Giving Compass' Take:
- Jason Plautz reports on the recommendation of academics and engineers that the U.S. shift the burden of traffic safety from drivers to the system itself.
- How can donors support the improvement of infrastructure safety features, particularly in marginalized communities?
- Learn about how some cities are using basic design to eliminate traffic deaths.
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The United States' motor vehicle fatalities continue to rise. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council found an 8% increase in traffic-related deaths in 2020 with a total of 42,060, the highest since 2007. That’s despite a 13% drop in vehicle miles traveled related to COVID-19 lockdowns. A projection from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates pedestrian deaths will prove to have reached 2,957 pedestrian deaths from motor vehicles in the first six months of the year even with the drop in vehicle traffic.
States and cities have responded to the consistently high numbers with Vision Zero programs, setting goals to eliminate all traffic deaths. Michael said those campaigns are rooted in the same principles as the Safe System approach, which got its start in Scandinavia. The newly released "Recommendations of the Safe System Consortium" report, written by academics and safety experts, describes the approach as a shift from the status quo that "addresses safety with a complex set of rules and an elaborate enforcement and adjudication system."
Read the full article about a "Safe System" infrastructure approach by Jason Plautz at Smart Cities Dive.