FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018
Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Cathy Chase,
President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
on New Pedestrian Safety Report Released by the
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Every Day about 16 Pedestrians are Killed in the U.S. —
Comprehensive Countermeasures are Needed to Address
the Growing Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) supports a comprehensive approach to improving pedestrian safety highlighted by the new Pedestrian Safety Special Investigation Report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the recommendations adopted by the Board today. In 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed, and these tragedies have been on the rise every year since 2009. The NTSB’s report offers yet more evidence that federal, state and local policymakers should take immediate action to combat the growing epidemic of pedestrian fatalities on our Nation’s roads and highways. Efforts should include the lowering of speed limits, widespread adoption of automated enforcement programs, improvements to data collection, infrastructure upgrades, and vehicle-based changes including minimum standards requiring proven crash avoidance technologies in all new cars.
Speeding-related fatalities killed over 10,000 people in 2016 and accounted for more than a quarter of all traffic deaths that year. A critical step state and local elected officials can take right now to protect pedestrians is lowering speed limits, particularly on urban roads, and opposing dangerous speed limit increases. This is particularly important as 70 percent of pedestrians are killed at a non-intersection. In addition, cities and localities should adopt and strengthen automated enforcement programs that utilize speed and red light cameras. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed and red light cameras help to deter the dangerous driving behaviors of speed and red light running and reduce crashes.
Further, in addition to NTSB’s 10 recommendations directed to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), the U.S. DOT should issue minimum standards requiring that all new vehicles be equipped with lifesaving crash avoidance technologies such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning and blind spot detection systems. These technologies are available now and are proven to reduce crashes and fatalities. Moreover, we agree with the NTSB that pedestrian safety systems should be included in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), a system that has motivated vehicle improvements for nearly 40 years.
This NTSB pedestrian safety report should be a wake-up call to cities, state legislatures, and the U.S. DOT. Pedestrian fatalities are a solvable problem. We have commonsense, research-based ways to ensure that being a pedestrian is not a death-defying act. Advocates commends the NTSB for bringing national focus on this urgent safety issue and calls for swift action to implement their recommendations.