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NTSB Study Recommends Major Overhaul Of Traffic Policies To Curb Annual 10,000 Speed-Related Deaths
Updated August 17, 2017 6:33 AM
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(UNDATED) - Vision Zero Network, local leaders urge swift action on NTSB recommendations calling for greater community control of speeds.

Speed-related fatality rate on local roads is 3 times higher than on highways, yet local safe speeds efforts impeded by outdated state, federal practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today called for government at all levels to overhaul and modernize their roadway speed management practices to prevent the estimated 10,000 speed-related traffic deaths and many thousands more disabling injuries that occur each year.

The NTSB study, NTSB Safety Study: Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles, underscored the fact that the speeding-related fatality rate on local roads is 3 times higher than on highways: 3.8 deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled on local roads compared to 1.2 deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled on highways. Yet, local communities are often blocked from implementing safety solutions by outdated state and federal standards related to speed.

The national nonprofit Vision Zero Network and local leaders across the nation are praising NTSB's recommendations urging a long-overdue update of antiquated policies and standards for setting safe speed limits, conducting effective law enforcement, and designing roadways, including:

  • Modernize speed-setting standards that are outdated and unproven, in order to account for all road users, not just those driving cars;
  • Encourage states and localities to authorize the use of automated speed enforcement, which is proven to be effective in managing speed, improving safety.
  • Incentivize state and local speed management activities; and increase federal attention, leadership and funding of speed as a national safety priority.

Incorporate the safe system approach for urban roads to strengthen protection for vulnerable road users.
"People in cities are disproportionately impacted by outdated thinking around managing speed for safety," said Leah Shahum, founder and director of the national nonprofit Vision Zero Network. "Children, seniors, people of color, low-income residents, and people walking and bicycling bear the brunt of this often-overlooked public health and safety crisis that claims the lives of as many Americans as drunk driving."

The Vision Zero Network is a nonprofit campaign advancing Vision Zero, the goal of zero traffic deaths and severe injuries. The Network brings together local leaders in health, transportation planning/engineering, law enforcement, public policy and advocacy to develop and share strategies, policies and programs to make Vision Zero a reality.

"These recommendations will save lives by enabling our mayors, police chiefs, transportation and public health directors, and community leaders to break free from the old, broken approach that puts speed before safety," Shahum said. "Safe streets, not speedways, must be the new norm if we are to prevent the 10,000 speed-related deaths and $52 billion in economic losses each year."

Read more about the NTSB study, reactions from across the nation, and additional examples of communities' efforts and successes at managing speed at:

See the NTSB study at:

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