solution to speeding problem

Last week’s DYK article discussed the neglected problem of speeding. Now, Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) may be a solution that will save lives and prevent serious injuries. According to Wikipedia, intelligent speed adaptation uses information about the road to determine the required ...