Always Buckle Up Campaign

Zero Fatalities Ad

If you’re not buckled, you may injure or kill someone else. It’s your responsibility. Make the right choice.

Being unbuckled increases the risk of injury or death to other passengers by 40 percent (Injury Prevention Journal). This statistic is the basis of the Zero Fatalities occupant protection campaign that ran from February 20 until March 19 on outdoor boards, TV, radio, social and digital media statewide. Continue reading “Always Buckle Up Campaign”

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Campaign

Marijuana Legalization InfographicA marijuana-impaired driving campaign began Monday, March 20, and will run for four weeks. The campaign’s focus is if you drive high, you will get a DUI. The legalization of recreational marijuana use in Nevada calls for education about traffic safety laws and the consequences of driving high.

Click here for more information and to view the campaign materials

 

What’s Trending: Red Light Cameras Save Children’s Lives

While not all intersection incidents are due to red-light-running, people run red lights for the same reason they perform other unsafe driving habits at intersections: distraction, inattention, speeding, and aggressive driving. In Nevada, as in other states, the main reason for unsafe driving at intersections is simple: people are in a hurry. Too often, the traffic signal’s yellow light has come to symbolize “hurry up” instead of “prepare to stop.” Nevada, a focus state for intersections, is working on strategies to reduce intersection crashes. One potential strategy is red light running cameras. Continue reading “What’s Trending: Red Light Cameras Save Children’s Lives”

2017 Nevada Traffic Safety Summit

2017 Nevada Traffic Safety Summit Header

The Nevada Department of Transportation and the Office of Traffic Safety invite you to attend the annual Nevada Traffic Safety Summit! The 2017 Summit will take place May 23-25 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

The purpose of the Summit is to gather safety professionals, partners and advocates from across the state to share best practices for implementing strategies and action steps, to move forward toward the ultimate goal of Zero Fatalities in Nevada. Continue reading “2017 Nevada Traffic Safety Summit”

Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training

Recently, the Attorney General’s Office and Department of Public Safety, have added a new position: Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP), designed to provide law enforcement in the all of rural counties (all counties except Clark and Washoe) with a highly skilled prosecutor to assist with training and technical support in improving DUI investigations and prosecutions. Continue reading “Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training”

14th Annual Nevada Bike/Pedestrian Summit Held in Lake Tahoe

2016 Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Award WinnersThe Nevada Department of Transportation and the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition hosted the 14th Annual Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Summit on November 9th at the MontBleu Resort at Lake Tahoe. Summit discussions included everything from Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, to building Safe Routes to School, to Complete Streets training.

“This annual summit is truly the state’s foremost event for bicycling and walking enthusiasts, advocates, engineers, administrators, educators, and consultants,” NDOT Assistant Chief of Multi-Modal Planning and Program Development Bill Story explained. “People understand that bicycling and walking provide many benefits to health, congestion mitigation and air quality; not to mention ease of finding a parking spot. And this summit provides resources and information to further those benefits in Nevada.”

Nevada bicycling and pedestrian supporters were recognized during the Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board’s annual awards program at the Summit. The awards recognize individuals, agencies, and groups for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety, and advocacy throughout Nevada. “Bicycling and walking offer many benefits,” board treasurer Denis Coyne said. “It can make us healthier. Biking and walking also helps connect our communities and reduce congestion and vehicle emissions. Whether government agencies or individuals, these award recipients have helped give our state more means of transportation by promoting and integrating safe walking and bicycling into our communities.”

With proven environmental, economic and health benefits, the public demand for bicycling and walking opportunities is growing. Bicycling and pedestrian planning across the state has created a surge of public interest in bicycling and walking, with more than half of vehicle users surveyed saying they would drive less if other forms of commuting were available.

The Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board was created by the Nevada Legislature to advise state agencies on policies, programs and facilities, and to promote programs and facilities that encourage the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians in the state. More information is available at (775) 888-7433 (RIDE) or by visiting www.bicyclenevada.com.

 

What’s Trending: What is the Link Between Legalized Marijuana and Fatal Crashes?

With the recent passing of Question 2 on the November 8th ballot, many are left wondering what the impact on crashes on Nevada highways will be due to the marijuana legalization initiative. There seems to be evidence that the answer to that question is yes, there will be an impact to crashes on Nevada roadways.

Recent research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in the State of Washington after they legalized recreational marijuana use indicates the percentage of drivers under the influence of marijuana that were involved in fatal crashes has doubled between 2013 and 2014. Another study released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has shown that the number of drivers killed in crashes that tested positive for drugs has increased from 29 percent in 2005 to 39.9 percent in 2013. Even though the use of prescription drugs must be taken into consideration, this same report shows that marijuana has been the most commonly used drug by fatally injured drivers.Infographic: Drugs

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in all 50 states, however, with the recent legislation that has been passing state-by-state, just about half of the U.S. now allows medical or recreational use of marijuana. Similar to the use of alcohol, drugs often lead individuals to abuse the habit and users become more complacent about using it and getting behind the wheel. They underestimate how drugs impair their judgment and reaction time while driving, which contributes to crashes.

The same GHSA report reflected on two focus groups conducted in Colorado and Washington since the legalization of recreational marijuana use. In these groups, participants that regularly used marijuana felt that their use of the drug did not impair their ability to drive. These results can be misleading because the amount of marijuana present in the body that is needed to impair a driver is inconsistent among users. This makes establishing THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) levels for laws, similar to blood alcohol levels (BAC) levels, very difficult. Alcohol present in the bloodstream has proven to increase crash risk in proportion to the BAC level. Marijuana use does not have a similarly proven crash correlation and is currently nearly impossible to determine if a driver is impaired simply based on the amount of the drug in their system.

In Washington, fatal crashes caused by drug impaired drivers rose 98% in 2014. In Colorado, these crashes rose 32% during the first year of legalized recreational marijuana use.

The general public needs access to information about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana, just like with alcohol, encouraging them to think twice before getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

(Information courtesy of Rural Road Safety Center)

 

Zero Fatalities Campaign Spreading the Word: It’s a Crash, Not an Accident

Crash Course PhotoIt is not by accident that a driver uses a cell phone to make a call or send a text. It’s not an accident when he or she runs into someone because they are distracted instead of paying attention to the road while driving. Most crashes don’t happen by accident. When we use the word “accident” it implies that no one is at fault. Reality is that in most cases it is actually a “crash”—a predictable, preventable event that the driver has a choice to make, or not, when driving.

Nevada Law declares that the term “crash” as opposed to “accident” should be used when reporting collisions, especially those where someone chooses to drive drunk, impaired, distracted, or aggressively. Driving under these conditions is a decision made by the driver and by no means should be construed as an “accident.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a “Crashes Aren’t Accidents” campaign back in 1997 to change the way we think about these events, and the words we use to describe them. Use of the term “accident” related to traffic crashes promotes the concept that these events are outside of human influence or control, when, in fact, they are predictable results of specific actions.

Recent campaigns by the NDOT, Office of Traffic Safety, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and numerous safety advocates have committed to eliminate the use of the word “accident” in relation to traffic crashes and are working together to change the way we think about crashes and how they normally don’t occur by accident. Shifting our thinking away from using this misnomer and focusing more on what can be done to prevent crashes resulting in devastating injuries and fatalities has become the new focus in Nevada.

This fall, NDOT ran a statewide audio/video ad campaign to spread the word that crashes are not accidents. The campaign was targeted at a 18-34 year-old adult audience and utilized various forms of digital and social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and YouTube. The strategy consisted of informing the target audience and then encouraging both action and sharing of the information, which resulted in over 5 million impressions statewide.

On January 1, 2016 , Nevada enacted a law, passed almost unanimously by our Legislature, to change “accident” to “crash” in dozens of instances where the word is mentioned in state laws, like those covering police and insurance reports. It is efforts like these that are moving Nevada forward and to the forefront of road safety in the United States. iPad Photo

Campaigns like “Crash Not Accident” help to inform and educate drivers of all ages that their daily choices influence not only their safety, but the safety of others on the road. The goal is to change driver behavior and reduce fatalities in the state, ultimately reaching the goal of Zero Fatalities.

Click here to view the Zero Fatalities Crash Not Accident videos.