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Feb 21, 2013

ROADS SAFETY * USA

* Missouri - Do some homework before considering heavier trucks 

Green Valley,MO,USA -Land Line by David Tanner -19 Feb 2013: -- To those considering truck size and weight increases at the federal and level – please take some time to view the research. Contrary to what supporters of size and weight increases might say, longer and heavier trucks do not reduce the number of trucks on the highways, and they have a negative – not positive – effect on roadway safety and pavement conditions... There’s just no glossing over the science... A congressionally mandated pilot program to increase truck sizes and weights in Maine and Vermont paints a telling picture... “Based on this evaluation, the higher axle weights of these trucks increased estimated pavement damage on the Vermont Interstate System by approximately 12 percent,” the FMCSA wrote in a published report on the pilot program... The yearlong study that began in 2009 allowed heavier truck weights on federally funded highways, including interstates... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration generated reports on the program’s effects on safety, pavement conditions, bridges, energy consumption, commerce and traffic patterns... Rather than increasing truck size and weight in the current highway bill, Congress opted instead to develop another pilot program to provide more data on pavement wear, crashes, the environmental impact and other factors...


* DC - U.S. Traffic Fatalities rise (or not) for first time since 2005

Washington,DC,USA -The Car Connection, by Richard Read -Feb 20, 2013: -- Traffic fatalities have been on the decline for a number of years, thanks in part to safer cars, increased use of safety belts, and a reduction in the number of drunk drivers. But the National Safety Council predicts that fatalities increased in 2012. If so, it would be the first time they've done so since 2005... Every month, NSC receives traffic data from authorities in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Partnering with the National Center for Health Statistics, NSC tracks not only fatalities, but also injuries, and considers deaths of the injured that occur within one year of an accident to be traffic-related... That's a little different from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government agency that provides "official" U.S. traffic fatality stats. NHTSA only considers fatalities to be traffic-related if they occur within 30 days of an accident. Also, NHTSA only tracks accidents that take place on public roads, while NSC includes those that occur on private property...

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