Last week we had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. He met with nine family members of victims of traffic violence and me.

We spent an hour sharing our heart-wrenching stories as well as concrete actions USDOT needs to take NOW to address the surging crisis of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways. Specifically, we urged the USDOT:

  • Build on climate change & vehicle electrification investments by mandating federal safety regulations on Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), and hood design for all vehicles 
  • Mandate truck side underride guards. The EU, Japan, and many other countries have long-mandated side guards. Research shows these can reduce bicyclist fatalities by 50-74%.
  • Change the way speed limits are set. Did you know that the current US speed limit setting practice is to raise the speed limit when more than 15% of drivers are driving faster than posted signs? 
  • Mandate street design standards that prioritize the safety of all road users (not just drivers) with narrower lanes, raised crosswalks, physical barriers b/t cars and peds/bikes, etc.

A huge thanks to Daniel Langenkamp, Michelle DuBarry, Jeri Lynch, Amy Cohen, Latanya Byrd, Jessica Riester Hart, Laura Keenan, Joe Martinez, and Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio for pouring out your hearts and giving a face to this crisis. 

Triny WIllerton