Lawmakers Call for National Vision Zero to End Car Crash Deaths

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A Senator and a House member have introduced a non-binding resolution calling for a national Vision Zero campaign.

Two lawmakers have introduced a resolution that would call for a “National Vision Zero” campaign, according to a recent report by StreetsBlog. Vision Zero is an effort to eliminate traffic fatalities. The resolution, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, calls on Congress and the Department of Transportation to “commit to working together to 6 achieve zero roadway fatalities by the year 2050.”

As StreetsBlog notes, the resolution is non-binding, though transportation safety activists believes it represents an essential symbolic step toward introducing policies that would make the nation’s streets safer. Leah Shahum, director of the Vision Zero Network, told StreetsBlog that “Our priorities, plans, and policies are based on the goal we aim for, and we should not be aiming for some of our loved ones to be safe as they move about our communities—we should be working for safety for all.”

Among other things, the non-binding resolution notes that there were 38,680 preventable traffic fatalities in 2020; that traffic crashes were “the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 25′; that more than 100 people die in traffic crashes every day; that 424,000 people suffered injuries in traffic crashes that involved distracted motorists in 2019, and 3,142 people died of such; that 6,205 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic violence in 2019; that 843 bicyclists lost their lives to traffic violence in 2019; that “speeding accounted for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019”; that traffic violence fatalities and injuries increased during the pandemic; and that “lack of universal seatbelt usage costs the economy of the United States $10,000,000,000 annually.”

Among other things, the resolution calls for Congress’s commitment to “advancing policies that will end roadway fatalities by 2050”; efforts to resolve disparities in transportation safety; the Department of Transportation’s commitment to prioritize transportation safety; and the DOT’s commitment “to improve data gathering and tracking of traffic crashes and other issues related to transportation safety.”

In a statement to StreetsBlog, the co-founder of transportation safety advocacy group Families for Safe Streets said “Every traffic death is more than a number… Taking that first step to a safety-first transportation policy will prevent others from the heartache we have suffered.”

More information on the resolution to introduce a national Vision Zero effort is available via StreetsBlog and the resolution itself.

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