Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘risk’ Category

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Hawaii is going to install facial recognition cameras at its airports….to stop the virus:

Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said the Airports Division reached out to seven potential vendors about installing thermal scanning equipment to screen passengers at the Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului and Lihue airports. He said five companies “responded and will participate” in a pilot program at the Honolulu airport.

“Companies will begin installing both temperature screening equipment and facial recognition cameras next week,” Sakahara said, and added the pilot program will continue through June 26.

According to Sakahara, DOT will study the capabilities and functionality of the thermal screening and facial recognition technology, the cost and other factors, such as local tech support.

 

Read Full Post »

Blood on their hands

It was 1 decade ago that Berkeley City Council canceled the AC Transit BRT project, a decision which generated nationwide ridicule. Councilmember Robinson is trying to revive the project, and asked council to reverse the decision. This may be just virtue signaling (Berkeley routinely passes meaningless proclamations), but we’ll see:

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 11.09.56 PM

The 2010 AC Transit BRT project was much more than bus lanes — it was a Complete Street makeover with left-turn pockets, bike lanes, and crosswalk fixes to make Telegraph safer for all road users.

From 2010 until 2018 (the last year data is available) the CHP SWITRS database records a whopping 216 injuries on Berkeley’s portion of Telegraph Ave. How many of those injuries could have been prevented had the BRT project been built? Well, we can look to Oakland where a road-diet along its portion of Telegraph reduced total injuries by 40%. Oakland DOT also reports that their Telegraph improvements accomplished a Vision-Zero milestone: no pedestrian collisions in crosswalks. By contrast, Berkeley’s section of Telegraph had 54 pedestrian injuries in the years 2010-2018.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 11.28.14 PM

Injury collisions (all types)

Read Full Post »

TGV derailment

A landslide caused a TGV derailment near Strasbourg. According to media reports, the train was going 170mph, but there were no fatalities:

The driver, whose injury was not specified, was evacuated by helicopter following the accident near Ingenheim, around 30 kilometres (20 miles) northwest of Strasbourg. The train was still intact but the locomotive was leaning on its side and four other wagons were also off the tracks, according to the state rail operator SNCF and AFP journalists at the scene.

“Despite going off the tracks, the TGV remained upright,” the operator said in a Twitter post.

TGV’s have semi-permanent coupled passenger cars, which helps avoid jackknifing.

ESVM4iXWsAE43Nn

Read Full Post »

Do Pastafarians count?

The fashion police in Canberra (Australia) will no longer require that Sikhs wear bike helmets:

Australians will no longer be fined for wearing religious headwear instead of a helmet while bike riding in Canberra, under new rules aimed at making cycling more inclusive. The exemption, which came into effect quietly in December, was introduced after a Canberra man wrote to ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury with a problem.

“I am a big fan of riding bicycles and I used to have a bicycle when I was in Melbourne because as a Sikh boy I had exemption not to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle,” he said.

The decision brings Canberra in line with Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, which all have similar regulations in place. In NSW, the only state currently without a bike helmet exemption, members of the Sikh community have unsuccessfully lobbied state government representatives to have the law amended.

US Federal Law (and the courts) have increasingly taken a dim view on rules and regulations that infringe on religious freedom. I wonder if/when we see a court case on the constitutionality of bike helmet requirements.

1024px-9414_-_Grande_mostro_di_spaghetti_volanti_al_Presidio_anticlericale,_Milano,_2_June_2012_-_Foto_di_Giovanni_Dall'Orto

Read Full Post »

City of Fremont will spend another $150,000 on radar speed feedback signs:

Veloso said the new signs — which flash car’s mph back to drivers and display a white strobe when speeding is detected — will be installed on “high-speed” arterial streets where the city has seen the highest numbers of “severe injury and fatal collisions.”

A staff report indicates some of those streets will include Niles Boulevard, near where a woman was killed in a hit-and-run in late November, as well as other spots on Fremont Boulevard, Paseo Padre Parkway, where a couple of signs are already posted, and Thornton Avenue, among others.

Since the city began implementing its Vision Zero plan in 2016, staff says major crashes through November 2019 are down 46 percent on roads with speed limits above 40 mph compared to 2013 to 2015 numbers. However, the numbers of fatalities from collisions are mixed, hitting a low of four deaths each in 2016 and 2018 to a high of 10 in 2017 and seven in 2019.

The problem in Fremont is that the posted speed limit on major arterials is 35 mph and higher. So even if all drivers were to comply with the speed limit, the road would still be too dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

Screen Shot 2019-12-25 at 11.25.49 AM

Fremont Blvd near the Warm Springs BART station, where a cyclist was killed. Posted speed limit is 45 mph.

 

Read Full Post »

JBSN5A recent NY Times headline reads: Experts Back Mandatory Bike Helmets but Not All Cyclists Are Sold. This headline refers to that awful NTSB decision to recommended mandatory helmet laws. Looking at the official NTSB bio’s, it is unclear why the NY Times uses the term “experts” as neither the NTSB staff nor Board members have professional background in bicycle planning. Dr. Ivan Cheung, who wrote the NTSB report on bicycle helmets, previously worked for the insurance lobby. 

Of course the actual bike safety experts — who are are in places like Copenhagen and the Netherlands — specifically recommend against bicycle helmets. So contrary to the headline, bicycle advocates and the actual professionals are very much in agreement on the helmet issue.

However the press cannot be entirely blamed for mis-reporting, because the American cycling community has put out a confusing message:

The League of American Bicyclists, an advocacy group based in Washington, is opposed to that idea. “We certainly promote helmets,” Ken McLeod, the league’s policy director, said. “Helmets do make individual bicyclists safer. We just think a mandatory helmet law is the wrong policy for federal or state governments to pursue.”

It is incorrect to claim helmets make bicyclists safer. According to the NHTSA, virtually all bicycle fatalities involve a motor vehicle — and bicycle helmets are not designed to protect against motor vehicle collisions. It says so in the CPSC specs. Moreover motor vehicle collisions are not part of the helmet testing protocol (if they were, then every helmet would fail).

It is irresponsible for a cycling organization to promote a piece of safety equipment that is ineffective. Not only does this misinform, but it leads to this confusion. The general public doesn’t understand why cyclists are opposed helmet laws when cycling organizations themselves are promoting helmets as valuable safety gear. Cycling organizations need to be clear on the reason for opposing helmet laws: helmets don’t work.

Read Full Post »

It is curious how it is cyclists who can get their vehicle confiscated, but rarely car owners:

PEABODY, MA — Police confiscated bikes from more than 30 kids who were riding without a helmet Thursday morning as part of “a concerted effort to educate those children who are riding their bicycles in an unsafe manner.” The crackdown comes after complaints in social media forums for Peabody residents about kids riding bikes. Children who had their bikes taken by police were told they could get it back by going to the Peabody Police Station with a parent.

 

Read Full Post »

drivetime-4

Now you can play Jeopardy while you drive (i.e. Jeopardize the lives of other road users):

Yes, playing games in the car is for real, and it might not be as distracting as it sounds, according to startup Drivetime. Drivetime has raised $4 million to provide voice-based games for drivers. The company is convinced that not only is this safe, it helps drivers by keeping them alert for longer times.

More than half of Americans are expected to have smart speakers by the end of the year, but the trend has yet to catch fire in the car. Drivetime’s Vuori sees this as the final frontier still untouched by interactive entertainment.

Read Full Post »

This is ridiculous. Here are back-to-back NTSB tweets giving contradictory messages on autonomous vehicles. One says they are good, the very next warns against overreliance.

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 1.27.58 PM

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 1.28.27 PM

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

When a train hits a truck in Japan

We can’t have light-weight trains in America. Why there are grade crossings…just imagine the carnage if a light-weight train were to hit a large truck!

An express train collided with a large truck on Thursday in Yokohama, killing the driver of the truck and injuring 33.

The accident occurred at around 11:40 a.m. at a crossing on the Keikyu Line between Kanagawa-Shinmachi and Nakakido stations. The first three carriages of the eight-car special rapid train, which was carrying about 500 passengers, derailed and the truck — which police believe was caught on the tracks before the crash — caught fire, authorities said.

The man killed in the accident, Micho Motohashi from the city of Narita, was a 67-year-old driver of the 12-ton truck. A train driver and 32 passengers sustained minor injuries, police said.

Train operator Keikyu Corp. said the train, running from Aoto Station in Tokyo to Misakiguchi Station in Kanagawa Prefecture, was traveling at 120 kph right before it applied an emergency brake prior to hitting the truck. The truck was dragged 60 to 70 meters upon impact.

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 7.43.06 PM.png

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »