The Memorial Day holiday weekend is typically one of the deadliest, most dangerous times of the year for drivers. Last year’s statistics reflect that. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Governor’s Traffic Safety Board reported 11 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents on Iowa roads over the 2009 Memorial Day weekend. Read the full news release with 2009 stats here.
This month, authorities nationwide are launching a Click It or Ticket effort from May 24th through June 4th to reduce the number of crashes – and fatalities – on the road. Iowa and Cedar Valley officers will be out in full force prior to, during, and following the Memorial Day holiday to enforce traffic laws, including seat belt use. In fact, if law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled anytime or anywhere, you could receive a $93.75 ticket. So, don’t let the holiday excitement distract you from getting to your destination safely. Driving without a seatbelt, as well as impaired or distracted driving, could cost you more than a ticket – it could cost you your life.
Where are you headed this Memorial Day holiday? If you’re hitting the road, let us know how far you’re traveling!
New school signal at the intersection of Easton Avenue and W. 11th Street in Waterloo.
Crews have recently installed signal upgrades at two residential intersections in Waterloo. Fully actuated school signals have been added at the intersections of Easton Avenue and Hammond Avenue, as well as Easton Avenue and W. 11th Street. The signals now have a pedestrian button that, when pushed, causes the traffic lights to turn red in all four directions. This allows pedestrians – particularly students heading to and from Kittrell Elementary School – to cross from all sides.
While it may appear to drivers that the signals are broken, they are designed to temporarily stop traffic for pedestrians at all corners of the intersection. Watch the following YouTube video, which demonstrates how it works.
It’s amazing what you can learn on Twitter. Drive Safe Cedar Valley often uses social media, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to get the word out about the importance of safe driving practices. But recently, a Cedar Valley citizen and community leader that we follow on Twitter unknowingly taught us about something. A tweet on Monday, April 26, from Aaron Buzza, Executive Director of the WaterlooConvention and Visitors Bureau, caught our attention when it flashed across our Twitter feed. It was in reply to a Twitter contact to simply confirm that he received their text message. But what caught our eye about this seemingly typical tweet was how Mr. Buzza said he received that text message: via DriveSafe.ly.
So, what is DriveSafe.ly? According to the site, it’s a mobile application that reads text (SMS) messages and e-mails aloud in real time and automatically responds without drivers touching the mobile phone. The app can be downloaded onto a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile, and has received a lot of buzz as a safe solution to end manual texting while driving. The app has two options. One is free. The other comes with a fee.
As a proponent for safer driving habits, Drive Safe Cedar Valley applauds the app’s efforts to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel. But we’re curious. Have you tried DriveSafe.ly? Do you think it improves driving safety, or do you think it still qualifies as a potentially-dangerous driver distraction? It’s certainly worth a conversation. Leave a comment and let us know what you think about DriveSafe.ly.