U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today a new set of tools to help communities combat the rising number of pedestrian deaths that have occurred over the last two years.
As part of the campaign, the department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is making $2 million in pedestrian safety grants available to cities with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths, and along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is launching a one-stop shop website with safety tips and resources for local leaders, city planners, parents and others involved in improving pedestrian safety.
“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,” said Secretary Foxx. “We all have a reason to support pedestrian safety, and now, everyone has new tools to help make a difference.”
States have until Aug. 30 to apply for a total of $2 million that can be used for education and enforcement initiatives in 22 focus cities where pedestrian deaths are greater than the national average. The new website pulls pedestrian safety information from both NHTSA and FHWA, and provides safety tips and resources that communities can use to keep pedestrians safe. These resources include information for parents on teaching children about safe walking, reports on effective pedestrian projects for state highway safety offices, and guides for community pedestrian safety advocates.
“We continue to see high rates of pedestrian fatalities in major cities and across every demographic,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “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.”
According to NHTSA data, 4,432 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2011 – an 8 percent increase since 2009. At today’s press conference, NHTSA provided a breakdown of those numbers, which showed that three out of four pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas and 70 percent of those killed were at non-intersections. In addition, 70 percent of deaths occurred at night and many involved alcohol.
“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.”
Since 2009, FHWA has committed more than $3.8 billion to more than 11,000 projects that make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. The agency provides resources and expertise to improve walking routes and infrastructure, such as offering technical assistance to cities and states with the highest pedestrian fatalities and tools such as Pedsafe, an online toolbox that communities can use to improve pedestrian safety in their area.
Additional information on the new pedestrian data can be found in NHTSA's latest issue of SAFETY 1N NUM3ERS, an online monthly newsletter on hot topics in auto safety – including problem identification, people at risk, and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on our nation's roadways.