Everyone Is A Pedestrian
New web resources, grants seek to fight disturbing safety trend
Whether you live in a city or a small town, and whether you drive a car, take the bus or ride a train, at some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, in 2011, pedestrians in the U.S. were one of the very few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities.
So as part of the campaign to combat that increase, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making available $2 million in pedestrian safety grants. NHTSA has also joined with the Federal Highway Administration to launch a one-stop shop of safety tips and resources at www.nhtsa.gov/everyoneisapedestrian.
"Everyone Is A Pedestrian" offers safety information that communities can use to keep pedestrians safe. With ideas for parents on teaching children about safe walking; reports on effective pedestrian projects for state highway safety offices; guides for community pedestrian safety advocates; and more, the new website hosts a tremendous collection of useful content, and I urge you to visit.
As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, “To help stop the recent increase in deaths and injuries, we need everyone to play a role in pedestrian safety. Working with partners on the federal, state, local and individual level, we hope to turn this concerning trend around.”
The grants announced today, to be used for education and enforcement initiatives, will be a valuable step in that direction. And to get the most out of these funds, we're targeting 22 focus cities with the highest pedestrian fatality rates.
“We are committed to making roads, highways and bridges safer for pedestrians,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “We’re working to create safer environments for everyone, whether it’s getting proven safety measures onto roads and at intersections or sharing online resources with schools, teachers, and parents that teach kids pedestrian safety.”
I'm glad to hear it because according to NHTSA data, 4,432 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2011. That's an 8 percent increase since 2009, and it's an increase we simply can't accept.
But if we're going to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries, we're going to need everyone's help. If you're looking for a place to start, the new Everyone Is A Pedestrian website is a good first step.
Anthony Foxx is the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation.