Traffic

Deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year high, a newly released study finds.

At least two people are killed this way every day in the U.S., according to the study of government data by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study looked at fatalities from 2008 to 2017, the most recent year data are available. Drivers blowing through red lights killed 939 people in 2017. That's an increase of 31% from a low in 2009, when 715 people were killed.

A new report documents the amount of time wasted because of traffic congestion.

The Urban Mobility Report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute says Los Angeles drivers have it the worst — with an average of 199 hours wasted — followed by San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Tim Lomax, regents fellow at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

New York City is preparing to become the first urban area in the U.S. to adopt congestion pricing — a fee for drivers entering the city center, designed to reduce gridlock and help fund the city's struggling subway system.

And nearly two years before the fees are put in place, a poll by Quinnipiac University found that 54% of New Yorkers are opposed to the change in policy. That's no surprise to experts on transportation policy.

New York will likely become the first major city in the U.S. to implement a charge for motorists entering its most traffic-clogged streets.

The plan? To reduce gridlock while generating revenue for the city's stressed transit system.

State lawmakers approved the deal on Sunday night, and the new tolls are slated to go into effect in 2021. The tolling is expected to generate $15 billion, dedicated to funding the MTA, New York's transit authority.

Once the backbone of the nation's transportation system, the nation's aging interstate highways are now overused and worn out, according to a new federal report. And failure to invest billions in modernizing the system will likely lead to more potholes, slower traffic jams, and increased costs to drivers and the nation's economy.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Americans may be celebrating 241 years of independence this Fourth of July, but they won't be liberated from their cars on what's forecast to be the "most traveled Independence Day holiday" ever.

AAA says that 44.2 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, with the vast majority on the road. That's an increase of nearly 3 percent from the year before, or more than a million people.

Lots of people pay traffic fines, but not everyone is affected the same way. According to a new report from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, traffic fines in California have an outsize effect on low-income drivers and people of color. And those consequences are not just monetary. Unpaid tickets can result in additional fines. Failure to pay those fines can lead to suspension or loss of license, and even jail time for some if they continue to drive without a license.

Leon Sturman lives in Sherman Oaks, near the top of a hill that separates the San Fernando Valley from West Los Angeles. His is a narrow, winding street typical of the canyon neighborhoods that usually provide a haven from the buzz of urban life. It runs parallel to one of the most congested corridors in the country: the 405 freeway.

By 7 a.m., though, Sturman's street begins to resemble that freeway.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And it's not you. The traffic is getting worse.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

More than 1 million people die in traffic deaths around the world each year — that's drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians combined.

It's a problem in the United States: There are 11.4 deaths a year per 100,000 population. It's a problem in low-income countries like Zambia, where the comparable figure is 23.8 deaths. And it's a huge problem in the middle-income world. The Dominican Republic records 41.7 deaths per 100,000, and was ranked in 2013 as the most dangerous country in the world for drivers.

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