FIA Foundation joins call for US Administration to commit to zero fatalities on roads
The FIA Foundation has joined a campaign from leading US road safety organizations urging President Biden and his incoming leadership team to commit to reducing traffic fatalities to zero by 2050, and to tackle the leading cause of death for those ages one to 25.
Over 1,000 road safety organizations, companies and individuals signed the letter from the Road to Zero coalition which includes Families for Safe Streets, Toward Zero Deaths, and Vision Zero Network. The letter calls for road safety to prevent crashes, saving hundreds of thousands of lives and ending millions of life-altering injuries.
While the new Administration’s immediate focus is on the COVID-19 pandemic, one of many harmful trends of this pandemic has been a significant increase in the rate of traffic deaths and severe crashes, despite falls in the number of journeys. Around 100 people lose their lives every day on US roads.
“Each of the 40,000 deaths on our roads is preventable. Committing to end the epidemic on wheels is necessary to make significant strides on the nation’s path to building back better. The Administration’s focus has been to address the pandemic, improve climate health, grow the economy, and address racial justice. Infrastructure that ensures safe and sustainable mobility for all is the cornerstone of these combined priorities,” said Natalie Draisin, the FIA Foundation’s North American Office Director and United Nations Representative. “The Department of Transport has shown encouraging support for safe walking and cycling. The pandemic offers an opportunity to implement safe infrastructure now, when it is needed most.”
The US also faces a challenge in recognizing and addressing decades of policies and practices that have deepened inequality and restricted mobility for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), limiting access to school, work, healthcare and more. Research shows that BIPOC and low-income people in the US are more likely to be killed or suffer severe injuries while walking. Their neighborhoods have been disinvested over time, suffering from a lack of sidewalks and cycle paths, and an over-abundance of high-speed, dangerous roads. Studies also show that low-income communities and those of color are disproportionately burdened by some programs and policies intended to support traffic safety, such as those around jaywalking and other enforcement strategies. Such practices do not address the underlying need for safe built environments and equity.
Streets can be safe for all people. Proven countermeasures and interventions exist. Through this campaign, organizations nationwide are calling for leadership to join other countries that have taken action, reduced road traffic injuries and fatalities, and improved equity.
The US can reach the goal of zero traffic deaths, saving lives and providing affordable access to everyday needs for all. We need to make a commitment, individually and as a nation, to prioritize safety using effective and equitable strategies. We hope President Biden will join us in our commitment.
Groups, organizations, companies, and individuals interested in signing on to the letter can do so here.