Traffic Safety Efforts Chug Ahead — Too Slowly for Some

Around the United States, traffic deaths are growing or plateauing, yet efforts to make roads safer still face political opposition.

1 minute read

May 30, 2024, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Panorama Close up of pedestrian traffic light signal against blue sky and bright clouds.

Jason / Adobe Stock

In an article for KFF Health News, Vanessa G. Sánchez outlines the efforts local, state, and federal legislators are making to reduce traffic fatalities, which continue to grow or plateau in most U.S. communities. “In 2022, more than 42,500 people died on American roads, and at least 7,522 pedestrians were fatally struck – the highest tally of pedestrian deaths in more than four decades,” Sánchez points out.

States like New York and Michigan passed laws that allow local jurisdictions to set their own speed limits, letting cities lower speed limits in dangerous areas. “In Los Angeles, voters approved a measure that forces the city to act on its own safety improvement plan, mandating that the car-loving metropolis redesign streets, add bike lanes and protect cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians.

”At the federal level, the Biden administration has directed over $15 billion to road safety efforts and $5 billion in local grants. And while some advocates say the agency didn’t go far enough in reforming its rules, the historically reticent Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued new guidance that explicitly calls for pedestrian and cyclist safety measures and, earlier this year, proposed changes to the Highway Safety Improvement Program that would similarly include vulnerable road users in highway safety plans.

Saturday, May 25, 2024 in KFF Health News

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