Thursday, November 4, 2010

Normal Street Safety

I could never be a police officer because, among other things, I have a very low tolerance for traffic violations. Just today, I saw a bicyclist run two stop signs (at least he was riding in the street instead of on the sidewalk!) and I saw someone in a "big truck" (my description for any vehicle not a car) run a red light. And I was only driving for a grand total of maybe 15-20 minutes. So, I was impressed when I read about the traffic safety efforts being made by the New York City's Department of Transportation and the NYPD. They are working to make streets safer by getting the word to drivers about the importance of the 30 mph limit: "Hit someone at 40, there’s a 70 percent chance they’ll die. Hit someone at 30, there’s an 80 percent chance they’ll live. That’s why it’s 30." They are also going to ticket bicyclists who ride on sidewalks, go through red lights, and ride the wrong way on streets.

Raising awareness and increasing enforcement should make a difference, even in a huge city like NYC. Of course, they got a $150,000 grant to fund these efforts. If Normal is serious about encouraging and increasing safe bicycling around town, perhaps there is some grant money out there that could help.

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