America Walks Statement on 2015 Traffic Fatalities
At America Walks, we work tirelessly every day with our advocates and partner organizations to make sure that every community member has access to safe, convenient and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active. It is our belief that even one life lost in a traffic crash is too many. This is why it was so disturbing to learn of the final data on 2015 traffic crashes released last week. The increase in fatalities, showing that 35,092 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2015, was the largest single-year increase since 1966.
America Walks has been encouraged by the work being done by the US Department of Transportation and other agencies to address traffic safety in recent years. Indeed, initiatives such as Secretary Anthony Foxx’s “Safer People, Safer Streets” and the US Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities have been positive signs of the commitment by the federal government to address the creation of safe walking conditions. However, the 7.2% increase in traffic fatalities over 2014 demonstrates that what we are doing is still not enough.
We commend the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House in their call for research, data and information to help determine the cause of this increase. It is only when we work together to address this disturbing trend with education, enforcement and changes to policy, programs and design that we will begin to see reductions in traffic related deaths.
Each of the 35,092 lives lost represents someone’s mother, father, child, neighbor or friend. It is our responsibility to create policies, programs and environments that work to reduce this number. We encourage you to learn more about the call for information and how you can get involved to make sure 2015 is not a year repeated.