USDOT Releases its first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released the agency's first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. The plan is designed to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America's roads. The action plan will be implemented and managed by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and overseen by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) agencies.
The governmental agencies have pledged to act swiftly and implement many of the plan's safety initiatives by the end of this year. According to the news release, the plan will "enhance public education around street safety; help governments improve the location of pedestrian crossings and produce a guide on how streetlights can be designed to promote safety for pedestrians." The agencies are also going to identify methods to establish suitable speed limits, diminish speed-related deaths, and study "the effect of electronic devices on pedestrian safety."
The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan begins as the United States continues to grapple with a spike in the number of pedestrian fatalities on U.S. roadways, particularly in U.S. cities. According to the NHTSA, 17% of all traffic-related fatalities last year were pedestrian fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 6,205 people were tragically killed. This was an increase of 44% from 2010. The Governors Highway Safety Association projected a comparable number of pedestrian deaths earlier this year. The sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities has elevated fears about the continued growth in the number of traffic deaths on local roadways, outside of intersections and at night.
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