TheCityFix just came across this great series that American National Public Radio (NPR) began yesterday. The impetus for the series was the realization that apparently last year saw one of the lowest levels of driving fatalities in nearly 50 years. Public policy has made big gains in recent years in combating a cause of death that every year claims nearly as many lives in the US as there were American fatalities in the entire 9-year Vietnam War. NPR poses the question: Will downward trends in traffic fatalities continue with an aging American population, distracted driving practices like texting on the rise, and the introduction of economy cars amidst a still decidedly large car fleet? Should be a fascinating series to follow.
It’s also worth noting that EMBARQ, the producer of this website, recently won a grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies to tackle transportation safety and public health in urban areas globally. From our press release:
Road traffic crashes kill 1.2 million people and injure up to 50 million each year, according to the World Health Organization. Road traffic injuries are projected to be the fifth leading cause of death globally by 2030. To reverse these trends, Bloomberg’s five-year program will focus on ten low-and middle-income countries that have a high burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities, representing nearly half (48%) of traffic deaths globally.
From Nancy Kete, EMBARQ’s director:
“We’re tackling the problem at the root by considering all of the health and safety benefits associated with mass transit, cycling, walking, clean fuels and vehicles, and vibrant public spaces. These solutions not only provide safer streets, but they also lead to cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions, more physically active citizens, and greater social inclusion.”