U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday announced that a new traffic safety call to action seeks to reverse what the department calls a "crisis killing more than 40,000 people each year." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Department Friday launched a Call To Action campaign to cut highway traffic deaths and serious injuries.
The agency announced the campaign in a statement, saying it aims to reverse "the crisis that is killing more than 40,000 people a year."
"Traffic crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives a year-a national crisis on our roadways-and everyone has an important role to play in addressing it," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Today we are issuing a national call to action and asking all Americans-including private industry, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and every level of government to join us in acting to save lives on our roadways."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first quarter of 2022 than in any other quarter over the past two decades.
In 2021, an estimated 42,915 people died in vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Transportation.
An array of efforts will be used to improve traffic safety, including partnering with 49 organizations and businesses that have committed to help work toward zero fatalities, according to the Department of Transportation.
As this new traffic safety effort was rolled out, 510 grants totaling more than $800 million were announced to help counties, Tribes and metropolitan planning organizations create plans to prevent deaths and serious roadway injuries.
The 3M company will help road agencies improve reflective signage and improve safety in 100 school zones. Uber is increasing efforts to reduce drunk driving and is launching a suite of road safety commitments.
This new call to action on traffic deaths comes on the first anniversary of the National Roadway Safety Strategy. That was released in January 2022 after a 6.8% increase in traffic fatalities in 2020 compared to 2019.
The Department of Transportation is encouraging businesses and other organizations to join the traffic safety effort by committing to action that includes following a safe system approach to transform how America thinks of traffic safety.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the January jobs report
in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo