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June 28, 2018
AAA and SEMCOG Announce Walk-Bike-Drive Safety Partnership
                   


 

News Release
June 28, 2018                                                           
 
Contacts:         
AAA - The Auto Club Group                                                              SEMCOG                                       
Susan Hiltz, Public Affairs Director, Michigan                            Trevor Layton, SEMCOG Communications
C: 586.940.0278                                                                                    O: 313.580.6195                         
slhiltz@aaamichigan.com                                                                 layton@semcog.org
 
                                                     
AAA and SEMCOG Announce Walk-Bike-Drive Safety Partnership
New SEMCOG Report Validates Growing Traffic Safety Concerns
 
Dearborn, Michigan (June 28, 2018) —  Summer is in full swing as the Independence Day holiday approaches.  With warmer weather providing more opportunities for people to be mobile and enjoy the outdoors, pedestrian, bike and vehicle traffic is expected to increase.  Regardless of how people are traveling, safety should remain a top priority, according to a newly released “Quick Facts” Report  from SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
 
In response to the findings from this report and in an effort to address growing concerns about traffic safety, AAA and SEMCOG will be officially announcing their Walk-Bike-Drive Safety Partnership in conjunction with SEMCOG’s Southeast Michigan Communicators Network conference being held at Little Caesars Arena this afternoon.  The two organizations will team up with communities and agencies throughout the region to educate the public through media, material and information distribution, community events and public awareness activities throughout the year.
 
“The main goals of our partnership are to reduce the number and severity of non-motorized crashes, increase knowledge of the responsibilities of walkers, bicyclists and motorists, and build respect between all road users,” said Kathleen Lomako, Executive Director of SEMCOG.
 
“As an advocate for the motoring, biking and walking public, AAA is honored to join forces with SEMCOG in this important effort to increase public awareness about traffic safety. We look forward to having a positive impact on Michigan motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians with this partnership,” added Susan Hiltz, Michigan Public Affairs Director for  AAA – The Auto Club Group.
 
AAA and SEMCOG offer these Walk, Bike, Drive Safety Tips:
 
Walk Safe
Always
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street and watch for turning vehicles.
  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections.
  • Obey all traffic signals. Only enter the street during the “WALK” symbol when crossing at a signal.
  • Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
  • Yield the right-of-way to motorists and bicyclists when crossing outside of a marked crosswalk.
  • Give ample time for a vehicle to yield prior to entering the street.
Never

  • Assume drivers see you. Wait for them to stop and make eye contact before crossing a street.
  • Walk after dark and in bad weather without bright and reflective clothing.
  • Walk distracted, including talking or texting on your phone or listening to headphones.
 
Bike Safe
Always

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Watch for turning vehicles at intersections and driveways.
  • Use your hands to signal when you plan to turn, slow down, or stop.
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet.
  • Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on sidewalks or crosswalks.
  • Give an audible warning before you pass people on a sidewalk or bicyclists on the road or path.
Never

  • Ride after dark without a white headlight, a red rear light, and bright and reflective clothing.
  • Ride distracted, including talking or texting on your phone or listening to headphones.
 
Drive Safe
Always

  • Watch for people who are walking and biking.
  • Yield to people walking and biking when turning.
  • Stop or yield to people within all crosswalks. Crosswalks exist wherever sidewalks cross roads, even if no lines are painted in the road.
  • Share the road with bicyclists. They are legally allowed to ride on all roads, even when there is a bike lane or side path present.
  • Leave 5 feet when passing bicyclists.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.
Never

  • Block or park in crosswalks and bike lanes.
  • Pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
  • Drive distracted, including talking or texting on your phone.
  • Drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.
 
Quick Facts Report – Key Findings from Southeast Michigan Traffic Crash Data
 
Traffic fatalities down, but serious injuries on the rise

  • The number of traffic crashes in Southeast Michigan remained steady in 2017. There were 145,427 total crashes, a down less than one percent from 2016, but still up nine percent from 2008.
  • Traffic fatalities decreased for the first time in seven years, down from 430 in 2016 to 369 in 2017. The 14 percent decrease was the largest decrease in fatalities in the past decade.
  • Serious injuries increased for the second consecutive year, up eight percent to 2,235 in 2017.
     
    Pedestrian crashes and serious injuries rising
  • Crashes involving pedestrians increased two percent, while pedestrian serious injuries increased 32 percent. Pedestrian fatalities decreased for a second year, down 18 percent from 2016 but still up 26 percent from 2008.
  • In 2017, pedestrian crashes still accounted for less than one percent of all crashes, yet pedestrians accounted for 22 percent of all traffic fatalities. Nationally, pedestrian fatalities account for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities.
     
    Bicycle crashes and fatalities down, serious injuries continue to increase  
  • Crashes involving bicycles decreased for the first time in three years, down 15 percent to 914.
  • Bicyclist fatalities dropped to five, a 69 percent decrease and 10-year low.
  • Bicyclist serious injuries increased for the second consecutive year, up 29 percent.

 
 
AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service last year and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG).  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.7 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to enhance the region's quality of life. Learn more about SEMCOG HERE.
The Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan was developed by SEMCOG. It utilizes the four Es of safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services to address safety issues in the region. SEMCOG uses crash data from the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC), to update various safety resources. Based on 2017 data, SEMCOG has updated information on traffic crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries. Crash factors identified as key emphasis areas include older drivers, younger drivers, pedestrians, bicycles, lane departures, drugs, and alcohol. Learn more about the Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan HERE.

 
 

About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

About Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation
Established by AAA – The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF’s purpose.


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