NTSB Report Calls for Transportation & Public Safety Reforms To Reduce Speeding

A Sustainable Cities article (2017-08-30) summarized the recent findings of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that examined the effect of speed on vehicle crashes. The NTSB report found that that speeding is a factor in 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States and increased both the likelihood of being involved in a crash and the severity of injuries sustained in a crash. The report also made numerous recommendations on reducing speed, including through the use of speed cameras. From the article:

 From 2005 through 2014, crashes in which a law enforcement officer indicated a vehicle’s speed was a factor resulted in 112,580 fatalities, representing 31 percent of all traffic fatalities. Speeding or speed has been cited as a safety issue, or a causal or contributing factor in 49 major NTSB highway accident investigations since 1967.

Although recent speeding-related NTSB investigations have primarily involved large trucks and buses, most speeding-related crashes involve speeding passenger vehicles. In 2014, passenger vehicles constituted 77 percent of speeding vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and 78 percent of all speeding-related fatalities involved a speeding passenger vehicle. This study leverages prior NTSB investigations, together with other research, to address the national safety issue of speeding among passenger vehicle drivers.

Based on the report’s findings, the NTSB made recommendations to the United States Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, state governments, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Sheriffs’ Association. Several of the report’s recommendations included:

To the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Identify speeding-related performance measures to be used by local law enforcement agencies, including ― but not limited to ― the numbers and locations of speeding-related crashes of different injury severity levels, speeding citations, and warnings, and establish a consistent method for evaluating data-driven, high-visibility enforcement programs to reduce speeding. Disseminate the performance measures and evaluation method to local law enforcement agencies. Identify best practices for communicating with law enforcement officers and the public about the effectiveness of data-driven, high-visibility enforcement programs to reduce speeding, and disseminate the best practices to local law enforcement agencies. …

Establish a program to incentivize state and local speed management activities. …

To the Federal Highway Administration:

Work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update the Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines to reflect the latest automated speed enforcement (ASE) technologies and operating practices, and promote the updated guidelines among ASE program administrators.

Work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assess the effectiveness of point-to-point speed enforcement in the United States and, based on the results of that assessment, update the Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, as appropriate.

To the seven states prohibiting automated speed enforcement:

Amend current laws to authorize state and local agencies to use automated speed enforcement.

To the 28 states without automated speed enforcement laws:

Authorize state and local agencies to use automated speed enforcement.

To the 15 states with automated speed enforcement restrictions:

Amend current laws to remove operational and location restrictions on the use of automated speed enforcement, except where such restrictions are necessary to align with best practices.

Useful Links

NTSB Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles Report