With new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing pedestrian and cyclist deaths continuing to rise across the United States, bipartisan coalitions of legislators in the House and Senate are trying to compel the federal government to better balance its traffic safety spending.
"Two U.S. Congressmen — Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (both D-Oregon) — are hoping to make it safer for bikers and walkers with identical bipartisan bills they introduced on Friday, Nov. 15, in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives called the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act," writes the Alaska-based Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition.
"The bills, HR 3494 and S 1708, if passed, will create performance measures for bicycle and pedestrian safety. Specifically, they direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to create metrics for states to assess and address 'serious injuries and fatalities per vehicle mile traveled' and 'the number of serious injuries and fatalities' for 'non-motorized transportation' — a.k.a. walking and biking. Current law has no such emphasis on active transportation."