USDOT announces first-ever plan targeting pedestrian injuries, fatalities

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said its recently released Pedestrian Safety Action Plan seeks to address the reduction of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America’s roads.

“This unprecedented comprehensive safety effort is focused solely on protecting pedestrians because crossing a street should not be lethal for thousands of adults and children every year,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

Under the guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole R. Nason and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator James Owens, the plan targets NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System findings revealing 17 percent of all traffic fatalities last year involved pedestrians – noting 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, representing 44 percent more than in 2010.

“Reducing pedestrian fatalities is a team effort that requires collaboration between federal, state, and local transportation leaders,” Nason said. “We need safer roads and this plan provides a road map to get us there.”

The USDOT maintains the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan endeavors to promote expanded use of countermeasures, technology, and data-driven practices to address pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

“At some point in the day, we are all pedestrians – especially right now, when everyone wants to get outside for some fresh air,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said. “Everyone has a role to play in ensuring pedestrian safety, and this Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will help communities, drivers, and pedestrians take steps to save lives.”