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Statement: Vision Zero Act would mean safer roadways to combat increased pedestrian and cyclist deaths

Transforming our transportation system is necessary to protect lives and fight climate change
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new data last week showing that pedestrian and cyclist deaths on American roads are at their highest levels since 1990. In response, the co-chairs of the bipartisan federal Bike Caucus, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), introduced the Vision Zero Act. This legislation would make federal transportation funding available to communities to design and implement Vision Zero programs. “Vision Zero” is the goal of eliminating all transportation-related fatalities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers.

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG’s Transportation Campaign director, issued the following statement in support of the bill:

“Since 2008, more than 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes, have been killed while walking and biking on American roads. That’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people crashing—with no survivors—every single month. This incalculable heartbreak is preventable. 

“We thank Reps. Blumenauer, Buchanan, Pressley and the entire Bike Caucus for prioritizing the safety of all people who use our roadways—especially those most vulnerable to being struck and killed—over moving cars as fast as possible.

“At a time when reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation system is essential in the fight against climate change, we should be encouraging people to walk and bike. But if people don’t feel safe on the road that’s impossible. For the health of both Americans and the planet, we need to take action, including by passing this bill.”

Read Matt’s blog on this subject: The cyclist’s dilemma: How safety, climate and air pollution collide on America’s roadways.

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U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations that stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

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