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2013-01-25

SAFETY ROADS * USA

* Michigan - What can Europe teach the U.S. about reducing traffic fatalities ?

(Photo: Car crash at intersection after running red light)
MICH,USA -The Car Connection, by Richard Read -Jan 24, 2013: -- When it comes to traffic fatalities, there's good news and bad news: Good news: the U.S. fatality rate has reached an all-time low... Bad news: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that rate isn't going to stay low for long... That's a disturbing possibility, but folks at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute suggest that by following the lead of certain European countries, we may be able to reverse course and maintain -- even improve -- America's record-low fatality rates... UMTRI's Michael Sivak, and his colleague, Juha Luoma, suggestions are
 - Tougher laws on drunk driving, including lower legal blood alcohol limits and greater use of alcohol ignition interlocks for those convicted of driving while intoxicated. 
 - Lowering speed limits in urban areas, mandating speed-limiters for big rigs and other heavy vehicles, and more deployment of speed cameras. 
 - Making front and rear seatbelts mandatory, and making seatbelt noncompliance a primary offense (meaning that officers can pull over drivers if they spot someone without a seatbelt, rather than needing to cite them for another offense first). 
 - Improving and shortening commutes through better urban planning, more efficient and attractive public transportation, and encouraging businesses to allow their workers to telecommute.

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