DOT Unveils Pedestrian Safety Initiative
Increasingly worried about a rise in pedestrian accidents, the Department of Transportation has unveiled an initiative that they hope can be used to reduce instances of a pedestrian collision, especially in those areas most susceptible to the danger.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled data which shows that 4,432 pedestrians were killed in 2011, a jump of more than 300 from two years prior. And as news that won’t come as much of a shock to drivers who frequent its streets, 42% of traffic fatalities in the Los Angeles area are made up of pedestrians. New York and Chicago joined LA as the the three cities which led in terms of the greatest percentage of overall traffic deaths which involved pedestrians.
The 22 cities that fared the worst in terms of pedestrian safety will all qualify to benefit from safety grants from the federal government. States will be able to apply for some portion of $2 million up until the end of August.
The Transportation Secretary wants people to realize the threat posed by distracted walking, a trend that has become far too common in recent years. He points out that increased mp3 usage, in addition to our increased tendency to text constantly, may be the reason why pedestrian fatalities jumped for the first time in decades.