Strong Support for Zone Safety Improvements

02/14/13
Traffic Safety

Indianapolis, IN - Feb. 14, 2013 - A recent poll commissioned by AAA Hoosier Motor Club finds widespread support for the use of photo enforcement to reduce the number of school and work zone speeders as well as to deter school bus stop arm runners. Fueled by concerns over driver distraction and speeding, the poll found support for school zone speed enforcement and work zone speed enforcement at 79 percent and 80 percent respectively. Support for school bus stop arm cameras was even higher at 87 percent.

“Protecting innocent children and highway workers from reckless driving is our Club’s number one priority in 2013,” said Greg Seiter, public affairs manager for AAA Hoosier Motor Club. “We applaud Chairman Soliday for his efforts on this bill and strongly support HB 1368. Providing law enforcement personnel with the tools they need to better enforce school and work zone speed limits, and school bus stop arm laws, is something we should all be able to get behind.”

In 2011, Indiana recorded 4,309 work zone collisions, causing 17 fatalities and 684 injuries, according to Indiana Crash Facts 2011. The cost for these collisions topped $116 million.

In school zones, during the past five years, 1,502 crashes have occurred, killing six and causing 28 serious injuries here in Indiana. A national survey found two-thirds of drivers exceed the posted speed limit in school zones during peak walking periods, posing a significant risk to children. In 2007, after reviewing 13 published surveys, NHTSA reported that fixed speed cameras reduced injury crashes by 20 to 25 percent and mobile speed cameras reduced injury crashes by 21 to 51 percent.

A recent survey of Indiana bus drivers found that in one day last year, more than 2,100 vehicles illegally passed school bus stop arms. It is estimated that each year, nearly 384,000 motorists illegally pass a school bus however, only 460 of the violators receive a ticket. This law will help change driver behavior, and cut down on this type of dangerous driving.

The poll was conducted by Bellwether Research and Consulting February 6-7, 2013 and sampled 500 registered voters in Indiana.

“We cannot think of many issues or policies that test at the level of 80 percent support among voters,” said Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research. ”Even more important is the intensity behind the support. It is rare that an idea or policy proposal garners intensity above the 50 percent range. Clearly, Hoosier voters are concerned about dangerous driving that puts other drivers, children and workers at risk. They overwhelmingly view traffic cameras as a good way to address this problem.”