Feds move to reduce bicycle and pedestrian deaths

The federal government is launching an initiative to reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians who are killed in traffic accidents, the Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday. 

The Transportation Department said the program would last 18 months and involve the agency’s field offices through the country conducting road safety assessments and helping local governments “build streets that are safer for people walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation.” 

“Safety is our highest priority and that commitment is the same regardless of which form of transportation people choose, including walking and biking,” Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE said in a statement.  “This initiative is aimed at reversing the recent rise in deaths and injuries among the growing number of Americans who bicycle or walk to work, to reach public transportation and to other important destinations.”  

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DOT officials said the number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities have increased at a faster clip than deaths from car crashes since 2009. Pedestrian deaths alone rose six percent from 2011-2012, and bicycle fatalities increased 7 percent in the same period, the agency said. 

The DOT said its safety campaign “will promote design improvements to ensure safe and efficient routes for pedestrians and bicycles, promote behavioral safety, and provide education to help individuals make safer travel choices. 

“The initiative will also encourage vehicle safety by drawing on current crash avoidance technologies to alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians,” the agency said.