Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Thank you. Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Freight Transportation and Safety. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have three presenters: Lowell Porter of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Captain Darrin Grondel of the Washington State Patrol, and Tom Anderson of Interstate Distributor.
Governor Christine Gregoire appointed Lowell Porter as the Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) on March 1, 2005. The Traffic Safety Commission is responsible for coordinating and facilitating traffic safety initiatives throughout Washington at the city, county, state, Tribal and federal levels to ensure a safe motoring environment. The Traffic Safety Commission is recognized nationally as a leader in this important area of public safety.
Mr. Porter was the 20th Chief of the Washington State Patrol, which is the largest public safety, law enforcement agency in Washington State. He began his career with the Washington State Patrol in January 1980 and promoted through the ranks from trooper to Chief with a variety of assignments in both operational and administrative areas of the agency.
Mr. Porter serves as an Executive Board member of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Research Advisory Committee. He was recently selected to t he Transportation Research Board, of the National Academies, committee to study the demand for "Highway Safety Professionals."
Mr. Porter has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Captain Darrin T. Grondel began his career with the Washington State Patrol on January 6, 1992, working in both heavy metropolitan and rural settings, Seattle and Kennewick. He promoted through the ranks to Captain with varying job assignments and supervisory responsibilities to include the following:
Captain Grondel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, a Masters in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, and is a graduate of Northwestern University - School of Police Staff and Command.
Tom Anderson was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, and graduated with a degree in Transportation Management from Washington State University in 1970. He started his trucking career in 1970 as a truck driver and has worked at his present employer, Interstate Distributor Co., since 1975. Tom's career path at Interstate has included truck driver, dispatcher, customer service, operations manager and for the last sixteen years Director of Training and Education with a focus on fleet driver safety training and state and federal truck safety compliance issues.
Tom is active in the Washington Trucking Association safety Management Council, and is a member of the American Trucking Association and Truckload Carrier Association Safety Councils.
Tom oversees a staff of 4 safety trainers that provide 40 to 50 days a month of safety training at a ten terminals throughout the nationwide operating areas of Interstate.
Tom has completed certified train the trainer training in driver safety, hazardous materials handling, forklift operations, and defensive driving. Tom is also a NATMI Certified Director of Safety.
I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Please also make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is the Freight Transportation and Safety. Our first presentation will be given jointly by Lowell Porter of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Captain Darrin Grondel of the Washington State Patrol. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar.
Lowell, you can begin.
This is Lowell Porter from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. This first slide I want to kind of cover a couple of up front things. All the materials that were gathered, produced, recorded, everything we collected during the ticket cars and trucks project are available on the Washington traffic safety economics website. That's WTSC.wa.gov. If you want to review those in details or get contact information for program staff, it's available at the website. They're posted there and you can download any of these. This first slide, just to kind of orient for other parts of the presentation and speakers to come throughout the session that photograph that's on the first slide is a picture of the fully - of one of the fully wrapped semi trailers that we used as a part of our communications effort and as a part of the enforcement effort so just to kind of orient you in terms of that graphic that was used repeatedly on brochures, banners, things of that nature. I want to make sure you know where that photograph is. He was unable to post that for you today.
Jennifer, next slide please. The TACT project came about as a result of several different public safety and traffic safety entities looking at fatal and injury crash data involving commercial vehicles. And the national highway safety administration and the federal motor carrier administration were looking for a way to facilitate a 403 demonstration project which is basically a formal research project to design a traffic safety initiative based on the best data available and to build a program where we can design something, first of all, that's new and creative and innovative but, at the same time, build in a sophisticated evaluation component to document whether it is a viable product and whether it can be replicated in other states. So the 403 project process is what drove the truck project. It was a formal 403 facilitated by NHTSA looking for a voluntary state to host the project. Our problem statement at the beginning of the project is look, we have a serious problem involving fatal and injury crashes with commercial motor vehicles. And we wanted to be able to find something that was new and innovative that could help reduce those crashes and, at the same time, produce something that could be replicated in other states so that each state wouldn't have to basically recreate the wheel. A significant part of that was is to define key performance measures to really document is it successful and could it be replicated.
Next slide please. If we start to look at some of the data and I know that this is fairly well-known so I'll cover it fairly quickly. If we look at commercial motor vehicle-related collisions based on the data available to us, about 73% of all those crashes are as a result of behaviors on the part of the passenger vehicle. So we looked at that and Washington state was fairly reflective of what we saw as we rolled up the data at the federal level to talk about, okay, if we have these crashes, who - which vehicle is most responsible. And clearly it was the passenger vehicles. If we look at those and segment out only fatality crashes, it was very clear based on the date that we had that 75% of those fatality crashes were as a result of passenger car driver behavior. So - and then looking at that based on looking at death rates in terms of the overall crash picture as compared to commercial motor vehicles, people in cars were - are 15 times more likely to be killed in they're involved with a commercial vehicle in a crash. That's not a great revelation. Everybody's intuitive, you're going to lose in dealing with a vehicle that much but we wanted to quantify that as part of our problem identification statement.
Next slide please. In the project, we knew that there were several organizations or partners or stakeholders that were going to have information that we were going to need to evaluate what project we wanted to design and bring the best information and resources to the table. In the 403 projects I've been involved with in the past, if you don't lay this baseline of very solid broad committed stakeholders and partners, your chances of actually carrying out a project and being successful are somewhat limited. So the list you see with the six bullets on this slide indicate several organizations either at the state or the federal level who had a vested interest in seeing this project completed and using that information to help create a safer motoring environment especially when involving commercial motor vehicles. The other thing was, was very clear from the Federal Government guidance they had received from the general accounting office was is that there's some problems out there that have shown some promise, one of them listed here is share the road safely or the program in Washington state, step up and ride, were good but in order for them to be more valid or more reliable in terms of are they useful for future projects, they needed to have a much deeper, more informative evaluation component listed in those. So from the very beginning of the TACT project building a sophisticated evaluation component was very important to us. And as we work through the project and like anybody's ever done in doing that type of work, that's one of the most complex parts of the project and required a significant amount of our resources.
Next slide please. So, again, if we go back. And we start to analyze the data now that those six organizations and others brought to the table, it was very clear that passenger vehicles are the primary cause of injury and fatal crashes with commercial motor vehicles. So we needed to understand that more clearly as we started to build the project. And so what we wanted to do was lay a very good baseline based on knowledge surveys with the public and commercial motor operators in terms of what do they see as the problem and what do they understand in terms of the elements or the environment in which these crashes occur. And how they observed that. And so we did an extensive amount of knowledge and awareness surveys ahead of time, especially with the general motoring public and they clearly indicated that their level of understanding of the significant risk that they're at, when interacting especially on interstate freeways at high speeds with commercial motor vehicles, the dangers therein based on following too closely, driving in mind spots, tailgating, driving negligently or recklessly, failing to yield the right-of-way, their level of the you understanding of the danger they're in and the danger to the rest of the public was low. And we needed to significantly work on an educational component as a part of this project because their level of awareness and you understanding of the dangers they were in were not where they needed to be. And when we talked to operators of commercial motor vehicles, they validate what had we chew from crash date and law enforcement perspective as what are the most significant driving behaviors that are causing them to be put at risk when passenger vehicle drivers operate or interact with them on the highway. They validated the list that we had when bee looked at crash data in terms they're driving too fast, they're not understanding that they should not drive in our mind spots. When they drive behind us, they're way too close. When they're changing lanes to move to different lanes on the freeway, they're leaving, significantly leaving too little amount of distance, and, at the same time, when they're making those lane changes and the semitrucks have the right-of-way, they're failing to yield the right-of-way, therefore, leaving the truck drivers little or no room to operate and, therefore, causing a crash.
Next slide please. Just go through this one real quickly. If we look at the history of motor vehicle crashes, you know, it was early recognized that there were going to be issues with motor vehicle crashes once they became into the motoring - or into the population of being used as sources of transportation and commercial. And in 2006, when we look at data involving cars and trucks, we have not seen the types of successes in traffic safety in this arena that we had in others and that we really need to find something that would help the states in reducing these events.
Next slide please. As I mentioned before, since we were operating within a formal 403 demonstration project being pavemented by national highway safety transportation and the FMCSA, it's very important that you bring as many stakeholders and partners to the table to help with the development process of the project. First of all, because everyone's experiencing limited resources, people, time and money. But, at the same time, all these organizations have broad bases of knowledge, broad bases of experience. They have data that we may not have or have available to us, and the physical resources such as truck drivers, the commercial motor vehicles, different things that they bring to the table in terms of communications tools, networks of people that they can get to also reach out to and help. So this graphic here just lays out just a picture of some of the important people that were involved or the groups that were involved in the beginnings of the project. And I have to say that demonstration projects I've been involved with are very labor-intensive especially on the front end because you're trying to build this cohort of partners and stakeholders to help you facilitate the process. Once that's been accomplished, things begin to move more quickly. But this graphic just shows you a segment. People, the important players that were involved in this project.
Next slide please. So if we lay it out here. And we say, okay, what are the key components here of the things that we're trying to accomplish, okay, clearly Washington state and the rest of the country needs to figure out ways to have proven strategies and Best Practices developed that can be replicated around the country to reduce collisions involving motor commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, therefore, reducing fatalities and injury crashes as a result of those events. This particular slide again shows you that graphic that you saw at the beginning of this presentation that was a part of the message that was on the side that have fully wrapped semitruck. This is what we - the message that we landed on. We had several behaviors that we had could choose to focus on, tailgating, mind spots, those types of things. At. He said of our analysis, we decided to pick one of those behaviors that was generally agreed to as the one that was most important to figure out how to change driver behavior, that being, leave more space for trucks. If we could get the cars to not drive in those blind spots and speed by and cut trucks off as this picture shows, everyone believed that that would give us our best chance to measure some successes and change in behaviors. So the message on all our graphics and in the bottom of this will graphic you see a small replication of the roadway sign that we had which has the same message, leave more space. We wanted to make it very clear that they needed to do this. And it was very interesting, if you look at the original awareness, knowledge and awareness surveys from the public. And we asked them. And we showed them pictures or video of cars changing lanes in front of trucks, and asked them, okay, does that look safe to you, a lot of people where cars were leaving two or three or four lanes in front of a semitruck at highway speed and change inner lanes, thought that looked pretty safe. So we needed to raise their level of knowledge and wariness and change their behavior and we wanted to be able to do that in a measurable rate. We wanted to be able to evaluate that with some sophisticated measures to show that we could change behavior.
Next slide please. One of the things that we also in this project agreed upon, all of the stakeholders, especially those who work specifically in traffic safety, we chew knew in the past we had significant success in changing driver behaviors with some recent application of some new models. We knew from the survey data that we needed to educate the public about their interaction with semitrucks and they needed to change that behavior in order to reduce the rate of injury and deaths and we had to test something that a recent success, a very significant success in Washington state which is of seatbelt usage as a result of the result. Click it or ticket model so we decided to use the click-it-or-ticket model as a foundation for the TACT project. If we work very hard on communicating with the public raising their level of knowledge and awareness and combining that with strict enforcement that they're made aware of in advance, but doing those in combination, we wanted to test if the click-it-or-ticket model designed to work on something fairly simple in terms of driver behavior, wear your seatbelt, we wanted to test that to see if we could move that into some fairly complex behaviors, driving too closely, driving in blind spots F. we could apply the model, could we test that to see if that would work. We decided that we would use the click-it-or-ticket model, the heavy awareness component on the front end and backed up by strict enforcement and use that to help drive the project which is exactly what we did.
Next slide please. We've talked about two things so far, first of all, identifying the problem was not that hard. Identifying the initiatives that we could compile or use in conjunction with each other to change behavior, we knew were going to be difficult. We knew that designing a communications package, if you will, traffic signage, brochures, banners and enforcement and talking about that through the media in terms of purchase, bonus and earned media is a complex thing to do because you're trying to focus on getting people to see or hear the message, second of all, understand it, thirdly, interpret it and understand why it's important to them and fourthly, most important, actually have that be a motivated factor in terms of them changing their behavior. The picture is the highway sign that the enforcement used within the corridors that Captain Grondel will talk about it in a minute. If you've been involved in 403 projects or been involved in developing traffic signage which I'm not an expert at. My background is clearly law enforcement. This was one of the difficult pieces to first of all, design and secondly get everyone to agree on. But what you see is the final product of hours and hours of debate and redesign that we came up with. I want everybody to see it now because when we get to the evaluation part of our discussion today, this was a very significant factor in relating the message, having people see it more than once, having them remember it, and having it be a useful source of changing their behavior. So we worked very hard to come up with a public knowledge and awareness campaign, a media campaign that we could back up with strict enforcement and we worked very hard on it. The sign was one of those. The wrapped semitrucks was another one. The posters and banners we had professionally done, radio ads that we did. And we promoted a very significant press conference to get TV coverage which again really helped us get our message out.
Next slide please. Okay, and I'm going to now turn this part of the presentation over to Captain Grondel.
If we can go back to that last slide with the sign, what we wanted to do with the whole message of this sign was send a message, don't get a ticket but also what we wanted to get people to do, send a more positive message, leave more space. We didn't want a smear campaign. Because of the options that we did not decide to implement were specifically was a negative media severe graphic impact photograph campaign because we've seen in other projects and programs, you know, you put broken cars and dead people on the ground, it has a very negative connotation and it sends kind of the wrong message. In football, we told our players focus on what you can do. Hold on to the ball. We told them not to fumble because they fumbled. More importantly was putting out the sign as far as aggressive driving or negligent driving, the penalties for that which had varying degrees based on types of refractions and everything else because they all know if they get a ticket it's going to be expensive. And one of the things here too is the Seattle area as a study corridor, this was a difficult area because obviously Seattle as highly congested metropolitan area but it has very limited space as far as shoulders and the congestion is too high and when you start running emphasis, you start affecting traffic negatively. And so we had to look at some different options and some different areas as far as the corridors were going to be concerned as far as running this project. And so this was a very, I mean, so for the committee, it was a very difficult thing to kind of filter all the way through, get to the positive message what do we want drivers to do and then start looking specifically at what corridors do we really want to put this project into.
Go to the next slide. As far as the response and the obstacles that we had as a committee is identifying the appropriate highway corridors. Being able to go back and look at statistically significant rates of collisions at particular corridors and being able to identify these types of behaviors, those driving behaviors mentioned earlier around commercial motor vehicles and the collision rates. As both serious injury and fatal collision rates. And then looking specifically as far as any type of project, they're going to be other obstacles that you're going to be faced with. Are going to be faced with weather, are you going to be faced with other construction projects, anything going on locally so those are issues that we had to deal with in identifying those particular corridors and again obviously where's the safest places that we can stop that will have minimal impact on our traffic and be safe for our officers to stop these vehicles, both the passenger vehicles and the semis or the commercial motor vehicles. And part of the issue that we had to deal with is if we're going to put out a fairly aggressive media campaign, how do we help try to prevent the media bleed-over. And that obviously was going to be a very, a great challenge, especially in western Washington when I'll show you on a map here in a moment where there's an I-5 corridor that runs from Portland to the Canadian border and there's transient population and radio stations and TV stations that bleed over into each other so we knew it was going to be basically impossible to control and prevent some of those other areas to see how we can measure how much impact we have on those particular corridors. And obviously in this project, we - the committee itself, the steering committee was represented by a variety of other agencies to help, you know, facilitate the program, and as part of this we were going to bring in local law enforcement agencies to be involved in the enforcement campaign. So some of those challenges would be many of these local law enforcement agencies are not used to even operating on the freeways and stopping vehicles at high speeds. And we found that in our enforcement campaign, which I'll explain in a little bit, but being able to get them on board, one is because we really wanted to have, especially the local jurisdictions where these corridors were going to be identified to be involved in the project. And then obviously being able to identify all the training needs that we'd have to deal with.
If you could move to the next slide - another thing too that part of this project which makes this a very unique project is how we have involved the industry. Right from the very beginning, they were on the steering committee and then they were involved heavily with our enforcement campaign because many years ago we were involved in what they call the step up and ride and that was reduce injury through driver education. And the premise of that was putting a trooper into a commercial - up into the cab of a commercial motor vehicle and then calling out vehicles or violators to strategically placed troopers along the highway. So how do we get these commercial vehicles out there participating, get the companies to come and be involved and then the troopers to coordinate with the drivers, and because there are some challenges there between troopers and drivers because of the work that we do. So those were some of their issues but the Washington Trucking Association who was a strong proponent of this program and really came through as a great partner was able to bring on a trucking company for each day of the enforcement campaign. And that was actually it was 20 days that we ran this campaign and we had commercial motor vehicles that were involved in this project every day to run the emphasis for these bait vehicles which is a great success story for this as well, the cross coordination between industry and law enforcement. Now the other thing too that we had is part of the evaluation component was how do we validate some of the information? And that was through some traffic counters that are in some of the actual areas that we were running the corridor and what these traffic counters are, they're little appliances and they can measure speed and following distances between vehicles, being able to do some presurvey data and doing the actual data during and after. The problem was with some of that is that traffic counters are not in all of the traffic corridors so that was another challenge but it helped to identify some of the issues that we were dealing with. And identifying following too close and speed around commercial motor vehicles.
If you go to the next slide - we've talked a lot about some of the issues as far as where to locate the project. And yeah, all the corridors pop up there, okay. Up in the northern part of the state was the northern invention corridor and then down south you see the southern intervention corridor, those are the two areas that we identified that we wanted to run the enforcement campaign and the west comparison and the east comparison were the ones that the ones that we were able to compare if there was any change based on any of our enforcement or our media or anything else for this demonstration project. And these corridors were 25 miles long and ran through some metropolitan and rural areas and were areas that we could run the aircraft, and what was very important about this was, one, construction. Another thing was aggressive driving contacts and collisions, ability to pull trucks over. The media bleed which we already talked to and was the ability for us to be able to have our - utilize our aviation division to help as far as the enforcement campaign and that was critical to us. We couldn't do it up in Seattle because you have Seatac and Boeing airport and Tacoma, we had other airports. We had to move it so we could use our enforcement tools. In the control corridors, we selected areas that were somewhat similar and that was comparisons with lots of truck crashes but the idea was to measure driver behavior in these areas to compare with enforcement corridors to determine if the project actually made a difference.
And in each of these corridors, we put eight signs, there were 16 signs that were put into these corridors. And - actually I'll talk about that in just a few minutes.
The next slide please. When the actual tack project kicked off, there was a very specific timeline and I'm not going to go into all the educational pieces but you can see the very specific timeline we had as we started with very baseline collection data on June 30th and a media blitz and then we had enforcement campaign which was a 2 week campaign in July and a second phase in late September for the second part of this enforcement campaign. And the whole objective obviously was to reinforce the message from the media campaign is, you know, with this aggressive enforcement campaign to see are making a difference in driving behavior. And that was the whole point of our enforcement campaign which I'll get to in just a minute.
Next slide please. As part of the response and the education. And we look at the print media and the television and the radio, to get the message out other than the signs and brochures that were handed out but seeing this appear in major metropolitan newspapers which serves thousands of millions of people and then to see how this went nationally through major magazines as far as the transporter, AAA magazine of Washington and then the overdrive magazines. It's great coverage that that we received as far as the response. And the television getting the message on to the TV because media itself is extremely expensive but being able to then maximize that by the exposure that you have by the population that you have that covers, 22 times on 7 major television stations in the Puget Sound area is a great-to covers a great amount of population and the - as far as the transportation back and forth and the television media broadcast on these projects was great. And then you can see over 61,033 times public service announcements. We had a little jingle that went out and was played over 6100 times and that's on the traffic safety's website if you're interested in listening to this. Anything you want to add there, Lowell?
Darrin, let me comment one thing. If we talk about Darrin mentioned on print, television and radio, we did a careful calculation that says if we put x dollars into the media campaign which were significant, and we'll talk about budget later, and I believe we put over $300,000 into our media campaign, but what we found was if we worked very carefully in building a good kickoff and good relationships with the media and you work with a public relations firm to proceed note your communication tools, our calculation was for every dollar we spent in the communications effort, we got a $34 return in terms of bonus and earned media. So it was a very effective campaign where we leveraged the fixed amount of dollars for our community indications piece which was very important to the project but, at the same time, being very careful and strategic by where we invested those dollars, we were able to leverage those into significantly more coverage than if we just purchased media.
This graphic I just want to illustrate is the number of local law enforcement agencies that were involved in the tack project. They were approached and agreed to work with our officers as far as the tack enforcement and the steering committee, how successful that was and bringing the local law enforcement agencies on board, we could not have been as successful doing this whole project if it wasn't for the people working together. It was great teamwork between the agencies. The thing I want to bring up too is the coordination with the courts and anybody who runs that enforcement campaign has to bring their courts on board. And the types of violations that they'll be seeing but these local agencies, when we brought them on board, we had a morning briefing every morning at 5:30 and then we began our TACT emphasis at 6:00 in the morning. And we ran it until 3:00 and that would - until 3:00 and then come back for a debriefing, and it was interesting to watch the relationship because some of the agencies were like, okay, what's this whole thing about. You would explain that this is a test pilot project utilizing the same philosophy as click-it-or-ticket to try to change driver behavior. It was interesting when we were explaining that that people's attitude changed. This was an opportunity to be in something much bigger than they thought they were involved in. Congress was looking at. The federal agencies were looking at this. This had a huge impact to going nationwide. They took it much more serious and when they did the project, someone of them started off a little slow, some of local agencies hadn't worked the freeways and when they got into it, it was amazing to see the amount of work that was generated between them and the camaraderie between the troopers and the local agencies. Between the agencies and the state patrol, we had deployed marked and unmarked vehicles, and they ranged from Tauruses to expeditions to Tahoes. Those with smoked Windows had a greater advantage because they were able to blend in with traffic and really observe true driving behavior and being able to really effect a contact with somebody that just didn't see the lights up ahead and more of the halo effect. The project itself is the enforcement campaign, we would have our morning briefing. The commercial vehicle would be there as far as the briefing, trooper would get up there in the truck and they would begin the emphasis and the officers would either shadow the commercial vehicle or behind or go ahead and officers would call out violations. We had the plane that would shadow the commercial vehicle and again call out violations during that as well. If a trooper or an officer was not around the bait vehicle, because it had gone to another part of the emphasis because the emphasis corridor was 25 miles long. If it was another area, then they would just do some roaming patrols. Now the one thing that we found out in our first couple of days in our emphasis in the southern corridor which was the Olympia-Tacoma area, the turnaround routes, it was so long, it was taking too long to get the bait vehicle through the corridor so we ordered up two commercial motor vehicles. And this is a hats off to the industry because WTA made the call and they responded quickly and for the rest of that - those two weeks we were able to have two commercial vehicles on that emphasis corridor to continue to run the routes. And that was a great addition to our emphasis here in Olympia. Now aviation had a great vantage point because it could see violations from several miles back, call out to units on the ground, and plus, you know, the units that were in the unmarked vehicles. The one thing that we found as a great challenge of this was a common frequency, anyone running this type of project needs to have a common frequency to be able to go back and forth especially if they have an aviation section or a plane that's operating on the project.
Now if you go to the next slide please - as I mentioned earlier, the emphasis ran for two 2-week periods, one in July and one in September and to touch upon some of the violator contacts, nearly 5,000 contacts during this emphasis and 3500 citations issued. What the officers were told is that during this project, we want to identify every driver that we contact, no verbal warnings, so we wrote citations or written warnings for everything that we could so we could collect all the data and information so we could go back and analyze that very specifically. Do we have a certain age or gender to help us identify where the aggressive drivers are coming from looking at it from a variety of different areas. But the contacts themselves, 1478 warnings themselves, these are great contacts for a two 2-week emphasis. And the officer would explain the violation, explain why the dangers of driving around commercial motor vehicles either following too closely or pulling in too soon in a 90,000-pound vehicle trying to stop in a short distance and how that would impact them. And to see the response by the drivers, they started to understand and started to understand kind of the physics and dynamics of this whole process. And there were several drivers that I had actually contacted and some of them were the commercial motor vehicle drivers and several of them, I wrote they'll ticket for following too closely. They said I appreciate this because there's a wake-up call because I've been taking way too much advantage out here. The drivers themselves know but this emphasis campaign really helped the drivers and then it helped solidify our relationship with them as well. The driver or the officer would then give the driver a TACT brochure which we have shown, I think we'll show up here in just a minute, but it's an actual brochure that we gave to each driver, showed the message that we wanted, it had a little picture of the sign and on the back it identified the violation specifically that we were looking for with speed, following too close, and left lane travel and aggressive driving. And that was part of the enforcement campaign. You know, you run the educational portion and then you want to run a very aggressive enforcement campaign, and which we did. And if you go to the next slide - actually, if you go back one more second. In the first week, we actually started to observe, noticeable changes in driving behaviors. That was a particular overpass that I would work in the mornings and I started noticing after about Wednesday, Thursday, starting to see very few following too close contacts. And, you know, people just driving, you could see more distance between vehicles. Now I had nothing statistically to back that up but it was just a visual observation. As the week went on, officers were coming back in the debriefings and saying I'm having a hard time getting following too close or having a hard time getting this. And you started - and everybody saying, I'm starting to see a difference out here and was really kind of - I think for everybody there in the debriefings you know what, it was maybe we're making a difference, these are complex driving be houses and how do we really change them ultimately. And I just wanted to bring that portion up because we read a lot about the stats and things, but just the sight of the officers saying we saw a difference and when we did the evaluation through the traffic counters and through all this other data, we were able to say and show that in that time things were starting to change. People got the message even they knew we were out there and doing those emphasis, it started to affect traffic and reduce collisions.
We wanted to work through. We talk about our assessment or evaluation. Again just very quickly, we wanted to take the click-it-or-ticket it model in the issue of changing behavior around the motoring public around vehicle. We wanted to combine awareness and education and the media campaign with enforcement that Darrin discussed. We had a lot of partners and stakeholders working toward a common goal. So if we start to wrap this up and say, okay, you talked about what you did in building a program and enforcing the law, what happened? Well, when we start to look through the evaluation component as done by Dunlap and Associates which are extensively outlined in the final report that's posted from NHTSA. So if you want a copy, it's on their website. But look at starting at pigeon 15 and working through page 30 or so it, explained very clearly that we were able to change measurably change driver behavior when interacting around commercial vehicles. If we start to talk about these, how we did that, just want to touch on this briefly because we didn't describe this as well. One of the ways we designed a way to capture a significant amount of data was knowledge and awareness surveys that we posted and used at the Department of licensing offices within the enforcement corpses where you have a captive audience of people there to get their driver's license, we verified they lived within the corridor. And we asked them there to turn in the awareness and education surveys. If we start to look at this, we used the same instrument to baseline knowledge and awareness before the project and then we used the same survey mechanism afterwards. So again we conducted - we did it before and after so we had good strong data.
If you go to the next slide please - I'll leave this one up here for just minute. We had over 6,000 knowledge and awareness surveys that were completed by the motoring public and if I just hit the highlights of what we actually measured, some things were very important to us. We wanted to know if the media campaign completed its objectives of getting people to actually hear and see the message of what we wanted them to do in changing behavior around semitrucks. I'm not going to put up the charts and graphs. But the chart on page 17 on that particular element shows far yon our expectation but a significant accomplishment in terms of we were able to design a program that people heard and saw about leaving more space. The thing we did we measured and did they remember it and did it have an impact on the driving behavior. The answer to all that was yes. We wanted to measure the effectiveness of the road sign that we showed in the beginning of the presentation and a couple places throughout. Did they see the sign, did they understand the message and did it have an impact on them changing their behavior, clearly the data shows it did. I can look that the graph and say there's a clear difference between the people who drive in your control corridors and your enforcement corridors. The radio message, we wanted to know if it was effective. Did you hear it, did you remember it, did you understand the message and did it have an impact? And clearly the data shows that they did. The same things occurred as far as our television messages. Demonstrable difference between what they understood before and what they understood afterwards. The newspaper ads in the print media were effective through that instrument but the most important piece was we wanted to get down to the behavioral side of it. Was important that we understood were we effective in communicating their message but the most important piece was did they change their behavior? And clearly the evidence as documented by Dunlap and Associates again in a very sophisticated measuring instrument or several instruments or their protocol was that yeah, they did. People understood the message and they were clearly leaving more distance between trucks, either traveling behind them but more importantly when they changed lanes in front of the trucks which was the major cause of fatal and injury crashes. So therefore, on both front in terms of using the click-it-or-ticket it model, was it effective or can it be effective in changing behavior in a complex set of driving behaviors compared to something more or less complex such as wearing a seatbelt. The information there clearly shows that the click-it-or-ticket model can be modified can be things raising their levels of awareness, getting their to change their behaviors in a way that we want that we know will reduce those crashes. So the project, because I'm going to get downtime-wise to make sure we're on track here was very clear that we were able to do that. I'm just going to hit this one real quick and I'll finish up Darrin as far as the other slide. But there were several reasons that we were able to do that. One, we spent an enormous amount of time building the demonstration project but we were only to do that I based on having significant resources and partners and stake holders at the table.
If you go to the next slide where it talks about the assessment, Washington state number one, we said good infrastructure for motor vehicles and greater part shares. And we used the 403 demonstration project protocol and using it with the click-it-or-ticket it model and we were able to change behavior. I'll turn it back to Darrin.
One of the things that we see in 2005, 68% of the fatality collisions in Washington State were caused by the passenger vehicle. In 2006, as we can see potentially as a result of this project that went down to 54%. And in 2007, we're back up to 64% but, overall, seeing those numbers drop over the year as part of this project I think is very instrumental in showing that this was very successful in changing driving behavior. The American transportation research institute, ranked Washington state number one for traffic enforcement as far as CMV related crashes. That's a great accolade for us but it goes into a lot of hard work and dedication of the professionals involved in this project and everything outside of this project in order to enforce commercial vehicle safety in this state. The TACT, we used to be called the aggressive apprehension team. We've now renamed that TACT and I've got 10 troopers throughout the state who focus specifically on identifying those aggressive cars and those around commercial vehicles and aggressive trucks and that's their focus. Because we can do a lot of inspections as far as the vehicle safety components but we need to do the continuing to reaffirm that message of changing driving behavior.
If you go to the next slide, Washington State is not a state that people are leaving. It's continuing to grow as far as congestion and anywhere along the I-5 corridor and totally eliminating collisions is impossible, I mean, we know with human factors involved and all those things, it's probably an impossible goal but to reduce that and move the needle down is what our whole goal is.
If you go to the next slide - I wanted to touch on this because we're getting close to our time here. But we wanted to redo another TACT project for one week and see what kind of impact we could have. And what we did is we looked back and look at our east comparison corridor which is in Spokane and west down in the Kelso area which is just above Portland, we wanted to see as far as that doing the same project bringing local law enforcement agencies on board, moving the signs, those TACT signs down there and utilizing the same model. What kind of impact we could have. And over the one-week emphasis - if you go to the next slide, we were able to utilize a variety of trucking organizations. The Washington Trucking Association was instrumental in obtaining several commercial vehicles for both enforcement corridors to help us be the bait vehicles. And we ran a very aggressive education campaign, media campaign and followed up by the enforcement campaign and this for one-week emphasis was extremely instrumental for us. We had over 690 radio spots, the number listed of 590 is incorrect, we did recalculations, and it was 696 radio spots and 251 TV spots. A lot of these were over in the Spokane area which might have more of a media market than down in the Kelso area but in those areas, there's a large truck crash rate. So being able to get the message out around commercial vehicles in those areas as well as the TV print, radio, TV, all of that together in combination has an effect on thousands of people in those I guess the viewing audience. So this was some sergeant they did a one-week pre - actually a media campaign followed up by the end by the enforcement campaign. Those accounted for 65 of the total contacts in one week they had 3,000 contacts during that emphasis. And over in Spokane, it's kind of a mixed metropolitan rural setting. So these numbers are extremely important for us to say, wow, we do have some serious issues with commercial vehicle - around commercial vehicles, especially in both areas. 470 aggressive driving contacts in one week in the two emphasis corridors. And then in the Kelso area, there's more straight stretches which allows some people to think they can get up and go, and it's a very rural setting which they probably didn't expect us to be out there. But these are the great violations, a number of violations, four DUI's and this was all during day shift. Truck citations and cars, 1,168 going to the car which reaffirms the passenger cars are causing most of the serious collision in Washington State. The major part, we do a lot of saying look at the great outputs, we have lots of contacts and lots of citations. The ultimate outcome is did you reduce collisions? And the answer looking at the collision data was yes. During this one-week I emphasis we didn't have a single truck crash in either of the enforcement corridors. That's all I have.
Thank you. Thank you both for a great presentation. And we'll get to questions after the next presentation. Thank you to those who did pose questions. I encourage you to keep posting them if you think of additional ones.
I'm going to turn it to Tom Andersen of Interstate Distributor He's mainly going to be speaking so, don't be wondering what happened to the slides when you see the slides not clicking through. So, Tom, whenever you're ready.
Thank you very much. My name is Tom Anderson, I've been employed at Interstate Distributor the last sixteen years in the safety division of the company. My participation today is really based on my participation in the Washington Safety Management Council. It's where I've been introduced to the opportunity to get involved in partnership activities with regulatory and law enforcement and other motor carriers as well that I'm able to come and discuss our perspective of this project and the results. I really come to you representing all the Washington state carriers that participated in 2005 and again in 2007. And I recognize that the members of the trucking association that participated along with the state patrol and the Washington Department of Transportation, national highway safety administration, federal highway association and federal motor carrier administration and the local law enforcement, it clearly has been a team effort and that's been really exciting to participate and watch that take place.
A little brief bio about my company Interstate Distributor Company. It was founded in 1933. It's headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. We are a truckload common and contract motor carrier. We operate 2337 tractors and trailers, we employ 2941 drivers, and we have over 3500 total employees. And we provide 48 state dry van and refrigerated service routes in the United States. In the year 2006, we operated over 307 million miles. We have always maintained satisfactory Department of Transportation safety rating which we're very proud of. Just a real thumbnail sketch from a biography standpoint, trucking and automobile transportation is just barely a hundred years old. In 1954, the interstate highway system began construction. I was able to watch some of that take place. And then in the '60s, the bulk of the highway system was in place. In the 40 years since that time, we've added extra lanes on some freeways, completed some freeways and ransom belt-loop freeways around major metropolitan areas. But the highway system is in place, yet we've almost tripled the numbers of cars and trucks that we operate on our highways and freeways which creates a real challenge for the motor carrier industry.
Our goal at Interstate is to keep our drivers and the motoring public safe at all times by hiring and using courteous and well trained professional safe drivers. All our employees in the organization are involved in all of our safety campaign. We place a large emphasis on crash and injury prevention. And we do a great deal of crash analysis and that drives our safety initiatives. Rear-end collisions have been identified as a significant problem in our safety efforts over the last several years and an emphasis is continually placed on truck speed and following distance with our drivers and in our training and awareness campaigns. Interestingly enough, in those safety meetings when we talk about following distance, our drivers have historically told us when they leave the appropriate six-second following distance on the freeway or the highway, it's very difficult because traffic especially around the metropolitan areas continually dives into that open space. Hence, it was really logical and a great opportunity when the step-up-and-ride program and the TACT pram got launched in Washington state. All of our drivers are required to attend quarterly safety classes.
Interstate as was mentioned earlier, is active in partnerships here in Washington and on the national level as well. We partner in lots of areas with the trucking association here and with the Washington State Patrol, Washington Department of Transportation. Traffic Safety Commission, the utilities and transportation commission and the FMCSA. We've been in no-zone campaigns, we do driver's education classes with Washington State Patrol. And a safety campaign and most especially the TACT program here recently. Coalition of state safety and regulatory folks already mentioned in partnership with federal motor carrier began studying this vehicle and commercial motor-vehicle crash problem several years ago. The TACT program logically or gladly was birthed by that effort. Interstate's safety goals and the TACT's safety goals are the same: We want to reduce car-truck crashes wherever possible and in any way possible. In a very, very general sense, trucks need almost twice as much space to stop as cars do, cars and pickup trucks, and whether it's at highway speeds or at 30 miles an hour on a surface street, trucks need more space to stop. And hence, the following distance is critical. We train and preach a six-second following distance to our drivers at highway speeds. The TACT program through enforcement and education reminds car drivers of that need to leave more space. Interstate gladly got on board. We provided a tractor and a trailer for the news crews driving along filming safety spots at the very launch of the TACT program. And when we had the opportunity, when the enforcement periods took place, we provided a driver, a tractor and a trailer working along with a Washington State Patrol officer in the cab, both in 2005 and in 2007. We were one of more than two dozen carriers that provided trucks and drivers for those enforcement actions.
The results have been very well presented today. They're very positive in creating more safety and reducing severity crashes and crashes overall. Drivers from our company that participated in the enforcement with the officers onboard came back and talked to me afterwards and they were amazed, amazed at the level of violations that were identified, the response by law enforcement, and how much the partnership was effectively working with a patrol officer in the truck. In general, what we've done is we've taken the TACT program and the results that it gained and we've incorporated that into our driver safety programs and driving safety campaigns. Drivers that have heard about it are very positive about it because they see the partnership of industry, state and federal agencies recognizing a problem that they've been dealing with for decades. And they see that their concerns are being considered and responded to. We also see it within our drivers as a great way to bridge the gap between enforcement and drivers. And recognition that there are shared goals between our drivers in our safety department and law enforcement does a nice job of bridging that point and I've watched it transform opinions and impressions of our drivers through that process.
We did provide a 53-foot van to be permanently fitted with the graphics, the TACT graphics that you saw earlier in the slide program. And we got that with funding from the Washington - with help through funding through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Our TACT trailer runs 48 states and within the last couple of weeks, it has traveled between Los Angeles and Seattle and from Seattle down to Arizona, from Arizona back up to Portland, Oregon, and just recently it moved from the Portland, Oregon area back to the Kansas City area so it gets a lot of exposure nationwide. It's a great rolling billboard and a classroom. And our drivers report that when the trailer's out moving on the road that it gets a lot of interesting looks from the people passing. The conclusions that I have and that we've reached here at interstate is that shared safety goals working in partnership with state and federal regulatory and enforcement agencies in our industry has been a success in Washington state. And our hope is that it will spread nationwide and be embodied into the enforcement and safety campaigns in all of the states. We're going to stay involved in the TACT program and similar initiatives and continue to use the information gathered in our own safety programs to our own drivers and staff. And I appreciate the ability to participate today.
Thank you. I appreciate the presentation. I hope everybody enjoyed these presentations. We'll move on to the question-and-answer session in just a moment. Before we get to that, wanted to mention that FMCSA is currently working on advancing the TACT program in select states. Some of you may have heard about Federal Highway's Freight Peer-to-Peer Program. It's a program for states and MPOs to work with peer experts to try to advance a freight related initiative. If you're interested in implementing a TACT program in your state, we may be able to arrange a peer exchange for that topic. Please contact Kate Quinn r if you're interested and she can provide you with more information.
We'll move on to the questions. Most of the questions I believe are for Lowell and Captain Grondel, but Tom, if you want to jump in with anything, feel free.
What type of legislative action was required, and how did you go about accomplishing that?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
Actually, we didn't have to have any legislative action to enable or allow the project to be done. The state patrol and the Traffic Safety Commission, in their mission, this is what our job is so the activities that we were going to do were things that are normal courses of business in part in other projects. So we didn't require any legislative action. However, we did a significant amount of educational work with key legislators, first of all, the governor's office, with policy staff to make sure they understood what we were doing and why we were going to do it so they understood we were entering into an agreement with the Federal Government. And we went to the minority and majority leaders on the transportation committee to make sure what we were going to do and why. All the political and elected officials that we contacted were very supportive because they're very concerned about these events and they were glad to see that we were doing something. So we needed no specific legislative authorization other than to make sure the governor's policy and the staff and the governor were aware and they were supportive. One thing to remember, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is a unique entity that oversees and coordinates all safety efforts and funding in the state. So the governor the chair of the commission. And so we got direct access to executive cabinet and political leaders and all we had to do is tell them what it was we were wanting to go. And we got their approval and we were able to move forward.
Thank you. The next question is can you share a little bit about what role the judicial system played in the program?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
The courts didn't play a huge role at the very beginning. You know, a lot of people said I may challenge this in court but doing the prework ahead of time, letting them know what we were doing and the type of violations, that helped a lot to educate the judges in saying we are not going to dismiss the tickets because this has an impact on public safety as well and they're not just running emphasis but they're running a specific enforcement campaign. So I didn't hear a whole lot of feedback back from the courts on that but we did hear about a few tickets being dismissed here and there, but for the most part, they were very supportive about it.
And one thing you need to remember and Darrin touched on this earlier, when you run a program that's going to generate this much production in terms of infractions, citations, that type of court activity, the court administration needs to know that this is coming. And one of the things that we did was project to them what we thought the level of production would be and the increases of average per day or per week of infractions and citations that would be submitted to the court. So that they could staff for. That we also let them know like we have in the past that if it was so adverse to their staffing levels that production was so high on infractions that we would help them with some funding to pay for overtime to make sure that have the court staff was able to receive the infractions and citations, enter them into the system in a timely manner as required by statute and then process them so we're sensitive to the courts not to send a tidal wave of activity to them and have them not be prepared for if. And that worked very well.
Thank you. The next comment is from somebody who would be interested in receiving a copy of the TACT brochure. Can that be downloaded from the website or should people contact one of you to obtain the brochure?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
Everything is available on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission website. You can download it. We've got everything there. My contact information is available, also the program manager in my office who was - who ran the project and who is still available, if you need more help, is Penny Nerup and so her e-mail address is email@example.com. That website is listed on our website. If you can't get it, if you contact us, we will make sure that you get it to you. On the slide, showing on everybody's screen, the last two bullets, I do have the Washington traffic commission website and the TACT website which is linked to the WTSC website.
Next question, do you think that a program like this can apply in a state where a majority of the automobile and CMV traffic is simply passing through the state?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
I don't know why it wouldn't because you still have - well, yeah, I think it would be very influential because we saw a lot of state plates as far as our data collection going back and forth through Portland, Oregon and up through Canada and a lot of that traffic up there especially in the northern corridor was going back and forth across the border. So I think it would be very impactful especially the message that you're trying to send and the enforcement campaign if you have the types of violations that we've been discussion here today and have that impact, even if it's a transient population going through, looking at your accident rates and commercial motor vehicles and that whole thing, I think two still have a great impact.
The only thing I would add to Darrin's comments, if you were referring to a small east coast state, only thing I would do differently in terms of strategy was to make sure that our communications plan actually looked at doing purchased, earned and bonus and getting earned and bonus media and move that so you can make sure that you can help the front load that transient or commuter population. And that would not be too hard to do, if you're especially working through a pr firm. Take whatever communications plan you have for that particular state or that particular area. There are ways to place purchase media, get bonus media and produce earned immediate why in those markets. And if you were talking about a fairly consistent amount or group of commuting or transient population, that that would help preeducate them about what's going on and tell them why their behavior should be changed when traveling through this area. Because one thing I didn't touch on earlier was when it came to running the enforcement program that Darrin outlined very carefully for you, in our premedia messaging, we told them everything. We told them where, we told them when. We told them how. We told them who. We gave them all that information so in a court of public opinion it wasn't viewed as a sneak attack. And we found that when the officers were stopping people, they said, yep, I heard the messages. My fault. That type of thing. But what I found in terms of being in law enforcement and on the traffic safety side of the business, you got no reason to make these programs into a sneak attack so by using the communication program and moving it to the appropriate areas and front loading the commercial motorists or commercial drivers, that is you would help the drivers. So that's the only modification that I would make.
The next question, you answer it had in the presentation but I'll ask it. Was there a crash reduction as a result of the program? I
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
And we're continuing to monitor that in kind of a longitudinal way because we had the ability to capture all of the data through, you know, allows and awareness data pre or post the project. We want to make sure we got good clean crash data so researchers need to look at that and say if you had an impact at what magnitude or to what degree did that actually work? So we're still looking to produce that information.
In that latest emphasis that we just ran in that particular corridor, is looking to see if that can reduce the collisions in that corridor. The week prior to our emphasis, they had a collision involving a commercial motor vehicle that was due to speed, too fast for conditions. And so - and then the following week we were ran the emphasis and there was no collisions so that was is just one example, but overall, it's looking back at the actual emphasis corridors themselves and saying are you reducing collisions in that particular section which would affect other areas as well. So - yes.
Okay. Next question, when there are violations, what are the percentages (#violations/# vehicles) for CMVs versus passenger cars?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
Overall, we have a TACT emphasis program that we have in our commercial vehicle division. We have 10 officers working statewide and just looking at their data for the last two years, 2006 and 2007 is between aggressive driving for - actually in 2006, they had 3280 contacts just for aggressive driving, those 10 officers. The breakdown for that is 3,000 passenger cars and 231 semis or commercial vehicles. That's about 6% - I'm sorry, 7% in 2006 and approximately 6% in 2007 year-to-date. And then if you look at following too closely, the breakdown is again 1470 following too closely contacts that we have made. Of that, 1321 of those are the car and 149 are the commercial motor vehicle and that's 11% in 2006 and 7% in 2007 year-to-date. So - and then I've got them broken out for speed and left lane and negligent driving. So - and that's what we're basically focusing on and aggressively driving is just being two or more violations in combination like speeding, following too close and then, you know, maybe a lane change, so there's two or three violations involved there to make it aggressive driving.
Just add to what Darrin said, his reflection of what they see normally in terms of their enforcement activities was almost exactly what we saw during the project if you broke it down in terms of total number of vehicles contacted. You break it out by passenger vehicles and trucks. It was about the same so you're running at about 10%. So really about 90, somewhere on average around 90% of the people being stopped for those violations were passenger car violators and not the commercial motor vehicles.
Yeah, and the thing that I want to emphasize because we got a lot of phone calls on this is that the whole perception in the public was the commercial vehicle that's causing the collisions. And when you do the data and you show and display the information and show that it's truly the passenger vehicle that is the major cause of a lot of these collisions, it started to change perception. It was a very difficult thing at first because people didn't want to believe it. They thought it was the big trucks and buses causing the collisions. Showing that statistic helped the public say maybe we need to relook at this. Going back to the title of the program, it's ticket aggressive cars and trucks because many people thought you're not really looking at the trucks. You're just looking at the passenger car. Well, no. It's a whole package. You have to look at both sides because both have to share the road safely. So, yes, we looked at all the violations. And in this project, it had to have a nexus to a commercial vehicle. It had to be speeding past the semi, following too close to the semi and that was part of our enforcement campaign.
Okay. Thank you. Our next question is follow-up data collection/observations planned to assess the spiked compliance aspect typically associated with stepped up enforcement and signing programs (i.e. compliance decreases with time)?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
Well, I think that's one of the reasons that we wanted to do a follow-up project this year is to see did we have - did we make a difference and as far as running this program what other - or what information can we get back out to the public to reaffirm being safe around commercial motor vehicles. And as far as the continuing - as far as the data, that I don't know if traffic safety is doing a follow-up on that or not.
No, we haven't - right now we haven't planned to look at residual effects of the enforcement. What we decided to support the effort to run the second project to see if we could replicate the successes of the TACT project. One of the things we're trying to do with the evaluators is seeing what we can do with in-pavement recorders and information we receive from enforcement and the state patrol. But right now we're focused on retesting the methodology again. We haven't looked at a spike ratcheting effect.
Does Washington have an aggressive driving statute and if so, was that used or were individual statutes used for citations?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
There's no specific aggressive driving statute. It's mainly cited under reckless driving or negligent driving. And that's what they utilize but they call it aggressive driving.
We haven't developed a specific law. We were to develop a definition which has been used around the country as kind of a good model and the definition which Darrin touched on earlier was the definition of aggressive driving is two or more violations in concession with each other or a single violation that causes another motorist to have to take evasive action to avoid a crash. By using that definition, the laws that were currently on the books actually worked for us because we can write speeding following too closely, unsafe lane change on an infraction but then capture that on the work reports from the police officers by them applying that definition and saying that's aggressive driving so we can capture which people were actually identified as aggressive drivers and then look at the data in terms of what types of behavior. So we don't have a specific statute. But we do have a clear definition that's used by all law enforcement when they apply it.
Okay. Thank you. That's all the questions that we have typed and actually one other question about the seminar transcript. The entire seminar was transcribed and the transcript will be posted in the next few weeks and I'll send an e-mail out when those are available. Before we close out, I'll open the phone lines.
If you'd like to ask a question, please press star 1. To withdraw your question, press star 2. One moment please. If you'd like to ask a question, press star 1 and record your name. We have no additional questions.
Thank you and actually while we were waiting one more question did come in. And that is, are the spacing signs still on the roadways and if so, have crashes increased this year?
L. Porter/D. Grondel:
Yes, the signs are still posted. We still have four signs in each of the emphasis corridors and then we have four signs in each of the control corridors that we moved over for the last - this recent TACT emphasis. And so yeah, the signs are still out there. And if so, have crashes increased this year? If you look - if we look at our crash data, actually look at our fatality collisions, from 2006, commercial vehicles are only responsible for 30% of the fatality collisions in Washington state whereas in 2006, they were 37% and passenger cars were at 54%. So there was - you could say from 2005 to 2006, there was a decrease in passenger vehicle-related collisions and increase in commercial related fatalities and then from 2006 to 2007, passenger vehicle collisions or passenger vehicle fatalities involving a commercial vehicle have increased 10% and gone down by commercial being the cause -
If we take the data for the first two months 2007 for fatal crashes, they're down. Our analysis in looking at the FARS data overall, the most significant contributing factor to that in our state for an unknown reason like we experienced in 994 was impaired driving. So we've worked very heavily on that particular part of it. But for the first seven months of the year, our fatal crashes are down 13%.
And overall, just to see and what we have had as an impact related to specifically commercial motor vehicles is coming down as well. Year-to-date, - well, sorry, yeah, I was looking at the wrong number. Just go with what Lowell said.
Thank you. I think we're at closing time now so we'll close out for the day. Thank you for all three presenters and everybody in attendance. The recording and the transcript and the presentation will be available on a talking freight website and I'll send an e-mail out when that's available.
We're working on planning the seminars for 2008, and thank you to those of you who have sent suggestions for topics. If you do have any additional suggestions or if you have an idea and haven't submitted one yet, please send me an e-mail with a topic suggestions as well as any recommendations for presenters.
The next seminar will be held on October 17 and is titled "Urban Congestion and Freight." If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. Enjoy the rest of your day!