May 21st, 2013 by admin
WASHINGTON, D.C., (May 21, 2013)– Forty states now prohibit texting for all drivers following the signing of a new law in Hawaii yesterday by Governor Neil Abercrombie. AAA commends state policymakers for reaching this significant national milestone to protect road users from dangerous distractions.
“Texting while driving is one of the riskiest actions someone can take behind the wheel,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs, Kathleen Bower. “The passage of texting bans in 40 states shows the widespread support for these important laws to ban behaviors that endanger everyone on our roads.”
Twenty-two states have adopted laws to prohibit texting since 2009, and Hawaii’s law, which takes effect on July 1, is the first new texting ban law passed in 2013. The nine states that have not yet acted to prohibit texting for all drivers are Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. The Governor of Florida is expected later this month to sign into law the 41st state texting ban. AAA launched a campaign to pass texting bans in all 50 states in 2009.
“AAA will continue to press for texting bans in the remaining states to help prevent dangerous distractions,” continued Bower. “The vast majority of Americans support laws to ban texting, and it is time for legislators in the remaining states to act on this important safety issue.”
Nearly nine out of ten Americans (86 percent) support laws against reading, typing or sending a text message or email while driving, while 95 percent consider it unacceptable to text or email while driving, according to a 2012 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The same study shows that more than one in three drivers (35 percent) admitted to reading and more than one in four (27 percent) admitted to sending a text message or email while driving in the past month.
“AAA Hawaii wants to thank the Legislature and Governor of Hawaii for establishing a distracted driving statute to help reduce deaths and injuries related to crashes,” said AAA Hawaii General Manager Liane Sumida. “We appreciate their hard work to develop legislation that benefits the people of Hawaii in such a significant way.”
Texting takes a motorist’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road and mind away from driving. Traffic safety research shows the harmful impact of text messaging on driver performance. Drivers who are text messaging are six times more likely to crash than drivers not texting, according to a 2009 study by the University of Utah. A driver’s crash risk doubles when they look away from the road for more than two or more seconds, according to a 2006 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
Hawaii’s new law also bans handheld cell phone use for all motorists and bans all wireless device use for motorists under age 18. Hawaii is the 11th state to adopt a handheld ban and the 38th state to take action on distracted driving by novice drivers.
May 9th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 9, 2013) Kathleen Bower, AAA Vice President of Public Affairs
“As an advocate for the safety and security of all motorists, AAA supports the introduction of the ‘Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013,’ which would prohibit car rental companies from renting or selling vehicles that are under a manufacturer safety recall. AAA looks forward to working with Senators Schumer, Boxer and other Congressional leaders to pass this important safety bill.”
May 7th, 2013 by admin
Statement by AAA Vice President for Public Affairs Kathleen Bower
“AAA supports the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act, introduced today by Senator Lautenberg and Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) to retain the current federal freeze on any truck size and weight limits.
AAA supports a robust inter-modal transportation system that can meet both the personal and commercial demands necessary for the United States to remain globally competitive in the 21st Century. But safety must be considered in all discussions that impact road users. USDOT research is underway to evaluate the safety and infrastructure impact of allowing heavier trucks on our nation’s roads and bridges. This USDOT research is a necessary precursor to any discussion about what, if any changes should be made to current federal regulations. Until more is known about the impacts to safety and the infrastructure, AAA opposes allowing bigger and heavier trucks on our nation’s roadway.
Until the research is completed and evaluated, preserving the existing regulations on truck size and weight is the roadmap we should follow.”
April 25th, 2013 by admin
WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 25, 2013) – Sixty-two percent of U.S. motorists believe the federal government should invest more money to improve roadways, according to a recent public opinion poll conducted by AAA. The vast majority of drivers (81 percent) also believe the federal government should do more to improve the condition of roads and bridges.
“Most Americans recognize the need for increased transportation funding because they drive over potholes and bumpy roads every day,” said Robert L. Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA. “Unfortunately, the main concerns voiced by motorists about transportation and driving differ markedly from the points generally expressed by policymakers to promote funding legislation.”
When asked for their concerns regarding transportation and driving their cars, issues identified by drivers included the reliability and safety of their car (34 percent) and the direct financial cost of driving (19 percent). Other major concerns included the behavior of other drivers (15 percent), safety/road accidents (15 percent) and the gas mileage/fuel efficiency of their vehicle (15 percent). According to AAA’s recently released ‘Your Driving Costs’ report, the average cost to own and operate a car this year rose 1.96 percent to 60.8 cents per mile, or $9,122 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.
“Policymakers and transportation advocates are failing to connect with the public on the practical concerns that matter most to motorists,” continued Darbelnet. “Motorists want to hear about how their elected officials can improve their daily commute by repairing the pothole down the street or the bumpy road around the corner.”
Nearly seven out of ten (68 percent) motorists believe the federal government should make “reducing congestion on the roads” a top transportation priority. Traffic jams and crowded roads waste billions of dollars a year in time and fuel, and causes significant frustration for many drivers. Federal transportation funding can support increased capacity and expanded roadways.
Motorists who feel that the federal government should increase taxes or fees to improve roadways support a number of options for increasing transportation funding, including:
- Replacing the per-gallon gas tax with a national gasoline sales tax (55 percent)
- Creating a new national sales tax dedicated to transportation (47 percent)
- Expanding the use of tolls to Interstate highways where tolls are not currently collected (47 percent)
- Creating a carbon tax on fossil fuels (45 percent)
- Replacing the federal gas tax with a per-miles-driven fee (37 percent)
- Creating an energy tax on all sources of energy (35 percent)
- Increasing the federal per-gallon gas tax (27 percent)
“The public seems very willing to examine innovative transportation methods to improve road quality,” continued Darbelnet. “AAA is dedicated to examining all funding options and educating policymakers on the need to fully fund improvements for America’s roads and bridges.”
Motorists overwhelmingly (83 percent) remain concerned about wasteful government spending on transportation. AAA has worked with Congress to implement reforms, such as eliminating earmarks, streamlining bureaucratic oversight and accelerating project development as part of Map 21, the recently passed federal transportation authorization law. AAA will continue to push for improved reforms to reduce wasteful spending as Congress debates transportation funding.
This report presents the findings of an omnibus telephone survey (654 landline and 354 cell phone) consisting of 1,008 adults (503 men and 508 women) living in the continental United States. A screener question identified 817 current motorists who were asked the remainder of the question list. The study has a 95 percent margin of error of ±4.0 percent.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
April 23rd, 2013 by admin
“AAA believes the new voice-to-text study done by the Texas A & M Transportation Institute (TTI) is a step in the right direction. Past research confirms what we’ve known for many years that hands-free driving isn’t risk-free driving. Most people understand the risks of distraction and other risky behaviors but refuse to apply what they know to their own behavior. While this study by TTI looks at texting, later this year AAA will be releasing a sophisticated comprehensive study that looks at the dangers of mental distraction and the implications for drivers.”
April 10th, 2013 by admin
“AAA is pleased that President Obama is once again elevating the importance of a strong transportation network in the administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. The proposed $50 billion for improving the nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems will continue to help chart the course for the nation’s long-term economic recovery. Expediting and delivering transportation projects on-time is a step in the right direction to meet the demands of the traveling public and businesses and remain competitive in the global market.
Now that the President’s budget is released the real work begins. This is an important year for the administration and Congress to work together on finding a long-term funding solution to bring our transportation infrastructure into the 21st Century.
Whether it’s called the Highway Trust Fund or the Transportation Trust Fund, the traveling public is putting their “trust” in Congress and the administration to put partisan differences aside and work towards a viable funding solution. Roads and bridges are not red or blue and I hope we can put partisan differences in the rear view mirror on this issue.”
March 21st, 2013 by admin
Statement by AAA President & CEO Robert L. Darbelnet:
“Today’s action by the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a continuing resolution is a victory for highway safety. The U.S. Senate served the nation’s interests through a bipartisan effort to ensure that MAP-21′s highway safety programs were adequately funded, which President Obama supported. Over the last few weeks, AAA clubs from around the country weighed in to get this done.
Safety funding comes at a crucial time, as we are now seeing a slight uptick in roadway fatalities. Today’s action was a good example of bipartisan collaboration that will help deliver better transportation solutions for the American people.”
March 19th, 2013 by admin
“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today gave the nation’s bridges a “C+” grade, up from a “C” four years ago; and roads got a “D” grade, up from a “D-” in 2009. The good news for drivers is that the condition of the nation’s roads and bridges has improved slightly since the last report card was issued. The bad news is grades like these aren’t going to get us where we need to go in terms of safety, mobility or economic recovery.
We don’t want a C+ economy, and can’t settle for a D, or even C+ transportation system. We need Congress to take the lead, work toward a long term funding solution and ensure the American public understands the importance of investing in our transportation system before we fall further behind.”
March 12th, 2013 by admin
(HEATHROW, March 12, 2013) As everyone searches for their luckiest leprechaun and makes plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, AAA strongly encourages arranging a safe ride home before they partake in any festivities.
AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result. PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages family and friends to pick a designated driver before they head out on St. Patrick’s Day.
*Please note availability is subject to change without notice
AAA Clubs Currently Offering a Safe Ride Home Program for St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday, March 17th)
- AAA Arizona (Statewide)
- The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
- AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Program is called Safe Tow)
- AAA Oklahoma (Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Ardmore and Lawton)
- AAA South Dakota (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton)
- AAA Northwest Ohio (available in the Lucas, Fulton, Wood, Henry, Williams, Defiance, Paulding, and Ottawa counties)
- AAA Northern California
- AAA Nevada (Statewide)
- AAA Utah (Statewide)
Taxi Ride Programs:
- AAA Allied Group in Ohio has a program called “ArriveSafe”. It provides cab rides for Montgomery County residents only. AAA has no call center involvement- local motorists must dial 449-9999.
For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website.
February 12th, 2013 by admin
Statement by AAA’s President and CEO Robert Darbelnet in Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address
“President Obama’s support for transportation infrastructure in tonight’s State of the Union address is of critical importance to millions of American motorists that depend on safe roads and bridges to support their livelihoods and their families.
“America’s Interstate Highway System became the envy of the world decades ago because our nation’s leaders worked together to implement far-reaching polices of historic importance. The leaders of the time did not let the political risks detract them from developing a highway network that would stand as a monument to the engineering excellence of the United States.
“It is no secret that a great political divide and considerable funding issues have created significant road blocks to sustaining a safe and an improved infrastructure. Every day millions of frustrated Americans lose valuable time and money waiting in traffic, and they are relying on their elected officials to provide relief.
“AAA urges both the President and Congress to prioritize transportation this year to ensure that American’s can get to work, go to school and travel from state to state on roads that once again become the most efficient, safe and reliable in the world.”