U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today announced a call-to-action campaign to support the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy. The campaign asks governments, law enforcement, businesses and others to commit to specific actions this year to reduce roadway injuries and deaths.
Traffic deaths reached a 16-year high in 2021, with record deaths among pedestrians and increased fatalities among bicyclists. “Traffic crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives a year—a national crisis on our roadways—and everyone has an important role to play in addressing it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a press release.
”City leaders are ready to act to prevent the senseless loss of life on our nation’s roads, and we are excited thousands of improvements and plans are now in the works through the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony in an emailed statement.
The DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy was released a year ago. Based on the safe system approach, the program’s five strategies focus on safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, safer roads and post-crash care.
“Amid this pandemic-fueled surge in roadway deaths, national leadership on traffic safety is essential for addressing unsafe street design, dangerous driving behaviors – like speeding, driving impaired or distracted, and not buckling up – and other risks that needlessly claim lives on our roads every day,” said Governors Highway Safety Association CEO Jonathan Adkins in a statement.
Nearly 50 government, industry and non-government organizations along with private sector companies have committed to taking specific action in 2023 to reduce serious injuries and deaths on the nation’s roadways, including:
- The National League of Cities will include up to 50 additional communities in its Safety First Challenge, along with adding local safety data resources, working with youth safety leaders and elected officials.
- The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is updating its Highway Safety Manual with added research-based methods and more expansive pedestrian and bicyclist safety considerations.
- The League of American Bicyclists will provide technical assistance to local governments and work with states as they implement vulnerable road user safety, speed management and Complete Streets planning activities.
- The Vision Zero Network is developing a new series of resources and educational opportunities for local, regional and Tribal communities.