Monday, June 6, 2011

A Letter From Transportation For America

Shouldn't federal dollars build safer streets than this?

Imagine the horror of losing your child, your friend or your family member simply because they were walking in the wrong place at the wrong time. To those who haven’t experienced this kind of tragedy, it may sound paranoid and unlikely but the fact is, it happens – a lot.

From 2000 to 2009, 47,700 Americans were simply walking when they were struck and killed. Another 688,000 were injured in that same time period – meaning a pedestrian was hit by a car or truck every 7 minutes for the past ten years.

Join us in asking your lawmakers to support legislation that will ensure that new and reconstructed roads are built to be safe for everyone that uses them.

Despite the incredible magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, the federal government and many state departments of transportation have made a dangerous choice, prioritizing the movement of cars over the safety of all people, even in our neighborhoods.

Two-thirds of these deaths occurred on roads built to federal guidelines, typically with federal funding. Shouldn’t our federal transportation dollars build roads that are safe for all users?

We know that prioritizing safety with federal transportation dollars and policy saves lives. Efforts to improve vehicle design, encourage seat belt and child car seats, and discourage drunk and distracted driving have resulted in a 27 percent reduction in traffic fatalities over the last decade. But the dangerous conditions for pedestrians have largely gone unaddressed and fatalities have barely budged.

Clearly, the system is broken and it's time to fix it!

Ask your senators and representative to ensure that federal dollars don’t build roads that are “dangerous by design.” Ask your congressional delegation to support the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011, ensuring federal transportation investments take into account the needs of everyone using the road.

Our transportation system should work for everyone. It's time to fix it to make it safe, reliable, and accessible for everyone!

Stephen Lee Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Transportation for America

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