Neighborhood Speeding Target of Education Campaign
Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Carolann Wicks joined with residents of the Caravel Woods neighborhood and emergency responders in Bear on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 to announce the launch of a statewide campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding in neighborhood/residential areas. T-shirts and lawn signs with the campaign messages were handed out to attendees.
The central message of the campaign is straightforward, and pulls no punches. Simply, a pedestrian hit at 20 mph has a five percent chance of dying, a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has a 45 percent chance of dying, and at 40 mph the chances of death are 85 percent. State law sets the speed limit in residential areas (and subdivisions) at 25 mph.
"Statistics like this are shocking, and we believe that reminding drivers of the consequences of speeding is the best way to get them to slow down," said DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks. "We are asking people to obey speed limit laws in residential areas, because going just a little too fast could end in a horrible tragedy."
DelDOT hopes that the neighborhood speeding campaign will prevent a neighborhood fatality. Thankfully, these incidents in Delaware are low, but the signs point to problems ahead. Next week, the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement will implement a statewide speed enforcement campaign in an effort to reduce aggressive driving fatalities on Delaware roads. DelDOT's neighborhood speeding campaign will compliment their overall message, focusing on a key problem area, neighborhoods.
In 2007, DelDOT's Traffic Studies staff received close to 100 requests and complaints about speeding within neighborhoods. The requests ranged from lowering speed limits to installing unwarranted stops signs. In addition, DelDOT's Traffic Division has one member of its staff who works full time on residential traffic calming projects, which are aimed at mitigating speeding in neighborhoods. This staff member worked with 60 communities statewide in 2007, and is currently working with 25 more this year. In 2007, in just New Castle County alone, 61 speed humps were installed or replaced at a cost of just under $150,000.
Over the next several months neighborhood speeding will be the focus of radio advertising, billboards, DART bus advertising and in other ways. The message conveyed in the ads is sobering, but one that needs to be said.
To assist neighborhoods with educating their neighbors, DelDOT is offering informational materials they may hand out, a limited amount of T-shirts and a limited amount of lawn signs. All the materials include the educational message.
New Castle County Police, Christiana Fire Company, Delaware State Police and the Office of Highway Safety were all on hand to support the safety campaign.
The Neighborhood Speeding Education Campaign is the second of a three-part education campaign that began in March 2008. The first phase was Work Zone Safety. The final component is expected to be pedestrian education. This three-pronged education effort is being funded with approximately $500,000 in new federal money that may be used for education purposes. DelDOT's target areas were identified in a September 2006 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a cooperative multi-agency plan for improving safety and reducing fatalities on Delaware's highways. The goals of this campaign are to save lives, for motorists, pedestrians and the men and women who work at and for DelDOT. RT&E Integrated Communications of Wilmington is working with DelDOT on the campaign.
Statistics of Note:
o Pedestrians ages 0-14 in crashes, by county, 2007:
o New Castle, 45 injuries, 3 fatalities.
o Kent County, 7 injuries.
o Sussex County, 8 injuries.
o If you hit a pedestrian:
o At 20 mph 5% will die
o At 30 mph 45% will die
o At 40 mph 85% will die
o Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children of every age from 2-14 years of age
o Speeding in residential neighborhoods represents the single greatest complaint issued to police departments and city council representatives throughout the U.S.
o Most speeders in your neighborhood live in the neighborhood.
o The death rate per million miles driven on residential streets is almost 3 times the death rate on highways.
o Speeding extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle.
o At 20 mph the total stopping distance needed is 69 feet.
o At 30 mph, the distance needed is 123 feet.
o At 40 mph, the distance needed is 189 feet which may not be enough distance and time for you to avoid hitting an object or person on the road
o 48 percent of Delaware's total fatal crashes included aggressive driving behaviors.
o Failure to yield right-of-way and speeding represented the highest contributors at 29 percent and 26 percent of all aggressive driving crashes.