Traffic Safety Talk Newsletter

Welcome to our Traffic Safety Talk newsletter – the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) news and information update. Each issue includes recent projects, community outreach events, and safety campaigns. We discuss Traffic Safety Team materials and resources available for members. Digital flipbooks of the most recent newsletters are available. Additionally, we have included the PDF documents below to view current and past editions.

Current Traffic Safety Talk News Update • April 2024 Flip Book:

Click here for the new April Traffic Safety Talk PDF file. In this Bringing You Home Safely Since 1994 issue, various topics and projects include:

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Buckle Up and Slow Down

Hey Guys, Slow Down! There is an over-representation of fatality and injury crashes with young men, ages 18–24, in Northeast Florida rural counties caused by speeding and lower seat belt usage. We aim to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by increasing safety belt usage and reducing excessive speeding.

We want young male drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 to change how they think about speeding and realize it’s not worth the risk to their life or future. After interviewing this target audience in Northeast Florida, we established better insight into some barriers and behavioral determinants of excessive speeding. We found they drove excessively higher speeds than the posted limits more often on rural roadways.

Rural Buckle Up and Slow Down poster and banner

To help change this behavior, we have created a new safety message. The core idea is to save your life and protect your future. We need community outreach and connection to encourage slowing down and making driving safe the norm. Our new materials have country-styled belt buckles that say “Buckle-Up” and “Slow Down” with the message: Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride… safely to reach your destiny. We want young male drivers to feel it’s okay not to be the fastest on the road. 

Life is a highway made of more than asphalt and concrete, filled with cars and people.
These streets connect us and make it possible to go places, be someone, and enjoy the benefits of life.
The long and winding roads take us to our future.
If you don’t slow down and enjoy the journey, you may come to a dead end.
Your family and friends would be devastated, and the world might never know what you could have been.

Buckle Up and Slow Down

Help make buckling up the social norm and driving at safe speeds part of our safety culture.

Please download and share this Buckle Up and Slow Down digital graphic. You may print this flyer as a hand out tip card, include it on an email or newsletter, or post on social media. Don’t forget tag us! @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hashtag #SlowDownFL #BuckleUpFL #TrafficSafetyFL

speeding, aggressive drivers, occupant protection, Country Buckle Up Belt and Slow Down Belt Buckle

Slow Down – District Two Market Research

Levy and Suwannee are two counties in Northeast Florida with a population under 44,000. Comparing these counties with other similarly sized counties in Florida, they are ranked most problematic (#1 and #3) in the issues of both speed and teen drivers per the FY2024 Highway Safety Matrix.

Examples of why speeding among young male drivers on rural roads is a problem include:

  • Limited law enforcement presence
  • Roadway characteristics – curvature, grade, width, and adjacent land use
  • Delayed EMS response times
  • Pickup trucks are more likely to roll over, especially when significantly altered/lifted; they are top-heavy

Formative data:

  • NHTSA 2020 Speeding Traffic Safety Facts – Thirty-five percent of male drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding, the highest among the age groups.
  • GHSA Teens and Speeding – from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16 – 19 years of age) had a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups. Men were almost twice as likely as women to say that they drove at extreme speeds much more often than normal. 
  • Speeding-related teen driver fatal crashes – the driver is more likely to be male (37% vs. 28%), have run off the road or rolled over the vehicle, and to be unbelted.
  • Male drivers in every age group account for the greatest proportion of fatal crashes involving speeding.
  • NTSB – The relationship between speed and injury severity is consistent and direct. 
  • NHTSA – Drivers classified as speeders were almost three times as likely as sometime speeders to strongly agree with the statements, “I often get impatient with slower drivers” (45% versus 18%), “I enjoy the feeling of driving fast” (19% versus 6%), and “I try to get where I am going as fast as I can” (11% versus 3%).

Insight – Younger male drivers enjoy excessive speeding in rural areas without regard to safety or the law. Barriers and behavioral determinants:

  • Entitlement (the belief that their need to reach a destination is more important/deserving, ‘own the road.’)
  • Personable responsibility and self-protection
  • Driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers (male dominant attitude)
  • Hustle mentality
  • Traveling with the flow of traffic (everyone speeds)
  • Enjoy driving faster (extreme risks feel exciting, adrenaline rush)
  • Not predetermined, in-the-moment decisions to speed

Other materials, information, and resources available on our website about occupant protection, speeding, and driving tips for teens:

School Traffic Camera Enforcement

Effective July 1, 2023, Florida law allows camera enforcement of school zone speed limits and illegal passing of school buses. School traffic camera enforcement has been a topic of discussion for our Northeast Florida communities and Traffic Safety Team members.

FDOT District Two Traffic Operations Engineer Jim Hannigan explained the proposed guidelines. He answered questions during a recent Districtwide Team meeting. 

Pursuant to Section 316.0776, Florida Statutes (F.S.), the FDOT may approve the placement or installation of a Speed Detection System (SDS) in a School Zone on the State Highway System (SHS), as defined in Section 334.03(24), F.S. SDS installations on the SHS must be authorized through a General Use Permit in accordance with Rule 14-20.010 of the Florida Administrative Code. This is similar to the process used for Automated License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems and Traffic Infraction Detectors (Red Light Running Cameras).  

Please visit the FDOT School Zone Speed Detection System webpage to read an overview of the process and criteria, which include:

  • Placement and Installation Specifications
  • Special Provisions for General Use Permit
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact Information

Planning for School Traffic Camera Enforcement in Florida

Enforcement of School Zone Speed Limits Law, News, and Information:

Enforcement of School Bus Passing Violations Law, News, and Information:

If you know of any other local municipalities in Northeast Florida that plan to install and maintain cameras for enforcement, please let us know.

Additional School Bus Safety Resources for Drivers and Student Passengers:

Resource Manuals

We have compiled primary documents as a helpful resource for our Community Traffic Safety Program members and agencies in Northeast Florida, District Two. These resource manuals are a great reference to common questions and can assist while planning and improving traffic safety on our local roadways.

Traffic Safety Resource Manuals

Florida’s 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)

The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) provides a framework for how Florida’s traffic safety partners will move toward the vision of a fatality-free transportation system. Furthermore, the SHSP is a call to action for public, private, and civic partners.

Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) PDF 2021-2025

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, or MUTCD, defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. Additionally, states must adopt the 11th Edition of the National MUTCD as their legal State standard for traffic control devices within two years from the effective date of January 18, 2024.

Current 11th Edition of MUTCD PDF December 2023

School Zone Speed Detection Systems:

Pursuant to Section 316.0776, Florida Statutes, the Department may approve the installation of School Zone Speed Detection Systems on the State Highway System.  Installations of these devices on the State Highway System must be authorized through a General Use Permit.  Please use the link below to access the website to read an overview of the process, the Placement and Installation Guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions, and Special Provisions that will be attached to the General Use Permit.  This process is like the process used for Automated License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems and Traffic Infraction Detectors (Red Light Running Cameras).  Please refer to this website occasionally because the documents may be updated as this process rolls out.

School Speed Detection System (fdot.gov)

FDOT-traffic-engineering resource manual TEM

Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM)

The FDOT Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM) aims to provide traffic engineering standards and guidelines for use on the State Highway System. Furthermore, the manual covers the process whereby standards and guidelines are adopted, and chapters are devoted to highway signs, traffic signals, markings, and specialized operational topics. 

Traffic Engineering Manual PDF Effective January 1, 2023

resource manuals speed zoning

Speed Zone Manual

The Manual on Speed Zoning for Highways, Roads, and Streets in Florida, is also known as the “Speed Zone Manual.” It was created to promote uniformity in establishing state, municipal, and county speed zones throughout Florida. This FDOT Speed Zoning for Florida document complies with Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes. Adopted for use by the State of Florida under Rule 14-15.012, Florida Administrative Code.  

Speed Zone Manual PDF Revised August 20, 2018

resource-manual-thumbnail-ICE

Manual on Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE)

The FDOT Intersection Operations and Safety developed the ICE manual, forms, tools, scope of services, and staff hour estimation. The ICE process quantitatively evaluates several intersection control scenarios. It ranks these alternatives based on their operational and safety performance. Implementing a “performance-based” procedure also creates a transparent and consistent approach.

Manual on Intersection Control Evaluation PDF Effective January 1, 2023

resource manuals TSM&O strategic plan

Transportation Systems Management & Operations (TSM&O) Strategic Plan

The ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) Strategic Plan provides statewide direction and guidance. FDOT, Florida’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and local governments use this Strategic Plan to plan, program, and implement integrated multi-modal ITS elements. Chiefly, the purpose is to maximize the safety and efficiency of Florida’s Transportation System. 

TSM&O Strategic Plan PDF Updated August 17, 2017

complete streets handbook cover

Complete Streets Handbook

The FDOT is committed to enhancing our residents’ and visitors’ safety and mobility with Complete Streets principles. Florida’s Complete Streets 360º approach to transportation planning, design, construction, and operations focuses on identifying the right solutions for communities based on the needs and desires of all roadway users.

In addition to FDOT’s reference materials, we created an informational presentation specific to Complete Streets in Northeast Florida.

Complete Streets Handbook PDF Updated April 25, 2017

Additional Engineering and Planning Resources

Whether you have a specific project or engineering concern or want to expand your knowledge, these are useful reference materials. In addition to the above resource manuals, we provide Crash Fact Data Sheets for all 18 counties in District Two. Another resource is our Team Materials which includes traffic safety reports, Florida’s Strategic Highways Safety Plan, and our Traffic Safety Talk newsletter.

Move Over or Slow Down

Every January is Move Over Month in Florida. The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two Community Traffic Safety Program reminds all motorists to obey Florida’s Move Over Law. This law helps to protect those who protect us while they provide essential services in a dangerous environment – the side of the road.

Florida law requires motorists to move over a lane — when they can safely do so — for the following:

  • Stopped law enforcement.
  • Emergency responders.
  • Sanitation and utility service vehicles.
  • Tow trucks or wreckers.
  • Maintenance or construction vehicles with displayed warning lights without advanced signs or channelizing devices.
  • NEW: Disabled vehicles. (effective 1/1/2024)
Move Over or Slow Down
Move Over
Slow down if unable to move over
Pull over for moving emergency and law enforcement vehicles

New Requirements Added to the Move Over Law – Effective January 1, 2024

Florida lawmakers take action to enhance protection for all roadway users. The expanded Move Over law adds three scenarios to Florida’s current law. Motorists will be required to move over if:

  • There is a disabled motor vehicle that is stopped and displaying warning lights or hazard lights.
  • If a vehicle is stopped and is using emergency flares or posting emergency signage.
  • When a vehicle is stopped and one or more persons are visibly present.

Florida’s Move Over Law Expanded in 2021

In addition to first responders, this law also applies to other public servants and roadside workers. Drivers typically know to move over for law enforcement, fire rescue, and emergency medical services. Many still do not realize the law requires them to move over for sanitation, utility, wrecker, maintenance, and construction vehicles. Basically, if motorists see a service vehicle on the side of the road with flashing warning lights, they need to change lanes or slow down.

Florida Law, Move Over and Slow Down for Stopped Emergency and Service Vehicles

The Florida requirement expanding to cover these additional roadway service providers was enacted in July 2021. In 2022, there were 170 crashes and more than 14,000 citations issued for motorists failing to move over in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Obeying Florida’s Move Over law will help ensure all personnel working along our roadways get home safely.

Move Over

  • As soon as it is safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles, tow trucks or wreckers, maintenance or construction vehicles with displaying warning lights, and any disabled vehicle on the side of the road when driving on an interstate highway or other highways with two or more lanes.
  • Always signal your intention to change lanes.
  • Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.

Slow Down

  • If moving over cannot be safely accomplished, or when on a two-lane road, slow down to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or greater, or travel at 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less when driving on a two-lane road.

Violating the Move Over law puts you and others at risk, and a citation will result in a fine, fees, and points on your driving record. To read the Florida Statue, see 316.126 – Operation of vehicles and actions of pedestrians on approach of an authorized emergency, sanitation, or utility service vehicle.

Pull Over for Moving Emergency Vehicles

Motorists should always remember to pay attention while driving and pull over for emergency vehicles approaching from behind. Help protect moving emergency vehicles by:

  • Yielding the right of way
  • Moving to the closest, safety edge of roadway
  • Clearing intersection
  • Remaining stopped until the vehicle has passed