Traffic safety leaders urge Biden Administration to commit to zero deaths by 2050

Jan. 21, 2021

Group urges the president not to overlook addressing roadway deaths

The nation’s largest coalition of traffic safety organizations—Road to Zero—along with Toward Zero Deaths, Vision Zero Network, Families for Safe Streets and 74 partner organizations and individuals, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to commit the efforts of the federal government to achieve zero roadway deaths by 2050.

The letter was sent as President Biden began announcing his most urgent priorities, and as Secretary-designate of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, met with senators for the first time ahead of his confirmation hearing.

While the new administration’s immediate focus will be rightly on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, the group urges the president not to overlook persistent killers across the nation—many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including roadway deaths. About 100 people lose their lives on any given day on the nation’s roadways, with traffic crashes being the leading cause of death for people ages 1-25.

“Roadway deaths have been a leading killer in our nation for decades,” Lorraine Martin, chair of the Road to Zero Coalition and president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a statement. “Our organizations look forward to working with the new administration, and we stand ready to assist in any way we can.”

In 2018, the Road to Zero Coalition issued a report detailing what the U.S. must do to eliminate roadway fatalities by 2050. Actions included the need for the U.S. to prioritize safety by adopting a Safe System approach. The Safe System approach—implemented in countries around the world with proven success—includes redesigning roads to engineer out common risks and mitigate driver errors that lead to high-consequence crashes.

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SOURCE: National Safety Council