Joint Statement in Honor of National Police Week, May 10-16, 2020

    • May 9, 2020
    150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2020
    CONTACT: Pete Daniels / pdaniels@saferoads.org / 301-442-2249 (C)

    Joint Statement in Honor of National Police Week, May 10-16, 2020

     

    Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates):

    “In honor of National Police Week, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety would like to express our condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty and thank law enforcement officers for working tirelessly to preserve public safety on our roads.  Sadly, 43 officers were killed in traffic-related incidents in 2019, according to preliminary figures.  Numerous policy improvements on the state and federal levels are available, accessible and attainable to enhance the safety of law enforcement and all roadway users.  In January, Advocates released our annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, “A 2020 Focus on Safety,” which identifies nearly 400 laws nationwide that should be passed by state legislatures to reduce needless crashes, deaths and injuries.  On the federal level, the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (S. 2700 / H.R. 4871) would advance essential collision avoidance systems and other technology to protect law enforcement.  The 21st Century Smart Cars Act (H.R. 6284) would require lifesaving crash avoidance technology, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), to be standard in all new cars.  Similarly, the Safe Roads Act (H.R. 3773) would require AEB in new commercial motor vehicles.  We can and must do more to ensure the safety of law enforcement and urge our elected officials to honor them by making their workplace safer.”

    U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL):

    “The Protecting Roadside First Responders Act mandates crash avoidance technologies and provides states and municipalities with the resources they need to deploy digital alert technology and raise awareness about ‘Move Over’ laws that can protect our first responders. As we celebrate National Police Week, let’s all remember that we can save lives by using technology and increasing awareness.”

    U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL):

    “The troubling history of first responder roadside deaths demands action.  I’m glad to be working with Senator Durbin and Representative Bustos on the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act and other federal efforts that will help increase awareness of ‘Move Over’ laws and promote innovative solutions to reduce risk and better protect our first responders.”

    U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-17th IL):

    “As the wife of a sheriff, I’m grateful for the work our first responders do every day and thank them for their service this National Police Week.  In Congress, I’ve put forward legislation to help protect roadside first responders and bring an end to the preventable tragedies we’ve seen along our roads and highways.  The Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (H.R. 4871/S. 2700) would raise awareness of our ‘Move Over’ laws and implement crash avoidance technologies to help keep brave first responders safe while they serve our communities.  While our first responders work to protect us, we must be sure to protect them.”

    U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-4th GA):

    “We know and have the resources for the simple installation of automatic braking systems on all commercial motor vehicles that would prevent tragic deaths across the country.  America’s roads and highways should be safe for all drivers, including our front-line workers, police and public safety officials. Taking full advantage of technologies that are available and proven to anticipate and prevent crashes will save lives, which is why I’m the proud sponsor of H.R.3773, the Safe Roads Act. It’s time to move forward.”

    Commander Chris Olson, Oro Valley Police Department, Arizona and Board Member of Advocates:

    “Each year at this time tens of thousands of my fellow officers gather in Washington, DC to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  While those ceremonies have been canceled for the first time ever due to the coronavirus, we must recognize the crucial services performed by police officers on our roadways and in our neighborhoods.  As officers conduct their duties, citizens can do their part by following the guidance provided by their state and local government, refraining from non-essential driving and obeying all traffic laws.  I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to families who have experienced the loss of loved ones and thank my fellow officers for their service and commitment to protect all.”

    Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH, Director of Comprehensive Injury, Associate Dean of the Office of Global Health, and Professor of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Co-Chair of Advocates:

    “Preventing motor vehicle crashes is especially vital at a time when law enforcement and hospitals are already struggling with response to COVID-19.  Advocates has proposed federal and state policies demonstrated by research and data to be effective.  This commonsense approach will help reduce preventable crashes and lessen the strain on those on the front lines including first responders, emergency room doctors and nurses.  Thank you, law enforcement officers for doing your job honorably and conscientiously.  Your sacrifices and dedication to enforce traffic safety laws continues to save countless lives.”

    Lee Fanshaw, Federal Government Affairs Director, American Family Insurance, Co-Chair of Advocates:

    “Advocates and American Family would like to thank all law enforcement officers and their families for their service and sacrifice. In the line of duty to enforce traffic safety laws, maintain the safe movement of traffic and respond to crashes, among other responsibilities, police officers routinely risk their own health and safety.  During times of turmoil, it is especially important that we prioritize thanking those working hard, day in and day out, to protect the safety of all.  My condolences to those who lost loved ones over the past year.  While the National Police Week ceremonies have been postponed, the sacrifices most certainly will not be forgotten.”

     

    Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer.  Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.

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