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Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Questions on VTL you want answered? Here’s your chance

The first of these weekly articles on vehicle and traffic law (VTL) and traffic safety was published in the last week of January, 2007. At that time I agreed to do an article per week for at least one year and then review the project. Now, after over 13 years and nearly 700 articles, I am now ...

Road work season is here; be extra-careful

It has been said that in upstate New York there are only two seasons — winter and road construction. Well, winter is over, so it must be road construction season. That replaces snowy and icy roads with work zones, construction equipment, lane closures, flagmen and delays for ...

Move over when passing bicyclists

Last month two of these traffic safety articles dealt with bicycling: one about the National Transportation Safety Board asking for policy overhauls to increase the safety of bicyclists and stop the ever-increasing fatalities and injuries caused by vehicle/bicycle crashes, and the second ...

Safe driving dependent on 3 parts: car, road, driver

Consumer Reports had an interesting article, asking the question can we save more lives with advances in safety technology that is reshaping the auto industry. CR questions why the highway death toll is still so stubbornly high. Good question. As the CR article continues, it makes it clear ...

Less traffic during COVID-19 may not mean fewer fatalities

Less traffic during COVID-19 may not mean fewer fatalitiesWith significantly less traffic because of the “Stay Home” mandates, and the “not much is open and no place to go” atmosphere that we are currently living in, you would expect crashes, injuries, and fatalities would be ...

Biking season is here — things cyclists and drivers should know

The COVID-19 virus has put the world in turmoil, with exercise and social distancing both being necessary. Bicycling can accomplish both at the same time. But bicycling (and pedestrian) fatalities have been on the rise nationally for the past decade. Last week’s column was about the ...

NTSB sounds alarm on bicycle safety

As we enter the month of April, bicycle season is just around the corner. The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for a major policy overhaul to combat the rise in bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles, according to an article in the Insurance Institute for Highway ...

Georgia contest: highway safety signs with a flare

Last fall the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) challenged residents to make up their own lighthearted safety signs. After receiving hundreds of submissions, GDOT announced the winners, and some of them are really hilarious. They reminded me of the old Burma-Shave signs from the ...

IIHS top picks for safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the organization that crash-tests automobiles and rates them on the basis of safety, has just released its top picks for the 2020 model vehicles. Sixty-four cars and SUVs qualify for an award under new criteria that prioritize the protection of ...

COVID-19 could reduce traffic deaths

There’s almost nothing good coming from the COVID-19 coronavirus, but there could be one potential positive thing — we should have fewer automobile fatalities. With schools and colleges closed, restaurants limited to take-out only, public gatherings limited to a handful of people, all ...

IIHS crash testing improves vehicle safety — will set bar higher

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash testing has led to life-saving improvement in occupant protection since it was introduced in 2003. The program has been so successful that the side ratings for current models are no longer helping consumers distinguish among vehicles or ...

Reader feedback on mandatory driver training

A somewhat controversial article in January proposed that perhaps it was time for New York state to require some form of periodic driver refresher course for ALL drivers. It was controversial because it would be mandatory, come with some form of cost and require drivers' time to take the ...

Unacceptable!

On Friday, Feb. 7 there was a major snowstorm in much of upstate New York, with Franklin County getting around 15 to 20 inches. Most of that Friday saw intense snowfall, with accumulating snow on our roads despite constant plowing by the various highway departments. Although with all county ...

Roundabouts on the rise in US; Carmel, Ind., leads

Last week’s article touted the safety benefits of roundabouts versus traditional intersection traffic controls such as stop signs and traffic signal lights. Today’s article is based on information found in the Jan. 12 issue of The Villages Daily Sun newspaper and discusses roundabouts in ...

Roundabouts are the intersections of choice for safety

I have written at least a half-dozen of these articles touting the benefits of roundabouts, especially the safety factor. Still, in the five-county area of New York State Department of Transportation Region 7 (Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton), which has a population of ...

Test your Vehicle and Traffic Law IQ (answers)

Last week’s article presented 20 questions on Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic safety. Hopefully you took the test and kept your answers handy. This article repeats the questions and includes the answers. See how you did. --- True or false --- 1. If your vehicle has daytime ...

Test your vehicle and traffic law IQ — 2020

An annual winter feature of these weekly columns is a 20-question quiz on Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic control devices (TCDs). The first 10 questions are true/false, and questions 11 to 20 are multiple choice. If you follow the weekly columns, you should do well, as all 20 questions ...

Mandatory driver refresher training’s time has come

Recently a prominent local resident was telling me that she was recently stopped by a state trooper because she hadn’t turned on her headlights during a rainstorm. Although she was not ticketed, she admitted that she didn’t know it was a requirement to drive with full headlights in rain and ...

Proper use of 4-way flashers revisited

A regular reader of these traffic safety articles recently contacted me to ask about the use of the four-way hazard lights on vehicles when driving in snow and/or fog. His gripe was that a driver he was following was driving with his/her hazard lights flashing — since these lights are quite ...

Learn from your mistakes

We live in the northern part of New York state, and I have never seen a winter when it didn’t snow and, of course, cause roads to become slippery. OK, I’m being facetious, but my point is that if we chose to live in Franklin County, we must drive on roads that are slippery and difficult ...