Motor Vehicle Deaths Estimated To Be Highest in 2020
This was shocking news to learn. How is it that during a pandemic when less cars were on the road than any other year in recent history, the number of deaths and serious injuries were at an all time high? According the the National Safety Council, Georgia had an 18% increase!
What can be done? The National Safety Council is pleading with President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support the “Road to Zero Coalition” which asked the administration to commit to zero roadway deaths by 2050.
What Measures Can Be Taken to Achieve This?
A first step toward zero deaths is to Double Down on What Works, according to guidance released by the Road to Zero Coalition and NSC in 2018. Some of the immediate life-saving measures that would set the nation on a road to zero deaths include:
- Equitable implementation of roadway safety laws, policies, procedures, infrastructure improvements is sorely needed. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by motor vehicle crashes, roadway policies, lack of access to public transportation and poor infrastructure, among other critical elements that make a safe system.
- Mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers, lowering state BAC levels to .05 and better education about the nature of impairment and when it begins
- Lowering – not raising – speed limits in accordance with roadway design, using a safe system approach
- Installation and use of automated enforcement to support safe speeds and adherence to traffic lights
- Laws banning all cell phone use – including hands-free – should extend to all drivers, not just teens. States with existing bans need to upgrade enforcement from secondary to primary.
- Seat belt laws should be upgraded from secondary to primary enforcement and restraint laws should extend to every passenger in every seating position, in all kinds of vehicles
- All new drivers under 21 – not just those under 18 – should adhere to a three-tiered licensing system for novice drivers
- Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that have life-saving potential should be standardized and accelerated into the fleet
- Motorcycle helmet laws should be passed or reinstated
- Communities and municipalities should adopt comprehensive programs for pedestrian and bicyclist safety