Making good choices is key to the theme "Don't be Driven to Distraction - Drive to Arrive" for the 10th Anniversary of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day - October 10, 2012
Try to think of some of the significant things you have done that started with an initial action, the first step or the first day. Maybe it was a case where you quit smoking or even better yet put away your cell phone after nearly crashing into car with a mother and children in it that you said "never again will I use a cell phone while driving." Lives can be saved when there are changes in the personal choices a driver makes. "Don't be Driven to Distraction - Drive to Arrive" is a choice everyone can make this year by putting away their cell phones before starting their vehicle on October 10th - "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" - then continue the same choice every day of the year.
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day (PBFD) was first observed on October 10, 2001 (patterned after the Great American Smokeout) and believed necessary when statistics showed that from 1995 to 2000 over 250,000 deaths had occurred or an average 41,500 annually (1/2 of attendees at a large football stadium on a fall afternoon). The annual number of fatalities has dropped to 37,261 in 2008 and to nearly 32,300 in 2011 or about 1 death every 16 minutes.
In 2006 the Transportation Safety Committee of the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) of ASCE became stewards of the program and website (www.brakesonfatalities.org). T&DI members serve on a PBFD sub-committee and also chair the National Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day committee. The T&DI PBFD sub-committee hosted a meeting of the national committee during the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2012. The T&DI PBFD sub-committee, with input from national committee members, has also created a new logo and begun developing a strategic plan for the PBFD program. The national website has been updated with the 2012 theme and material on the Tool Kit page for others to use when holding an event. Finally, the T&DI PBFD sub-committee developed new posters and T&DI financed the printing of both posters and stickers to distribute while publicizing Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.
The PBFD program's mission has been to serve as an advocate and a resource to help reduce fatalities. This includes the support of the recently established national goal of "Towards Zero Fatalities.” ASCE members and new partners are welcome and encouraged to become involved. To learn more, please visit our website at www.brakesonfatalities.org. If your organization wishes to participate program please send an email with the name of a contact person to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Tool Kit page for material and ways to create an October 10th event.
One of the more successful PBFD events has been occurring in Kansas where an annual poster color contest has been held for students 5-13 (age groups 5-7, 8-10 & 11-13). The students are invited to express their thoughts in color, pencil or water color about ways to Put the Brakes on Fatalities. If safety is planted in their mind as they draw their poster, maybe they may just become a driver who makes good decisions. Below are examples of recent winners in the three age groups.
Beginning on October 10th and every day thereafter choices drivers, cyclists, passengers and pedestrians should make to save lives are: 1) drive courteously and defensively, 2) know the rules of the road, and obey all signs and signals, 3) use protective gear - safety belts, car seats or helmets, 4) don’t speed, 5) don’t drive in an aggressive manner, 6) Don’t drive while impaired, and 7) don’t drive distracted (including not using your cell phone to talk or text).
We welcome you to join us not only on October 10th but every day promoting putting an End to Fatalities on our streets and highways.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: Overall Traffic Fatalities Reach Record Low -- First Quarter 2009 Traffic Fatalities Project Continued Record Trend - http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot9309.htm
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s August 4, 2009 press release on a Distracted Driver Summit -http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot11409.htm
Cell Phone Studies: Whether You’re Talking While Walking or While Driving, Cell Phones = Increased Fatalities Both Traffic, Pedestrian Fatalities Are Impacted March 04, 2009 - http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2009/03/cell-phone-studies-w-20090304
Efforts to curb drivers' cell phone use stall in Wisconsin by Stacy Forster of the Journal Sentinel Posted: July 5, 2008 - http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29423684.html
Cell Phones and Driving, and the California New Driving Law on Cell Phones and Driving - published in June 2008 - http://www.emfnews.org/California-New-Driving-Law-on-Cell-Phones-and-Driving.html
The Road Information Program (TRIP) 2009
July 27, 2009 press release from the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute on the use of Cell phones and Driver Distraction - http://www.vtti.vt.edu/PDF/7-22-09-VTTI-Press_Release_Cell_phones_and_Driver_Distraction.pdf
May 8, 2009: "Rough Roads Costing Motorists Hundreds More Per Year"
January 14, 2009: "Top five transportation headaches and remedies identified "
US Department of Transportation - Safety Home Page: - http://www.dot.gov/safety.html
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) - Safety Home Page - http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Home Page: - http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/
Federal Motor Carriers Administration (FMCA) - Safety Home Page - http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/csa2010/home.htm
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day: National Awareness Day October 10th, Timothy Barkley, Safety Compass Newsletter,
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Says Traffic Deaths on America’s Highways Down Slightly, but Far Too Many Lives Lost Every Year
"Engineers Work to Improve Safety on Dangerous Rural Roads Brakes on Fatalities Day Puts Focus on Deadly Issue", By Danielle Boykin, Staff Writer, Engineering Times
"Engineers Needed to Fight an Epidemic", By Mark D. Van Hala, P.E., NSPE, Engineering Times
"Driver Safety Event Gets in Gear For a Day of Zero Fatalities", Engineering Times
Public Relations, ASCE
1801 Alexander Bell Dr.
Reston, VA 2019
Jon Esslinger, P.E., F.ASCE
Director, Transportation and Development Institute of ASCE
1801 Alexander Bell Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
Manager, Transportation and Development Institute of ASCE
1801 Alexander Bell Dr.
Reston, VA 20191
Mark D. Van Hala, P.E., F.NSPE, M.ASCE
NSPE Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day® Champion
Co.: Orange County Public Works Department, APWA, CTST, FACERS
Day Phone: (407) 836-7934
Larry W Emig P.E., F.NSPE, M.ASCE
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day® Founder
Day Phone: (785) 273-2249