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Just about everyone is in favor of safety, but opinions vary on how to achieve it

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There are reports aplenty that cross our desk every day, some good, some bad, some just plain stupid.

The most recent, and this is one of the good ones, finds that American motorists “strongly support” a broad array of safety measures, from reducing local street speed limits and building more roundabout intersections to stricter seatbelt enforcement efforts.

The report was based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. motorists conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Road to Zero Coalition.

The Road to Zero Coalition is managed by the National Safety Council and has issued a roadmap to end roadway deaths in the U.S. by 2050.

There are almost 900 members of the coalition, the first time so many organizations have collaborated to put forth a plan to address motor vehicle fatalities, which recently increased after years of decline.

(As a footnote, the NORC was established in 1941 as the National Opinion Research Center, hence the name NORC).

The NORC report, titled “Underutilized Strategies in Traffic Safety: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey,” found support for a variety of motor vehicle safety initiatives.

They are listed below with the percentage of survey respondents who named the initiative, along with some personal comments from yours truly:

  • Increasing the use of sobriety checkpoints to discourage impaired driving (65%). We most often hear of sobriety checkpoints during the Christmas-New Year time frame, but here in Little Rock, the bars are full every weekend.
  • Deployment of more speed and red-light cameras to discourage reckless driving (60%). Our office window overlooks a stoplight at the intersection of the Interstate 630 exit and University Avenue, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares. Most of the time, when the light turns red for University Avenue traffic, two or three cars go through the red light.
  • Reducing local speed limits by 5 miles per hour (69%). The odds of lower speed limits slowing down traffic are about as good as winning the lottery.
  • Alcohol ignition locks for people who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (83 %). Good idea, given the lack of sobriety checkpoints.
  • Saliva screening to prevent drugged driving (74%).
  • Stricter seat belt law enforcement (82%). We think drivers are pretty good about buckling up. We seldom see anyone not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Requiring cars to have seat belt reminder chimes (70%). Most do, and they are quick to chime when someone tries to drive unbuckled.
  • Passing mandatory motorcycle helmet laws (86%). Cyclists riding without a helmet have much, much better odds of being severely injured or killed than they have of winning the lottery.
  • Replacing dangerous intersections with roundabouts (73%). We despise roundabouts, especially installed at an intersection where a stop sign would work just as well. Here in Little Rock, city fathers use roundabouts to display some of the most horrid metal artwork we’ve ever seen.
  • Installing rumble strips on more roads (90%). A nuisance, especially like the ones in Little Rock that have been installed 10 feet from a stop sign.

The only question on which those motorists polled were totally divided was lowering the blood alcohol limit to .05 in their state.

Yet 56 percent of the drivers participating in the survey said they would support such a lower limit if the penalty involved fines and the suspension of one’s license rather than criminal charges.

We think legislators should listen to doctors for advice about how low to set the limit.

We say, the lower the better, especially since there are so few sobriety check points.

The survey also found that drivers were taking advantage of ridesharing services to avoid drinking and driving as 60 percent of those who said they’d used a ride sharing service in the past year said they had done so at least once to avoid drinking and driving.

“The results of this poll are clear: Safe roads are a priority for Americans, and they support ideas that encourage everyone to slow down and avoid impaired driving. Given the research available, this makes perfect sense,” said James Fell, a principal research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, in a statement. “Drivers are also now taking the extra step to do something about making our roads safer as evidenced by their use of ridesharing apps to get home safely.”

If you want to suggest some initiatives to foster safer driving, write us at editor@e7k.a33.myftpupload.com.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. tom massara

    May 11, 2019 at 11:47 am

    If everyone was required to take a safety class when they renewed there license it would help you get a license and after that you don’t have to up date your knowledge people get in to bad habits and some where not trained properly.they tell people not to tailgate but do they no what the proper following distance is?I bet a lot of people don’t, also show why speeding causes accidents. I believe it would save a lot of lives.Also regulations have changed over the years but no one is updated on them.

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Crash involving 4 semi trucks in Tumwater, Washington

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A crash involving four semi-trucks is blocking all southbound lanes of I-5 south of Olympia. Cleanup is expected to continue into the evening commute.

Courtesy: King 5

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The Trucker News Channel Episode #073

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In this episode we cover…
– Carrier goes bankrupt
– Troopers hunt for trucker
– Semi dumps beer load in church parking lot
– The quickest way to unload
– Cop plane hits semi trailer
All this and more news at thetrucker.com

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Viewpoint – Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty

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Published courtesy of Truckers Connection.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Misery loves company?” Boy, is that ever true!

It’s crazy how negativity can escalate in a group if you let it, how easy it is to get swept up in the less-than-stellar aspects of a situation rather than realize that you’re choosing to drown in the bad rather than focusing on the good. Because rarely –if ever—is any situation 100% bad. But what you choose to focus on makes all the difference.

If you’re on Facebook, you might be familiar with groups that you can join to interact with like-minded folks out there in social media world. For instance, I’m in various groups for my love of reading and traveling, pets or sports. And when you’re in those, you can post and see others’ posts on the subject, comment accordingly, get tips and tricks, learn things you might now know, etc.

There are multiple groups for Trucking: like “Everything Trucking” or “Trucking: Rates & Lanes.” There’s even a “Trucking and Single” group, if that’s you.

But beware, many of these groups can go downhill in a hurry if you choose to let them. Some folks out there are only happy if they’re unhappy. And when they’re unhappy, they want others to be unhappy. And that snowball is one bound to crash badly.

I’m in a group for a community where I own a townhome. It’s in a great gated community with tons of super amenities (pools, etc). When we first purchased, I was very surprised to learn there was not a Facebook group already in place for owners in the community. After all, it’s a great way to ask questions or share info about coming events, and so on. I thought of starting one and then looked at the zillions of things I already need to handle and decided against it. After all, these must be moderated and pretty regularly so extreme comments are addressed or removed, no scammers are present, etc.

But I was delighted to hear that someone else started a group earlier this year for our community and gladly joined. And from there, were my eyes been opened to a lot of things I hadn’t realized. Neighbors claiming the landscaping wasn’t good enough, the trash should be emptied more often, the pool chairs need to be cleaned, the staff is rude, the owner’s desk doesn’t do what they should, the security gate personnel are unfriendly. And on and on. Now this place I thought was fantastic suddenly took on a different vibe. Had we purchased poorly? Was this a sink hole of real estate vs the investment we thought it would be?

But as I walked around last week, trying to be more objective in my own assessment, I have to say the place was sparkling. Everyone was cordial, doing their jobs. The lawns were mowed, the pool was pristine, the trees were being pruned, paint was fresh. And I thought: man, what are these other owners thinking? Are they SEARCHING for things to complain about? I’m sure everything isn’t perfect (what is?) but from what I saw, it was pretty stellar. And yet, in that group: complain, complain, complain.

And it reminded me of the adage: Misery loves company. One starts complaining and others pile on and it escalates. And then it’s even harder to be the lone voice saying: Really? Are you really being fair in your assessment or are you nitpicking just to nitpick?

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