A new study focuses on the danger of teens driving teens.
Released today by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, it reports that drivers ages 15 to 17 are about eight times more likely than drivers ages 18 to 24 to have a fatal crash if teenage passengers are in the vehicle.
There has been an upward trend in such fatalities in the past 10 years, even though overall crash deaths for younger drivers have decreased, the authors said. From a news release:
Researchers did not explore reasons behind the upward trend. However, the study points out that the 10-year period of analysis essentially mirrors the time when text messaging grew from an occasional activity to a practice that now largely defines youth culture.
In addition, research by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that speeding became a more common factor in teen-driver fatal crashes during that decade.
“Total teen fatal crashes per year declined, but the relative risk for young drivers carrying teen passengers actually increased substantially – at this same time, text messaging exploded in American society,” says Russell Henk, a TTI Senior Research Engineer and primary author of the study. “We can’t scientifically state that there’s a direct link between those two things yet, but it seems reasonable to suspect a connection.”
The full report is here. Pennsylvania since 2011 has limited the number of teenage passengers who can ride with holders of junior licenses to one, not counting family members.
Oliver Avenue has been closed to thru traffic between Wood and Smithfield streets this week because of a water main break near the old Saks Fifth Avenue that damaged underground utilities. This has proven to be a royal pain for transit riders because traffic from the parking garage on Oliver must exit on Wood, where several South Hills buses operate. The Port Authority says it will take at least until Monday morning for Duquesne Light to finish repairs and backfill the hole in the street. A handful of bus routes that use Oliver are on detour.
The 36th running of the Richard S. Caliguiri Great Race is on Sunday morning and will close streets Downtown and in Oakland and Squirrel Hill. Information for runners, spectators and those who wish to avoid the entire thing will appear in Saturday’s print edition.
There’s lots more to look out for in your weekend travels (see below) but no closure of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels — just the usual morning lane closures that end by 10 a.m.
The Liberty Bridge will have lane closures all weekend in both directions to allow a contractor to remove pavement and get a look at the condition of the deck structure. The fun starts at 10 p.m. Friday and restrictions will lift no later than 6 a.m. Monday.
Washington Road-Route 19 in Mt. Lebanon will have lane closures as work there continues. Traffic in the northbound lanes will be shifted to the southbound side, with one lane open both ways, from Connor/Gilkeson Road to Alfred Street from 10 p.m. Friday to approximately 10 a.m. Saturday. At 10 p.m. Saturday, southbound traffic moves to the northboard side with one lane open both ways until 6 a.m. Sunday. Lane closures also will occur on Connor and Gilkeson near the Route 19 intersection as crews place pavement markings.
Replacement of a grade crossing will cause a detour on the Red Line this weekend. The Dormont Avenue crossing will be replaced, with the detour in effect in both directions from 7 p.m. Friday through the end of service Sunday. Red Line service will detour via the Blue Line between Overbrook Junction-Willow and South Hills Junction. A rail shuttle will operate between Overbrook Junction and Dormont. Bus shuttles will operate between Dormont and Fallowfield. Another rail shuttle will connect Shiras and South Hills Junction.
So, if we’ve got this straight, here is the itinerary for a ride from Mt. Lebanon to Downtown: board train, ride to Dormont, switch to bus shuttle, ride to Fallowfield, board rail shuttle to South Hills Junction, transfer there to inbound Red Line train. Easy peasy!
Parking restrictions and changes to traffic patterns on Dormont Avenue will be posted during the work. Part of the lower lot of Dormont park-n-ride is closed through Oct. 6 for staging of construction equipment.
Bridge inspection will close a lane of the outbound Parkway East where is crosses Swinburne and Frazier streets in Greenfield from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday. No restrictions inbound.
The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh will be closed from noon to 10 p.m. Friday. A 40-foot rubber duck will be placed in the river. We are not making this up.
Pitt’s homecoming festivities will close Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes and Fifth avenues from 6 p.m. today to 2:30 a.m. Saturday for a fireworks extravaganza and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for staging of buses to haul the student body to Heinz Field for a gridiron tilt with the University of Virginia.
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