The Multitasking Driver: Research Shows Real Dangers

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3 fall Features MOVE is the publication of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators FALL 2008 VOL. 13 NO. 4 Anatomy of a Safe Driver Just as some scientists will dedicate a lifetime to finding a cure for cancer, researchers in the motor vehicle community spend years collecting data and analyzing statistics to reduce the number of highway injuries and fatalities. These pages contain some of the numbers crunched and lessons learned. 18 Find 24 Ignition Interlock: Keeping the Boozer from Driving the Cruiser Ignition Interlock has been around for a long time, but many states hesitate on full implementation possibly because they are unsure of its operation and purpose. out exactly what it s all about! The Multitasking Driver: Research Shows Real Dangers The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently learned that driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes. Tune in to see all of the results from this one-of-a-kind study. Departments 6 FROM THE TOP AAMVA s newly elected Chair of the Board and President & CEO reveal just how topical the issue of transportation safety is as we see a new candidate take the seat as U.S. president. 12 CROSSROADS Nothing beats the sensation of owning the open road if you re cruising it on a motorcycle with the wind rushing past you...except, maybe, knowing you ve got the proper knowledge and tools to do it in the safest way possible. 14 SOLUTIONS Do driver improvement programs really change poor driving habits? See what fellow jurisdictions have to say! 36 TAGLINES As you may have heard, AAMVA experienced some positive change and challenge over the last few months. Find out what s new and what it means for you! 28 next Traffic Crashes Just Don t Make Cents: Taking A Look at the Financial Side of Traffic Crashes With the cost of everyday things on a constant rise, Americans are always looking for ways to save money see how practicing safe driving behavior can positively impact your bank statement. Fall 2008 MOVE 3

4 4 fall MOVE Fall 2008 Move Online Projects The use of social media is on a constant rise. In fact, the Century Council just demonstrated how Web 2.0 tools like YouTube can have a big impact on sending safety messages. At Your Service Get some insight from fellow jurisdictions on what s changing with vision screening requirements. ECO BOX Move is printed on forest-friendly Anthem Matte paper using soy ink. managed to rigorous environmental standards. Cover Photo Your name could be here! Submit an original photo that depicts the theme of the issue, and it could be Move s next cover! So get out those cameras and brush up on your skills. The deadline for the winter issue is Dec. 31, 2008 and the theme is Enforcing Safety For more details on entry submission, visit and click on Move MOVE EDITORIAL BOARD Excellence Closing up the 75th AIC in Orlando, Florida, both an individual and an agency brought home a Martha Irwin Distinguished Service Award for making a significant impact on highway safety initiatives. SFI standards conserve biodiversity and protect soil and water quality, as well as wildlife habitats. SFI forests are audited by independent experts to ensure proper adherence to the SFI Standard. SFI participants also plant more than 650 million trees each year to keep these forests thriving. Mike Alderman, Florida (Legal) Shannon Barnes, Idaho (Technology) Lotte Devlin, South Carolina (Vehicle) Lt. Col. Doyle Eicher (Law Enforcement) Daria Gerard, New Jersey (Customer Service) Charles Gooch, Missouri (Legal) Tina Hargis, Iowa (Vehicle) Mark Holmes, West Virginia (Highway Safety) Jerri Hunter, Idaho (Motor Carrier) Patricia Mayers, Wisconsin (Public Affairs) Mike Miranda, California (Public Affairs) Tom McClellan, Oregon (Technology) Jeri Owen, Digimarc (Industry) Nathan Root, BearingPoint (Industry) Stacey Stanton (AAMVA Board) Barbara Tanius Freddy Williams, Washington (Law Enforcement) VACANT (Driver) VACANT (E-government) Connecticut (Driver) VACANT (Customer Service) VACANT (Industry) publisher Neil D. Schuster President & CEO Managing Editor Jason D. King editor Katelyn Wyszynski electronic production assistant Amanda Mesones Design & Production AURAS Design Rob Sugar (301) Mailing Address Move Magazine 4301 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400 Arlington, VA Editorial Potential authors should contact the editor to discuss proposed articles prior to submitting manuscripts. Copyrights 2008 by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without written permission, except for educational purposes where fewer than 100 copies are being reproduced. Address copyright queries to the editor. The opinions in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of AAMVA or its officers or directors. Advertising Offices Network Media Partners Inc. Executive Plaza I, Suite McCormick Road Hunt Valley, MD (410) Fax: (410) Contact: Ben Ledyard American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators 4301 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400 Arlington, VA (703) Fax: (703) AAMVA is a non-profit, educational organization representing state and provincial motor vehicle and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about membership opportunities, contact Dianne E. Graham, Vice President, at (703) or visit Board of Directors Chair of the Board George Valverde, California Vice Chair Charles O Donnell, New Brunswick Secretary Lynn Judd, Wisconsin Treasurer Dennis Kamimura Member at Large Judy Brown, Texas Parliamentarian John Batiste, Washington Immediate Past-Chair Glenn Turner, Florida Sharon Harrington, New Jersey Rachel Kaprielian, Massachussetts Johanne St-Cyr, Quebec Marcia Adams, South Carolina Mike Munns, Arkansas Demerst (D.B.) Smit, Virginia John Czernis, Florida Patricia McCormack, Minnesota Julie Allen, Missouri Mike Rankin, Ohio Firoz Mohamed, Alberta Amy Smith, Idaho Stacey Stanton, Arizona Regional Presidents Region I - Rachel Kaprielian Region II - Mike Munns Region III - Patricia McCormack Region IV - Firoz Mohamed Postmaster: Send address changes and circulation inquiries to Move Magazine, AAMVA, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Arlington, VA Bulk postage paid at York, PA.


6 from the top Safety Remains Priority #1 The first objective in AAMVA s strategic plan is to contribute toward George Valverde Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles and aamva Chair of the Board Neil D. Schuster aamva President & ceo a significant and measurable improvement in highway safety. Our activities to promote one driver, one record and one vehicle, one record, and much of our work with U.S. government agencies, strongly support this objective. In September, AAMVA was represented at the annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and had the opportunity to explain our older driver programs and the need for additional funding and focus on safety in transportation reauthorization next year. A similar opportunity gave AAMVA a chance to discuss safety challenges with the alternative and electric vehicle community. This issue of Move focuses on the anatomy of a safe driver by looking at important developments in ignition interlock, considering distracted driving developments and providing an in-depth report of the financial side of traffic crashes. Our theme proves to be very current. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety produced a report in mid-september suggesting that licensing at later ages substantially reduce crashes involving teen drivers. IIHS reports it is difficult to separate the relative contribution of immaturity and experience toward higher teen crashes, but the bottom line is that when we look at the research, raising the driving age saves lives. In the following pages you will also find articles on driver improvement programs and motorcycle safety concerns. Scroll through the electronic pages of our Web site where we look at vision screening requirements and uncover the connection between safety campaigns and social media a topic significantly covered in Move s Winter issue. AAMVA is working with a broad range of safety organizations, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Governors Highway Safety Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and many others to develop a common message on safety for the upcoming political debate on transportation reauthorization. A constrained fiscal environment presents many challenges, but AAMVA and its safety partners are converging on common themes to stress in the debate. Recently, AASHTO adopted language supporting our proposed one driver, one record system, and we will continue to look for partners to support our safety goals. At the end of September, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) hosted a Road Safety Forum in Ottawa for about 125 government and nongovernment road safety experts. CCMTA President Sherry Wolf noted that Canada s national road safety plan Road Safety Vision 2010 is entering the final two years of its term and planning for a subsequent road safety program is underway. The Forum was held in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police s 2008 Traffic Symposium and CCMTA s standing committee meetings. Move hasn t forgotten about REAL ID, and we cover the latest updates on a page specifically crafted for this important topic. And as went to press with this issue, the Department of Homeland Security was poised to release REAL ID grant funds to the states. Last, but not least On Queue and Taglines explain some of the important decisions made by our Board of Directors over the last few months. Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride through this safety-infused issue of Move! 6 MOVE Fall 2008


8 n queue Things You Need to Know Now UPCOMING EVENTS meetings Secretary Peters Helps AAMVA Celebrate 75th at Orlando AIC U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told AAMVA delegates that her agency puts safety first, and thanked the AAMVA community for sharing that vision. This is an important conference, and AAMVA is an important organization, Peters said, in keynoting AAMVA s 75th AIC in Orlando in late August. Motor vehicle agencies are on the front lines in ensuring that vehicles are properly registered, Peters noted, adding that AAMVA members are partners without whom we could not have made as much progress as we have in saving lives. Peters said that with the motor vehicle and law enforcement community s initiatives, we can be fully confident that our roads are safer and continuing to improve. Other highlights included: CLIPPINGS Immediate Past Chair Glenn Turner and AAMVA President & CEO Neil Schuster kicked off the 2008 AIC with a ribbon cutting ceremony. k AAMVA members braved the elements to attend AIC in the face of hurricane threats and heavy rain and they did so in large numbers. This AIC saw the highest attendance of the last 5 years in terms of jurisdictional representation, total agency and industry members and government officials. Board Chair Glenn Turner, chief of staff, Florida DMV presided over the meeting, and turned the gavel over to George Valverde, Director of California DMV. k In addition to Valverde, the membership elected Charles O Donnell, registrar, Motor Vehicles, New Brunswick (Canada) Department of Public Safety; Lynne Judd, administrator, Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles; and Judy Brown, chief, Driver License Division, Texas Department of Public Safety to the AAMVA executive committee. k John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, spoke at the conference and thanked AAMVA members for their partnership in promoting commercial vehicle safety, noting the It s (VIN cloning) the newest trend, mostly in highend vehicle theft, said Dave Ecklund, a locally based special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau. It s identity theft for vehicles, simply put. The Post and Courier, Sunday, August 3, 2008 December 3-4, 2008 Region IV Conference Planning Meeting Hyatt Place Las Vegas, Nevada December 5-7, 2008 Region II Conference Planning Meeting The Peabody Hotel Little Rock Little Rock, Arkansas January 7-8, 2009 AAMVA Board of Directors Meeting Crowne Plaza San Marcos Chandler, Arizona June 7-11, 2009 Region II Conference The Peabody Hotel Little Rock Little Rock, Arkansas June 28-July 1, 2009 Region IV Conference The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Lake Louise, Alberta July Region I Conference Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel Boston, Massachusetts For more information or to register for an association event, visit the Events section of the AAMVA Web site at or call (703) *All functions are AAMVA meetings unless otherwise noted. 8 MOVE Fall 2008


10 Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters discussed AAMVA s key role in achieving safer highways. Col. John Czernis, Director, Florida Highway Patrol was recently appointed to hold the first law enforcement seat on the AAMVA Board of Directors. CDLIS modernization project will improve system effectiveness, and will accommodate future growth and new requirements. He also thanked the community for achieving Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act compliance (all jurisdictions passed structure testing shortly after the AIC). k Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Homeland Security discussed many important safety initiatives. AAMVA and NHTSA have a strong working relationship and will continue to address behavioral factors in road safety, motorcycle safety, graduated license programs, older driver safety and improvements to the National Driver Register. k AIC attendees learned about progress in REAL ID and the latest developments related to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). k The AIC Awards Luncheon featured award recipients in highway safety, customer service and public affairs. The AAMVA web site details the recipients. k More information on and presentations from AIC can be found at Make sure to circle August 23 26, 2009 on your calendar now for AAMVA s 76th Annual International Conference in San Diego, Calif. looking ahead The New AAMVA As the association s fiscal year closed, the AAMVA Board made a number of decisions to resolve an impending budget shortfall and to position AAMVA strategically for the challenges ahead. The objective was to focus AAMVA s limited resources into areas where the membership receives a direct value. The Board made decisions affecting the following programs: NMVTIS, regional membership and conference support, law enforcement support, Fraudulent Document Recovery, AAMVA U, CDLIS fees, committee support and annual membership fees and dues. Details on the aforementioned decisions are available in Move Online at org/new AAMVA. new faces AAMVA Appoints Law Enforcement Seat on the Board In keeping with the 2009 theme building the foundation for the future, the AAMVA Board of Directors recently decided to reemphasize the importance of the ongoing partnership between law enforcement and the motor vehicle community. At the 2008 AIC in Florida, the bylaws were amended to establish a dedicated law enforcement position on the International Board of Directors. Chair George Valverde announced the appointment of Col. John Czernis, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), as the first law enforcement representative to hold this position. Colonel Czernis holds over 30 years of dedicated service to the FHP, and his extensive knowledge and experience will help carry the important LE/MV partnership into the future. M Contributors Tom Manuel Program Director, Driver Fitness, AAMVA Leslie Kimball Vice President, Communications, Century Council Brittney Asbury, Communications Assistant, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Katelyn Wyszynski Publications Specialist, AAMVA 10 MOVE Fall 2008

11 New Laws New Congress New State Lawmakers New Administration... No Problem Get alerts from AAMVA s The Week in Review and AAMVA s Around the States Sign up today and never miss a single bill or rulemaking. For over 75 years, AAMVA has been the recognized voice of the jurisdictions and a go-to source for federal lawmakers. And that isn t new.

12 rossroads Motorcycle Debates: From Dealer Testing to Helmet Laws There s been an interesting spike in the number of motorcycles purchased and used that correlates to rising gas prices people know that a smaller vehicle, like a motorcycle, will use less gas to get them the same distance as our four-wheeled friends (or in more recent cases, foes) do. Learning to ride one of these two-wheeled crafts is a little trickier than getting the training wheels taken off of your ribbon-clad bike. Therefore, some controversy exists over the best way to train novice riders and help them learn the ropes, and there is an ongoing helmet law discussion. But, regardless of which track is taken, most all states can agree any and all safety education and legislation is better than none. MSF Basic Rider Courses: The Ivy Leagues of Motorcycle Training Dean Th o m p s o n, director, Communications, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has five key messages for motorcyclists: k get trained and licensed k wear protective riding gear k don t drink and ride k ride within your limits k be a lifelong learner The first message for riders is crucial; training and operator licensing programs help develop safer riders. Effective rider training not only develops and refines the physical riding skills clutch/throttle control, straight-line riding, turning, braking and shifting but also helps in developing the mental strategies necessary for safer riding and ultimately affects rider choices and behavior. Taking a formal riding class gives riders a head-start on being prepared for the real-life hazards awaiting them on the roadway. Licensing requires demonstration of basic knowledge and fundamental skills necessary to ride. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourages all novices to take the Basic Rider Course SM as the best first ride on a motorcycle. This learn-to-ride course, developed by the MSF and available at more than 1,900 training sites across the U.S., includes five hours of classroom instruction and ten hours of riding exercises, and concludes with a riding skills test. An overwhelming majority of states accept this skills test in lieu of a DMVadministered riding skills test. Some training sites are part of a state-run program, some are independent establishments, some sites are located at colleges or shopping malls and some are located at or even run by motorcycle dealerships. Regardless of the entity running the site, all of them can deliver quality training. All sites that use MSF curricula are held to the same standards of curriculum compliance, quality assurance, and riding area layout, and must use MSF-certified instructors ( RiderCoaches ). Some riders will have a friend or family member teach them the basics of operating a motorcycle, and will practice in parking lots or on side streets while in possession of a riding permit. Those riders would take a riding skills test at their local DMV to complete the licensing process, but may not be as well-armed as RiderCourse graduates with mental strategies that help minimize risk and the need to rely on their maneuvering skills to avoid a crash. Wind Through Your Hair vs. Air Through Your Lungs: Helmets Keep You Alive Ma j o r Da n i e l W. Lo n s d o r f, director, Bureau of Transportation Safety Wisconsin State Patrol One thing is clear. The use of helmets and other protective gear while riding a motorcycle serves to mitigate the seriousness of injuries suffered and even prevent fatal head injuries to riders that become involved in crashes. No one can predict when a crash will occur. If we could, everyone would make sure their seat belt is securely fastened before heading down the road to that crash. The problem is, we don t know when we ll need the kind of protection offered by helmets. In most states, the decision to wear one lies solely with the rider. Becoming a better rider can help mitigate the likelihood of a crash. Formal rider education is proven to make people better riders by enhancing their skills sets and opening their minds and eyes to the potential environmental dangers around them. Rider education goes beyond just skills, by delivering knowledge to the riders about risk assessments they will make in the future on protective equipment, travel speeds, alcohol intake, and fatigue. Crashes happen for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, they are unpredictable and often random events the exact date, time and location is unclear. Statistical analysis of crash data can help us predict some inevitable outcomes of crashes, but their specific prevention is a much harder task. With so much risk in the environment, one would think the decision 12 MOVE Fall 2008

13 to properly protect yourself is easy. While this is a much firmer argument in regard to seat belt use, it is significantly more complex relative to helmets. Why? Motorcycle riding is an experience in itself. It should be experienced by all people at some time to understand this point. It can t be explained. Much like a dog riding inside a car insists on sticking its head out the window so the wind can flop its ears and dry their eyes, helmet use verses non-use is closely tied to the experience. Let s face it, motorcycle riders are risk-takers. Riders are 37 times more at risk of dying than if traveling by car. Individuals are responsible to manage their own risk. People make choices as to the level of risk they will assume. Motorcycling is one of those choices. Helmet use is another. Here s the catch: many riders argue the helmet diminishes the experience. To a degree, this is true. It certainly kills the wind through the hair thing. The inherent difference-maker is much deeper than that. For many, risk-taking carries an increased level of energy. Motorcycle riding naturally provides some of that stimulating feel. Riders feel more open, more exposed, more in control, closer to their environment and more free! To many, this exhilaration makes the risk of riding well worth it. Helmets, on the other hand, steal the openness, dampen the exposure, suppress control, shut out the environment and diminish that feeling of freedom. I liken it to one s childhood, when all you wanted to do was run outside and play in the snow and your mom made you wait until she got your hat and mittens on. After that, your rush to get outside was proportionally tempered. Clearly helmets save lives. By nature, the will to put one on, each and every time, so as to protect oneself is not forthcoming anytime soon. M Fall 2008 MOVE 13

14 olutions Driver Improvement Programs: What Works? fter s w a p p i n g a l i c e n s e a n d registration for a freshly printed (or written, A depending on which road you re traveling) ticket, many drivers continue down the road at a slower pace than they were traveling moments before, or at least more weary of not running stop signs and red lights, while pondering whether they will show up for an all-day driver improvement class, or allow a print deduction from their driving record. The Two Methods In California, the aforementioned classes are taught in a traffic violator school* (TVS) where drivers are provided a refresher course on the rules of the road all for the small fee of not having points deducted from their record (which in many states, helps avoid a hike in insurance fees, courts fees, etc.). Afterwards, they can show proof of their course completion to the court and have citations completely removed from their record. However, studies done on California s TVS Citation Dismissal Policy show that, as educational as they may be, often they are not a strong enough force to offset poor driving behavior. That is where the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) comes in. California s NOTS adds different points to a persons driving record, depending on the traffic law violation. All levels of intervention have a significant (i.e., real and reliable) effect in reducing the rate of subsequent traffic citations, said Mike Gebers, California Department of Motor Vehicles, Research and Development Branch. In general, the size of the citation reduction increases with the intensity of the intervention, with warning letters producing the smallest effect and probation violator suspensions producing the largest reductions. Evidence indicates that all NOTS intervention levels probably reduce the subsequent rate of collisions as well, Gebers said. In addition, evaluations have shown NOTS to be highly cost-beneficial, in that the economic value of crashes prevented vastly exceeds the cost of the program. Missouri also uses a system of deducting points from a persons driving record. Most violations are assessed a minimum of two points, but grow with the seriousness of the offense. Once a driver reaches four points within an 18-month period, a warning notice is sent alerting the driver that they are headed toward a suspension, or complete revocation of their license to drive. I believe the warning notice serves as a wake up call, if you will, and most people that are safe drivers will change their behavior and not commit further traffic violations, said Kelly McClanahan, Missouri Driver s License Bureau. This works well, because in Missouri, you only get the one warning, and then your privilege to drive is put in jeopardy. *offered online and in classrooms Louisiana s Behind the Faces program helps deter poor driving behavior in a unique way. Begin the Improvement Process Before Bad Behavior Starts While NOTS and other systems of point deduction may have a more detrimental affect on the general driver population, some states have found classes like the TVS work well on a younger crowd of cruisers. For example, in Florida, similar courses are called Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education Courses (TLSAE). These classes, largely aimed at teen drivers, provide instruction on the physiological and psychological consequences, the societal and economic costs and the effects of alcohol and other drug abuse, on the driver of a motor vehicle and traffic laws in Florida. And a helpful bonus courses are mandatory for all first time licensees, according to Mike McGlockton, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Since its inception, an effectiveness study has been performed every five years to determine if the course has any impact at all on Florida s year old drivers, said McGlockton. Our studies have shown the course has had a considerable affect on violations and DUI offenses among year old drivers in our state. Stopping young drivers from practicing bad behavior before they are even given a chance to start is a pro-active way to ensure that they carry those messages with them onto the road and into the future. Media Messages California and Florida are two of the few states to see the benefits of researching these driver safety issues. And while there is little other statistical information on whether or not the basic driver improvement programs are capable of influencing drivers to change bad habits on the highways, the general consensus is that a penalty or a chance to improve should exist, and does impact future driving behavior. Losing points on a driver record may sometimes prove a better deterrence to bad driving behavior because of its physical presence a flaw on a record, a hike in insurance costs, etc. However, drivers making mistakes need to know what they were and how to correct them once they get back on the road. Courses geared at more specific causes seem to show positive results. For example, in Louisiana there are some programs aimed directly at young drivers, and other victimbased programs that go beyond the typical protocol of re-teaching proper driving technique, and supplement that with showing real-life examples of the devastation poor driving habits can lead to. For example, graphics of accidents paired with survivors of crashes, or talks with the families of victims of traffic crashes. 14 MOVE Fall 2008

15 As society becomes more and more drawn to reality-based entertainment, reality-based education has taken on its own role in empowering enforcement in preventing behaviors and in modifying destructive behaviors before they reach a fatal peak, said Cecile Bush, Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Motor Vehicles. Victim-based programs wherein violators are forced to confront the grief, rage, and hardship endured by the victim or victim s family and friends really come at the offender from all can imagine being a victim oneself as well as causing someone else s pain and suffering through irresponsible and illegal actions, said Bush. These more graphic tactics have been known to heavily influence driver s decisions and behaviors when they get back on the road. The many different youth programs available, such as Louisiana State Police s Behind the Faces program ( are tailored to present information in a contemporary light, realistically, not as a goody two shoes kind of thing, but as a young socially responsible person should be proud to follow, said Bush. You don t have to follow the pack. You can be a leader on your own. Available from the Department of Public Safety for school administrators, Behind the Faces is a 50-minute motivational production targeting middle and high-school students. According to the program s Web site, it features real-life stories, cinematic dramatizations, dynamic visuals, clips from the latest Hollywood films and a blazing soundtrack of today s popular music all media-related items that play a crucial role in a teenagers life, and therefore play a huge role in spreading important messages. Combining social media tools with today s pop culture helps wield teenagers attention in the direction of the message, and hold it there long enough to sink in. Understanding what our future leaders, employees, and parents of tomorrow are facing today, there is a great need to place before them media they can relate to, according to the Web site. There are many ways to reinforce powerful messages about safe driving practices, and Louisiana is one of many states accomplishing this goal by contributing educational material through media. To see other examples of how new media tools are being used to teach teens, check out our story Safety Campaigns Meet Social Media in the Projects department of MOVE Online! The Bottom Line So whether it s docking points from a reckless driver s record, nipping the problem in the bud by teaching novice drivers the repercussions of poor behavior before they get on the road or reaching out through different means of educational messages be it TV Commercials or sit-down classes Driver Improvement programs are necessary tools in reminding drivers of all ages and behaviors of the consequences that come along with operating a vehicle. M Fall 2008 MOVE 15



18 In the fight against drunk driving, perhaps nothing conjures more mystique than that of the ignition interlock. Although various types of alcohol countermeasures exist such as sobriety check points, license suspension, license revocation, use of the graduated license program, lowering the legal limits of alcohol content and raising the drinking age to 21 the number of highway injuries and deaths remain high. In 2006, alcohol was involved in 41 percent of traffic fatalities and seven percent of all traffic injuries costing over $148 billion dollars. The idea that a 50 to 90 percent decrease recidivism [exists as long as] the device is installed on the vehicle recently caused ignition interlock advocates to endorse devices for all drivers with drunk driving convictions. On the other side of the spectrum, some say these devices are not effective against first time alcohol offenders. So the question remains, why the disparity in recidivism rates and effectiveness between studies? Maybe it is because many know it works but have not figured out how to make it work consistently. To get the desired effect of the research studies, DMVs would have to mimic or reproduce similar conditions of the research protocols and most people don t know the specifics of those protocols. Drivers are sometimes biased because they receive interlock as an incentive or in lieu of a suspension, and are allowed to continue driving. Those drivers may have been prone to successful behavior, and therefore skewed results of some studies. The tremendous success rates reported in studies have fueled a cry of underutilization and a silver bullet approach to resolve the drunk driver problem. Today, approximately 145,000 throughout the nation use ignition interlock. Given the enormous road hazard drunk driving presents, and the known effectiveness of ignition interlock, 145,000 devices pales in comparison to the reported 1.4 million drinking and driving arrests reported each year. One barrier to increasing interlock use is the idea that interlock is punitive. Instead, it should be viewed as an offender-paid measure to protect America s families from drivers who prove themselves incapable of making the right decisions after consuming alcohol. The Interlock Issue Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have statutes or regulations requiring the use of interlocks. And this is enforced by either the DMV (administratively), the courts, or a combination of the two. States with administrative requirements tend to have more effective programs than those ordered by courts. (See figure 1) The prevailing thought behind the effectiveness of the ignition interlock program stems from the belief that Ignition Inter Keeping the Boozer from By Thomas Manuel the car does not start if alcohol is detected on the breath of the driver. However, research shows that this is not the case. The use of ignition interlock is a countermeasure that reduces recidivism in drunk driving only if once the device is installed, the ignition interlock restriction is placed on the front of the driver s license and the data logger events are closely monitored. The data logger compiles useful, somewhat better than anecdotal, eveidence for probation officers to dicuss the person s alcohol consumption, said Jerry Stanton, Ignition 18 MOVE Fall 2008

19 Anatomy of a safe driver Lock: Driving the Cruiser Interlock Systems of Iowa, Inc. The greatest value of the data-logger is confirmation that every failed test is an event in which a driver under the influence was kept off the road. Installation alone has only marginal effects on driver behavior. Some states believe that placing the ignition interlock in the vehicle is sufficient as if the device emits supernatural powers that ensure drivers adapt responsible behavior. Research suggests that the proper protocol when using interlocks is a little more complicated than that. Many state programs rely on the technology of the interlock rather than the effectiveness of the program, even though it has been demonstrated that it is not key intervention that solely reduces recidivism. The use and management of data logger events is an important part of what makes the program successful. Relying solely on the ideology and technology of the ignition interlock minimizes the success of the entire program. Monitoring particpants by reading the data logger is an essential part of a program, and what exactly that involves varies often or is undefined. Pinpointing how to monitor and read the data logger may help reduce disparity in interlock results. How it Works The ignition interlock connects a motor vehicle s ignition system to a breathalyzer that measures a driver s blood alcohol content (BAC). It employs at the initial ignition (or, car key intervention) and prevents the car from starting if the driver s BAC exceeds the setting on the device. A driver who has been ordered to install an interlock on their vehicle must provide proof of installation in the vehicle prior to re-licensing. After re-licensing, the driver provides a breath sample prior to each vehicle start. Once in motion, the device signals the driver to take random retests, to ensure the driver has remained sober, and/or another (sober) person did not start the car. New development in technology makes the use of digital cameras available to record the image of the person providing the sample, and stores the images with the data logger each time a sample is required. If the person fails or refuses the rolling test, the headlights of the car begin flashing until the car is stopped or the interlock is supplied a new breath. The data logger records all events of the car from random retest compliance to dates, times and alcohol levels to any effort to disable or circumvent the interlock. High BAC, failed rolling retests, rolling retest refusal, power disconnects and low mileage (to indicate the driver is not using the car) are all recorded. The driver is required to report to a service center each month, where the data logger download of monthly events is sent electronically to the authority that ordered the device. Any indication of high BAC, bypass attempts or other noncompliance results in a violation of the program and possible sanctions. There are multiple types of ignition interlock available from a variety of different vendors approved by state agencies using guidelines established by NHSTA, and while each differs on the method of operation and reporting, they contain similar data. According to research findings, interlock and alcohol restrictions should be placed prominently on every individual s driver s license enrolled in the interlock program. The driver signs an agreement to only drive vehicles with ignition interlock installed and prohibiting any BAC. This Fall 2008 MOVE 19

20 Photo of Igntion Interlock Device provided by Ignition Interlock Systems of Iown, Inc. Figure 1 Category makes it illegal for the driver to operate a vehicle with less BAC than the existing 0.8 alcohol laws. These restrictions are best placed on the front of the driver s license in red lettering immediately informing law enforcers of the restriction. Drivers that ask for waivers due to lack of owning a car or financial hardship should still have the restriction placed upon their license. It is imperative to apply a set of standards to monitor drunk drivers using the device and to ensure intervention is applied promptly and within 30 days of the download. Research suggests applying sanctions to those with violations, and drivers that do not comply with the program requirements should have their license suspended. Stanton believes in additional consequences, noting that fines, jail or other sanctions should be applied. The persons tenure on the interlock program should be extended rather than ended, said Stanton. No Interlock statues or Administrative Regulations 8 Administrative Regulation authorizing Interlock in an administrative setting. 6 Statues authorizing Interlock in court only 23 Statues or administrative regulations authorizing Interlock on both court and administrative setting 14 Number of States Successful Statistics Interlock studies have proven the value of interlock devices, when monitored correctly. Only in the randomized trials has the effectiveness of the interlock program been studied. Effectiveness of the device is based upon its impact on those who receive it, while the effectiveness of the program is based upon its impact on those assigned or eligible not just those who receive it. Jurisdictions should not be under the impression that because interlocks are installed public safety is automatically enhanced. The interlock can save lives, but only when supported by an effective interlock program. Over the past eight years such programs have proven very complex mired with differing opinions, political motivation and confusion from all persons involved (DMV administrators, DMV staff, vendors, drivers, and even legislators). To help lessen the differing opinions, a series of randomized trial studies of the ignition interlock was done by the Centers for Alcohol Substance Abuse Research Group at WESTAT, over a 12 year period ( ). In the first trial, two groups were randomly provided with alcohol deterrence. The control group used traditional intervention (i.e. Drunk Driver Monitoring Programs, self help groups, license restrictions specifically prohibiting any BAC while driving, etc.). The interlock group used the ignition interlock restriction for 12 months. The results showed ignition interlock programs can reduce an offender s alcohol traffic violation within the first year by 65 percent. A second study was conducted that did not validate the previous one, therefore it remained unknown if the ignition interlock could reduce alcohol related violations. It was either a coincidence the first study was successful, or a new variable was introduced into the interlock group in the second. In comparing the two programs, researchers discovered that staff in the first study proactively and aggressively monitored and sanctioned drivers with data violations. In the second study, staffs were more lenient-relying on their personal judgment that it was the device itself that was important (a common belief at the time) and not monitoring for program compliance. Researchers hypothesized that the second evaluation did not replicate the results of the first program because of the different program approaches. To resolve this issue researchers conducted a third study. In this comparison study, the control group continued to follow the practices of the staff from the second study. The treatment group established close monitoring protocols specific and progressive in nature when violations occurred: k Warning letters were sent for 1st violation. k The driver had to have mid-month service monitoring for the 2nd violation. k Restriction time was extended for the 3rd violation. k A personal interview with a staff physician for the 4th violation. k Suspension of the license for the 5th violation. Congratulatory letters were sent to drivers without any violations. All sanctioning occurred within 30 days of receipt of the data logger report. The primary data indicated the 436 drivers in the control group had 9,382 data logger violations, in comparison to the treatment study group with 440 drivers that had 6,728 data logger violations (see charts). This indicates a 39 percent reduction in violations between the two groups. The progressive sanctioning of driving within 30 days of the receipt of the data logger helped reduce the number of violations, indicating close monitoring is vital to a successful interlock program. There are important differences in the data between the two groups. The control group manually reviewed each driver s data logger print out, while the treatment group had each driver s data logger transferred electronically to a standard report. This standardization of reporting auto- 20 MOVE Fall 2008

21 mated the process by which violation letters are sent and provided data concerning the entire population in the study. Summarizing and standardizing the individual report is important for analyzing data logger events. The standard report allows the data logger events to be downloaded into a very fast processing server with a statistical analytical system (SAS) that is able to separate participants into categories, helping to ensure that everyone in the program is accountable for a monthly data logger. Staff reviewed only single-page reports of those that violated, eliminating manual review of the raw monthly data logger. The SAS creates the report which includes violations and the 15 events before and after the violations giving staff a view of what events happened around the time of the violation. The SAS summary report of violations during the time of participation in the program could later be used by the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) to assess violations and determine if there is a need to extend the program, or to recommend additional treatment, etc. Eighty-nine percent of all participants violated the program requirements at least once, and 53 percent of all cases were referred to the staff physician, who either extended the length of time in the program (criterion based removal) or suspended/revoked driving priveleges. The data logger events revealed a trend in cases during the last 45 days of the restriction. This review showed that during the previous 45 days, some participants had multiple high BAC violations, power disconnects, rolling retest refusals and failures. Few states have implemented an igntion interlock program similar to the ones that have been scientifically evaluated. Factors for Success Your program must have the following three elements to succeed: k The installation of the device. k The interlock restriction prominently on the front of the driver s license. k Close monitoring of driving in the program. Use and apply sanctions that closely resemble those conducted in research: k Warning letters for the first violation. k Mid-month service monitoring for the second violation. k Extend the time of the restriction for the third violation. k Schedule personal interview with a staff physician for the fourth violation. k Suspend license for the fifth violation. Research suggests all states establish removal-based criteria lasting up to two years for all drivers on the interlock. This permits the extension of the interlock device and adds an additional six months if the driver does not remain violation-free in the prior six months. Figure 2 Data Logger Event Violations (in 24 months) Initial Test Failure Control Treatment Retest Failure Retest Failure Disconnect According to Dr. William J. Rauch, Principal Investigator of these studies, it is not clear if such modified programs are effective in reducing recidivism or have other secondary or tertiary benefits. It may be that, given the large number of countermeasures that have been scientifically evaluated and found effective and the fact that little reduction in alcohol-related traffic recidivism has occurred over the past decade states just chose not to implement programs like those that have been found effective. But while many agencies are finding their sail through unknown waters with ignition interlock somewhat shaky, this study shows a significant impact in deterring drunk driving. M k Create a database to track administrative process and performance of case managers. k Ensure the location of the Interlock restriction is prominently on the front of the license in red lettering. k Introduce summarized and standardized reporting from the vendors. Automate the letter writing for violations and congratulatory letters. k Improve real time monitoring to less than 30 days of the violation. Expand the possibility of wireless technology. k Work with legislators to ensure new regulations or laws that specifically mandate progressive sanctions for non-compliance and specifically mandate those that are eligible for the interlock program. k Consider research for analysis on a randomized trial with the effects of suspension and revocation compared with randomized individuals with interlocks. Armed with these tools, your jurisdiction s interlock program should have a marked increase in effectiveness and help against the threat of drunk driver while improving the safety of the roads in your state. Total For more information regarding Ignition Interlock studies, find this article in Move Online Fall 2008 MOVE 21



24 THE Multitasking DrivER Research Shows Real Dangers B y B r i t t n e y A s b u r y, V i r g i n i a T e c h Transportation Institute With vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injuryrelated death in the United States for people between 1 and 65 years, quality transportation research has become a must. Researchers have been working endlessly to discover new methods and safety features that can help prevent the more than 40,000 deaths, 2,000,000 injuries and $150 billion in cost caused by crashes each year. In order to design new and effective methods and safety features, researchers much first find the causative factors in these crashes. Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have taken a major step toward uncovering those factors with the completion of the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study. 24 MOVE Summer 2008

25 Anatomy of a safe driver Fall 2008 MOVE 25

26 Nearly 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved driver inattention just prior (i.e., within 3 seconds) to the onset of the incident. Until recently, transportation research relied on analyses of police-reported crash data and studies conducted on test tracks and simulators. While these methods have been helpful and effective, there are still many unanswered questions. The only way to get to the heart of the driving problem is to conduct real-world or, naturalistic driving research. To collect the needed data, researchers at VTTI observed the daily driving habits of 241 drivers in more than 100 cars in a completely naturalistic setting. This research project was the first instrumented-vehicle study of its kind, taken on with the primary purpose of collecting data while the driver is in a natural and comfortable driving environment. This kind of study provides researchers with a more realistic and in-depth look at what causes a crash. Due to the unpredictability of driver performance and the random nature of automobile crashes, the collection of naturalistic data gives a more accurate perspective of why crashes occur, said Dr. Tom Dingus, director of VTTI and principal investigator for the study. For years the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recognized the need for collecting naturalistic on-road driving data. This data was especially important for understanding what leads to crash and nearcrash situations. In 2000, NHTSA, in partnership with the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office, the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) and Virginia Tech, awarded VTTI $3.7 million to study driver performance and behaviors that lead to crashes and near-crashes. The study consisted of more than 100 leased and privately-owned cars in the Northern Virginia/metropolitan Washington, DC area. These volunteers had their cars equipped with specialized data collection instrumentation for 12 to 13 months each. They were advised to use their vehicles in their normal daily routines and were given no special instructions. There were no researchers present and the data collection instrumentation was unobtrusive. The participants appeared to disregard the presence of vehicle instrumentation quickly, said Dr. Vicki Neale, director of the Institute s Center for Vehicle-Infrastructure Safety. Participants were captured in their natural environments of driving to and from work, picking their kids up from school, going to the store, etc. This project provided a unique opportunity to study drivers performance in their own vehicles in real traffic conditions, said Neale. In order to get the information needed to better understand the reasons crashes occur, but still keep the environment naturalistic, researchers instrumented the cars with an advanced and portable data collection system. This system collected the data for a year and provided video footage and vehicle-based details about the events leading up to a crash or near-crash. There are two traditional approaches to collecting and analyzing human factors data related to driving. One approach is to use data gathered from large-population studies that are often done at the national level. However, these databases lack sufficient details that are helpful for many applications, such as the development of countermeasure systems or the assessment of interactions between contributing factors that lead to crashes, said Dingus. The second approach uses data gathered through controlled experiments, including driving simulators and test tracks. However, according to Dingus, these studies cannot avoid a certain level of artificiality and do not always capture the complexities of the driving environment or of natural behavior. Test subjects are often more alert and more cautious in a simulation environment or when an experimenter is present in a research vehicle than when they are driving alone in their own cars, said Dr. Charlie Klauer, project manager for the study. The data acquisition systems are often compared to an airplane s black box. However, the system is much more advanced and includes five channels of digital video, front and rear radar sensors, accelerometers, machine visionbased lane tracker, GPS, and a vehicle speed sensor. Our extensive naturalistic driving study became a reality thanks to advances in technology and data collection systems, said Andy Peterson, director of the Center for Technology Development at the Institute. 26 MOVE Fall 2008

27 This extensive data collection effort resulted in approximately 2 million miles of driving, 42,000 hours of data with 241 primary and secondary driver participants. The data collected produced results such as 15 policereported and 82 total crashes and collisions (defined as contact between the subject vehicle and another vehicle, object, pedestrian, cyclist, or animal), 761 near-crashes (defined as a rapid, severe evasive maneuver to avoid a crash), and 8,295 incidents (defined as an evasive maneuver of less magnitude than a near-crash). Because the participants disregard the presence of vehicle instrumentation quickly, the event database contains many extreme cases of driving behavior and performance, including severe fatigue, impairment, judgment error, risk taking, secondary task engagement, aggressive driving, and traffic law violation. Nearly 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved driver inattention just prior (i.e., within 3 seconds) to the onset of the incident. Visual inattention was a contributing factor for 93 percent of rear-end-striking crashes. Hand-held wireless devices (primarily cell phones but a small amount of PDA s were used) were associated with the highest frequency of distraction-related events for both incidents and near-crashes. This data collection led researchers to discover that engaging in secondary activity tasks that require multiple steps or glancing away from the forward roadway increases risk by two to three times. Certain behaviors increased the risk of involvement in a near-crash or crash. Reaching for a moving object increased risk by nine times, looking at an external object 3.7 times, reading 3.4 times, applying makeup three times and dialing hand-held devices by 2.8 times. However, driving drowsy was found to be the most dangerous factor leading to crashes, as it increases an individual s near-crash or crash risk by four to six times. Drowsiness was found to be a factor in 20 percent of all crashes and 16 percent of near-crashes. This is significantly higher than the less than 10 percent that current databases estimate. Researchers found age was clearly a factor in the likelihood of being involved in an inattention-related crash or near-crash. These events decreased dramatically with age, with the rate being as much as four times higher for drivers ranging from 18 to 20 than older groups of drivers. While drivers younger than 18 years old were not tested, the results of the 100-Car Study have led researchers at VTTI to explore driver performance of additional age groups in another naturalistic driving research project. Researchers at VTTI partnered with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to conduct a study on the effects of driving experience on novice-teen driving performance and the extent of intra-individual variability in driving performance under specific driving conditions such as night and with teen passengers. The study is being conducted in two parts. The first part includes a test track study assessing on-road driving performance of recruited teens and parents in instrumented vehicles. Parents are tested twice (once at zero months and once at 12 months) and teens are tested four times (at zero, six, 12 and 18 months after licensure). Researchers are able to vary the test-track environment and test the participants in different conditions at different points in their licensure. The second part of the study consists of a naturalistic driving study. Teen driver participants are recorded continuously during the first 18 months after receiving their driver s licenses. Similar to 100-Car Study, a naturalistic method is being used in which the participants own vehicles are instrumented with cameras, sensors, and radar. Participants are instructed to drive the vehicles as they normally would throughout the 18 months. The results of this study will provide transportation researchers with a more complete understanding of how teens learn to drive over the first 18 months of independent driving. This type of real-world data has never been available until now. This study will mark the first time that exposure to various risk factors can be directly compared to involvement in crashes and near-crashes, which will provide a better understanding of the true magnitude of these risk factors. Results of the study are expected to be released in stages for at least the next year. The completion of this study and the release of the results will help provide information to legislators who are working on graduated driver licensing laws as well as other safety-related legislation, and hopefully lead to a significant reduction in teen fatalities. M Left: A view of the instrumentation system up by the rear-view mirror. Below: The 100-car study data acquisition systems in the trunk of a car. Fall 2008 MOVE 27

28 Traffic Crashes Taking a Look at the Financial Rising gas prices they re everywhere! And there s no escaping the alerts about a penny rise in prices, or an overnight dime increase, multiple times throughout the day in the morning paper, on signs on the drive to work, the evening news, the gas pump itself! Similarly, TV commercials, roadside signage and in-depth newspaper articles and reports flash scary statistics related to highway injuries and fatalities. But let s face it while the number of traffic crash-related injuries and fatalities has significantly decreased over the years (due in part to new laws, safety campaigns, and a better public understanding of poor driving behavior), our society tends to heed more toward advice that saves their bank account than saves their lives. So when the average Joe makes his morning commute, speeding past fellow drivers at an obnoxious pace, it s the billboards proclaiming the next winning lottery number and this months record high fuel price that get his attention. The important safety signs on the side of the road? He just whizzes by without a glance. But hey, Joe, here s some information that might make you slow down traffic crashes (be it one you re involved in or one on the other side of the state) can have you turning over couch cushions in search of loose change. 28 MOVE Fall 2008

29 Anatomy of a safe driver Don t Make Cents: Side of Traffic Crashes Fall 2008 MOVE 29

30 Not only do you have the car, use of police cars, fire down the highway, etc., The Background Most of America is tuned-in to the financial impact of highway travel citizens get a small, or big, glimpse each time they fill their gas tanks. And if the cost of fuel itself isn t bad enough, in 2007 the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) released the Urban Mobility Report, showing traffic congestion wastes huge amounts of that very pricey gas not to mention a lot of time that could be more productively spent at work (versus sitting in rush hour traffic) or on a vacation (versus stuck riding bumper-to-bumper on the way to the beach). Overall TTI s report discovered congestion on the nation s roadways causes a $78 billion drain on the economy over the course of one year. Now, if you think that s a large chunk of change, imagine the numbers a car crash adds to that cost. The Report In March 2008, the American Automobile Association (AAA) released the report, Crashes vs. Congestion- What s the Cost to Society? And the resulting answer was a lot. According to the report which took into account the safety costs of medical, emergency and police services, property damage, lost productivity (similar to the TTI report), lost quality of life, and other typically overlooked charges billion American dollars are lost to traffic crashes each year in the urban areas studied. That s over $1,000 out of each individual motorist s pocket over a twelve month period. AAA, in collaboration with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., modeled their methodology off the TTI study, using the same major cities and roadways to calculate the cost of traffic crashes as TTI did congestion. Eighty-five metropolitan areas were analyzed in the study from Akron, Ohio to Richmond, Va. to San Antonio, Texas. The results showed that larger areas lose more money to both congestion and crashes, but smaller cities incur a greater per person cost when it comes to traffic crashes. Why? Because smaller cities have smaller populations, and therefore have less people to take the brunt of the financial impact of a crash in their town. The Results The financial impact was determined based on the Federal Highway Administration s (FHWA) comprehensive costs for traffic fatalities and injuries, which place a dollar value on the following eleven components: k Property damage k Lost earnings k Lost household production (non-market activities occurring in the home) k Medical costs k Emergency services k Travel delay k Vocational rehabilitation k Workplace costs k Administrative k Legal k Pain and lost quality of life The Drivers and Riders Each of these costs obviously affect those involved in a traffic crash immediately, but can also have long term affects. Take for example, the medical costs. Someone involved in a serious car crash will, as is expected, have a mountain of medical bills and insurance papers to work through from the second the collision occurs, to as far down the line as the rest of their life. 30 MOVE Fall 2008

31 immediate and obvious expenses the loss of the trucks, ambulances and tow trucks, shutting said Gerald A. Sterns, a San Francisco Bay Area attorney. Not only do you have the immediate and obvious expenses the loss of the car, use of police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks, shutting down the highway, etc., said Gerald A. Sterns, a San Francisco Bay Area attorney. But beyond that, think of the staggering loss where there is a fatality; in many cases a breadwinner, so that you have huge amounts adding up over the years for loss of support to a family. In cases involving paralysis [there is the] cost of wheelchairs, and in the extreme, home renovations. The Fender Bender Boggle But say it s not a serious crash that a person is involved in. It is instead a small fender bender that maybe breaks a headlight or nicks a bumper. Maybe the drivers in each car only experience minor whiplash and walk away from the scene feeling just fine but little do they know, their future finances might be at risk. According to Patricia A. Richard, M.D., D.M.D. a doctor who specializes in the head, neck, ear and jaw areas fender benders can have lasting affects on a person s health, and a person s bank account. When whiplash occurs and a person s neck is whipped back and forth, they can suffer from various internal injuries to the jaw, neck and throat, and ear. More often than not, these injuries are not immediately noticed. Many times, it is not until years down the road that a driver involved in a fender bender feels the impact of whiplash, and it is usually in the form of allergy symptoms or an ear ache. Richard, both a dentist and a doctor of internal medicine, says she has seen far too many patients who come to her after years of seeing specialists for ear infections to no avail. They incur piles of bills only to have doctors tell them they don t know where the pain is coming from or why. As it turns out, many patients who feel like they perpetually have the nasal stuffiness associated with allergies, sore throat, a cold, etc. often damaged structures connecting the throat and ear when their necks did a two-second whip during a bumpy car ride years earlier. According to Richard, this damage prevents the normal drainage from the ear, and instead creates a build up that grows bacteria and causes painful ear infections, that only worsens over time. Similarly there could be damage to the ligaments between the jaw and ear, which increases the longer it goes untreated. So while a traffic crash has the medical bills typically associated with it, there are underlying costs that many people don t see until many years, pains and expensive visits with specialists down the road. The People Not in the Car It makes sense. People involved in traffic crashes regardless of the severity will see an expected decrease in the number of pennies stuffed in their piggy banks. However, surprisingly, people who just happen to be in proximity to the collision can see a dent in their wallet. The TTI report on congestion demonstrates a lot of reasons why passersby might be affected by a traffic crash since they are one of the leading causes of congestion on today s very crowded roads. Just looking at the wreck on the side of the road said Sterns, [there are] gawking rubberneckers who tie up miles of traffic, even though the highway patrol has moved the wreck off the road and tries to wave drivers through. Depending on the severity of the crash, the road block it causes and the resulting rubbernecking can cause tons of people to be late to work, late for a vacation, late for a great number of things all while wasting that very pricey fuel whose cost made them cringe as they hopped in their cars earlier that day. Fall 2008 MOVE 31

32 The Suggestions Moving Forward Motor vehicle and law enforcement administrators understand exactly how many efforts are made every single day to reduce traffic crash fatalities and injuries, and the costs surrounding them. The AAA report recognizes that there are many quality campaigns and movements to fight the good fight and reduce these numbers. But as the report illustrates, and it is probably a thought that crosses through the minds of members every day among the most significant challenges going forward will be how to change our culture of complacency as it relates to traffic safety. As disheartening as it may seem, ours is a culture of complacency. The good news is there are people working hard to make changes, and citizens willing to listen to what needs to be done. AAA made some recommendations that include finding more leadership and commitment at the Federal, state and local levels. Nearly 43,000 people die on the nation s roadways each year, reported AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet, announcing the results earlier this year. Yet, the annual tally of motor-vehicle related fatalities barely registers a blip in most people s minds. It s time for motor vehicle crashes to be viewed as the public health threat they are. If there were two jumbo jets crashing every week, the government would ground all planes until we fixed the problem. Yet, we ve come to accept this sort of death toll with car crashes. The government cannot be asked to immobilize all automobiles in the quest to reduce crashes, but groups like AAA, AAMVA and the many others who want to make a difference, can help raise even more awareness of the significant amount of lives and dollars lost to car crashes each year. The report recommends that leadership get on board and establish national safety goals and strategies to cut surface transportation fatalities. If leadership can attack the highway safety issues with the same fervor used to address major issues on the ballot, citizens might start to see less congestion on the road and more dollars in their wallet. The Crashes vs. Congestion recommendations also reiterate the importance of more research and evaluation (especially in determining which roads and bridges 32 MOVE Fall 2008

33 present the biggest safety threats), and a successful communications plan. Further, AAA suggests the transportation safety community needs to develop more effective ways of getting the general public to fully comprehend the weight of traffic crashes and how their individual behavior plays a huge role in safety. One Way to Do It Stern, who has seen his fair share of the costs that traffic crashes inflict, thinks that just as the cost of gas is flashing its ugly face at every corner (billboards, gas stations, newspapers, television commercials, etc.), the cost of traffic crashes should be similarly displayed. I think you need the numbers, said Sterns. It s the sticker shock of the posted gas prices that gets the attention. To some, alerting the general public to the numbers of lives lost each year does not seem as scary as the idea of losing out on a lot of money, nor does it hit home as much as passing a homemade cross designating the fateful spot of a past crash. Sterns suggests combining these two ideas into one productive method of communication, by posting the cost of an accident at the scene of the crime. Admitting that it seems a little grim and ghoulish, but [it] gets the message across, Sterns thinks writing something like: The cost of this fatality to all of us, not just the family of the victim = $5,673,000 or something of that nature would hit home tenfold, because it forces passersby to connect both the cost of a crash with the devastating reality of it. The Bottom Line It s bad enough how many lives are lost on our nation s roadways each year, and the added financial loss only adds salt to the wound. Perhaps though, for those lucky enough to have not experienced a traffic crash first hand, and the numbers of lives lost don t affect their driving behaviors, maybe the numbers of dollars wasted will. And motor vehicle administrators and law enforcement officials are a key tool in spreading the suggested recommendations from AAA throughout their jurisdictions, onto the roadways and into the mindsets of drivers across the country. M Fall 2008 MOVE 33

34 eal id REAL ID Updates and Impacts As states begin to make changes related to REAL ID, it may help to know what other jurisdictions are doing to prepare for implementation. To help spur conversation and communication, AAMVA created an online arena for jurisdictions to share information regarding changes in laws, policies, process, etc. Florida Prepares The first entry in the new online forum comes from Florida, where the legislature recently enacted several law changes affecting driver s licenses to be ready for Real ID implementation by January Here are some of the highlights: k Term Changes for U.S. Citizens and Immigrants with Permanent Legal Presence. k Florida Class E driver licenses will be valid for eight years except for customers 80 and older. k Class A, B, or C driver licenses will be valid for eight years except for customers 80 and older. Licenses with a hazardous materials endorsement will only be valid for four years. k All licenses for customers 80 and older will be valid for six years only. k ID cards for children five to 14 years of age will be valid four years. ID cards for customers 15 and older will be valid for eight years. 34 MOVE Fall 2008

35 Additional Process Changes Customers must present proof of social security number (for example, social security card or any of the following documents showing your social security number: tax return, W-2 form, property tax statement, pay check, DD-214, school record). The customer can no longer provide the social security number verbally. All passports, permanent resident cards and employment authorization cards presented as proof of identification or legal presence must be valid. Expired documents will not be accepted. Florida will no longer accept driver s licenses or identification cards issued by other states as primary identification. The term replacement license supersedes the term duplicate There will no longer be an option to issue a duplicate license. No fee replacement cards may be issued. The words Under Penalty of Perjury will be added to the current oath taken by all applicants and they should be informed of this change when they take the oath. CDL holders who receive a DUI conviction on or after Oct. 1, 2008, even while driving a personal vehicle, will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year for the first offense, and permanently disqualified for the second offense. These penalties are based on convictions dates and not offense dates. This is related to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act. M To see more examples like this, or to share your own information with fellow jurisdictions, visit the AAMVA Web site at IssueWatch/REALID/ FOCUS on the next cover of Move Magazine! Submit an original photo that depicts the theme of the next issue, and it could be viewed by thousands! The deadline for the winter issue is Dec. 31 and the theme is Enforcing Safety. For more information, visit and click on Publications/Move. Good luck! Fall 2008 MOVE 35

36 aglines AAMVA Restructures to Provide Value, Meet Member Needs So m e t h i n g happened on t h e w ay to AAMVA s recently celebrated 75th Anniversary in Orlando. That something was the association experiencing its first reduction in force since well, since as far back as any current AAMVA staffer can remember. Of course, state motor vehicle agencies are no stranger to downsizing, or right-sizing as it is sometimes called. As recently as this past summer, the California Department of Motor Vehicles was forced to furlough approximately 1000 state motor vehicle employees. And if the economic downturn continues, they won t be the last. For many in the motor vehicle community, this change at AAMVA Headquarters was not unlike California s. But while financially and strategically necessary, it was also professionally challenging. Some AAMVA employees, whose positions were eliminated in August, also played a significant role in the content development of MOVE. And we will miss their colorful contributions to this award-winning publication. But there is opportunity in adversity. And AAMVA, like many other organizations, is seizing this opportunity to rededicate itself to strengthening relationships with its core constituency: the jurisdictional membership. In fact, frequent PR WEEK contributor, Erica Iacono, proclaims in her latest headline, A down economy should prompt more investment in client service, (Sept. 22, 2008). The AAMVA Board agrees. As the world in general, and motor vehicle agencies in particular, come to grips with the crashing financial market place, sky-rocketing gasoline prices and a fledgling highway trust fund, the association, with the guidance of its Board of Directors, a recently completed environmental scan of the organization and a communications audit, is refocusing its customer service efforts to provide the best member value possible. Over the next ninety days, the senior leadership of the organization will use the aforementioned information as the bedrock for its ongoing transition into the New AAMVA. The tide has turned, a new sail has been set and AAMVA will not be returning to the old normal. Instead the association is moving to define, and exist, within a new normal. As the association moves forward into the New AAMVA here are a few key things it promises to deliver. Less is more. As a professional association, AAMVA must stay in touch with delivering only what its members want this means prioritizing what it does on your behalf. And since four cannot do the work of seven, headquarters staff must realize they cannot be everything to everyone. This means the association may not have the staff necessary to respond to every request. Or it may mean that with existing resources, it may take staff a lot longer to find and answer or research a question. Communications need to become aligned. In the future, AAMVA s communications with the membership and the Board need to be instep. And the association s senior leadership will need to create a new conversation with the membership so it clearly understands what services you want and need, rather than acting upon what it thinks you want and need. This also means taking a look at AAMVA s current communications vehicles as a result of the recent communications audit. AAMVA s world is its members world and the members world has changed. In recent years, financial pressures in the world have affected the AAMVA membership, and therefore, affected headquarters staff as well. This has led to a greater sensitivity in how, and where, we use all our resources. AAMVA will operate by business metrics. This includes more overall financial discipline and making more money than it spends and balancing the association s annual budget without dipping into reserves. If AAMVA does all the above, it will be taking steps toward a strong future and will become a stronger leader capable of building stronger partnerships and relationships internally, with the membership and with stakeholder groups. M Tell us your stories! Send your stories and anecdotes to fax to (703) ; or mail to AAMVA, Attn: MOVE, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Arlington, VA If we print your story, we will send you an AAMVA gift! 36 MOVE Fall 2008