WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released the first-of-its-kind Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. This effort is being overseen by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole R. Nason and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator James Owens, with the goal of reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America’s roads. It is the latest in a series of efforts by the Department to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users.
“This unprecedented comprehensive safety effort is focused solely on protecting pedestrians because crossing a street should not be lethal for thousands of adults and children every year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019 were pedestrians. In 2019—the most recent year for which data are available—6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, 44 percent more than in 2010. Pedestrian fatalities are largely a phenomenon in urban areas during dark conditions, and typically increase in the fall and winter months.
“Reducing pedestrian fatalities is a team effort that requires collaboration between federal, state and local transportation leaders,” said Administrator Nason. “We need safer roads, and this plan provides a road map to get us there.”
“At some point in the day, we are all pedestrians – especially right now, when everyone wants to get outside for some fresh air,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “Everyone has a role to play in ensuring pedestrian safety and this Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will help communities, drivers, and pedestrians take steps to save lives.”
Administrator Nason has made pedestrian safety a priority for FHWA, and led nationwide efforts to amplify the substantial work that FHWA is doing in this area. In 2020, she started a national series of stakeholder discussions about this topic and launched “STEP UP,” a Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian campaign, to help states make roads safer for everyone.
The Department’s new Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will promote the expanded use of countermeasures, technology, and data-driven practices to address pedestrian fatalities and injuries. For more information about the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, visit the USDOT’s Pedestrian Safety Summit website.
Contact: Neil Gaffney