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Progress North Texas 2017

   

Safety

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NCTCOG and its partner agencies continue their commitment to improving regional traffic safety for all users by supporting and coordinating planning efforts to develop safety policies, programs, and projects. Working with the four E's of transportation safety – Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency Response – NCTCOG is initiating projects to address traffic safety concerns from all sides.

Regional Crashes and Fatalities

Each year, NCTCOG receives crash data from the TxDOT Crash Records Information System, or CRIS, the State's depository for crash records. Crash data from all roadway types in Texas is reported in the CRIS. NCTCOG uses crash data to:

• Identify high-crash corridors, intersections and hot spots

• Determine types and severity of crashes

• Identify contributing factors for serious-injury and fatality crashes

• Develop county, regional and corridor-level crash rates for limited-access facilities  NCTCOG uses the crash data for projects throughout the Transportation Department, including those aimed at making the roads safer for drivers, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.

In 2016, the 12-county metropolitan planning area experienced 129,803 crashes, 20,250 of which resulted in serious injuries and 679 of which were fatal. Nearly 90 percent of crashes occurred in the four urban core counties of Dallas County (43 percent), Tarrant County (27 percent), Collin County (11 percent) and Denton County (9 percent). Historically, the vast majority of crashes happened in these urban counties.

 

 This is a graphic of our 2016 Regional Crash data.



Traffic Incident Management Training


About 50 percent of the congestion in the region is caused by nonrecurring traffic incidents and crashes. To address this congestion and improve safety for motorists and emergency responders, in 2003 NCTCOG became the first agency in the nation to formalize a Traffic Incident Management Training Program for all responders in the region. The goal of the NCTCOG TIM Training Program is to initiate a common, coordinated response to traffic incidents that will build partnerships, enhance safety for emergency personnel and motorists, reduce upstream traffic crashes, improve the efficiency of the transportation system, and improve air quality in the region. NCTCOG has offered 98 classes at the first responder level to over 2,720 regional fire, police, towing, EMS, Mobility Assistance Patrol, and transportation agencies. Additionally, since February 2005, 23 classes have been offered at the executive level to 810 decision- and policymakers.

In 2007, NCTCOG began offering a Photogrammetry Training Workshop as a complement to the region's TIM Training Program. The Photogrammetry system, used for crash reconstruction and forensic measurements, helps alleviate congestion and reduce secondary collisions.

The Photogrammetry software reconstructs accident scenes from digital images, allowing police and fire departments to clear roadway incidents much more quickly and conduct accident investigations from their offices. Since 2007, 204 police officers have been trained through the NCTCOG-hosted Photogrammetry Training Workshops.

 

 This is a graphic of our 2016 Regional Crash data.

 

 

Intersection Safety Plan

Intersections are a small part of the Texas highway system, but each year roughly 50 percent of crashes occur at or near them. To address this issue, in 2015 TxDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and the five largest metropolitan planning organizations across Texas, initiated the Texas Intersection Safety Implementation Plan, or ISIP. The goal of this plan is to implement effective, low-cost countermeasures at intersections to increase visibility and driver awareness, and improve intersection design and operation.

The Texas ISIP focuses on the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio areas. The NCTCOG ISIP, completed in 2013, was the catalyst for the development of the Texas ISIP. The regional plan identified 1,047 candidate signalized intersection locations throughout North Texas. NCTCOG, FHWA and members of the Regional Safety Advisory Committee identified the following
systemic countermeasures to improve safety at similar locations:

1. Re-time traffic signals for better coordination and proper red and yellow change intervals.

2. Install an additional signal head per approach.

3. Change permitted and protected/permitted left-turn phasing to protected.

4. Install basic pavement marking and sign improvements.

5. Install advanced signal-ahead warning signs.

In 2016, NCTCOG surveyed the cities identified in the regional ISIP to determine the progress of improvements. Here is a snapshot:

• 262 total improvements at ISIP intersections

• 178 total intersections with improvements

Wrong-Way Driving Projects

NCTCOG continues to work with TxDOT and local cities in Dallas and Tarrant counties to implement intersection, roadway and technology improvements that will reduce the likelihood of wrong-way crashes.

NCTCOG, TxDOT and nine Dallas County cities initiated Phase I of the Wrong-Way Driving Pilot Mitigation Project in 2014. Phase I focused on 350 diamond interchanges throughout Dallas County. Improvement strategies included the replacement of conflicting lane and arrow markings, signal enhancements and other intersection-related improvements.

Eight cities (Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Mesquite, Richardson and Rowlett) have completed the Phase I countermeasures. The project has also been expanded into Collin and Denton counties, where improvements are in either the design or construction phase in Allen, McKinney, Plano, Carrollton (Denton County), and Lewisville. The City of Dallas has 19 intersections under construction and an additional 42 in the design phase.

Phase II of the project was initiated in 2015 and focused on 54.2 miles of seven freeway corridors in Tarrant County. The Phase II pilot project is nearing completion. It includes installation of wrong-way pavement markings in the travel lanes, enhanced signage with active detection units, optimized sign placement and use of technology for wrong-way driving incident notifications.

NTTA is also working to combat wrong-way driving by implementing similar countermeasures including intelligent transportation systems technologies. A pilot program using traffic cameras and specialized software to detect vehicles moving in the wrong direction has been implemented in Dallas County.

 

 This is a graphic of our 2016 Regional Crash data.

 



Airbag Recall

Did you know that nearly 70 million airbag inflators are or will be under recall by 2019? More than a halfmillion defective airbags are in North Texas alone. NCTCOG has joined with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and several local partners to urge drivers to check their Vehicle Identification Numbers to make sure their airbags are not under recall.

The North Texas climate makes the situation particularly urgent locally. Prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity degrades the chemical propellant in a defective airbag inflator over time, which makes it more explosive and increases risk of serious injury or death. Even a minor fender bender can cause the defective airbag inflators to rupture, spraying metal into drivers and passengers. To date, there have been 11 deaths due to defective airbags. Two occurred in Texas. The NHTSA is prioritizing the recall based on the risk of injury or death to vehicle occupants.

The recalls are phased by vehicle location and age. Recall zones have been established based on regional temperature and humidity. Texas has been assigned to Zone A, which has been given top priority.

For information on affected vehicles, visit www.safercar.gov or www.airbagrecall.com, and enter the VIN, located on the driver’s side of the front windshield. Airbags under recall can be replaced free of charge. Additionally, vehicles not currently under a recall could be affected in the future. Sign up for email alerts at www.nhtsa.gov.

 

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Email: transinfo@nctcog.org

Web: NCTCOG.org/Trans

7/25/2017 06/15/2016 BW

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