In an effort to reverse the increase in pedestrian deaths in the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is making $2 million in safety grants available to cities with the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities.
Along with the grant money – announced recently by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx – the NHTSA, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has launched a website (www.nhtsa.gov/everyoneisapedestrian) that provides safety tips and resources for local leaders, city planners, parents and others involved in improving pedestrian safety.
"We continue to see high rates of pedestrian fatalities in major cities and across every demographic," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
According to NHTSA data, 4,432 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2011 – an 8 percent increase since 2009. Three out of four pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas and 70 percent of those killed were at non-intersections. In addition, 70 percent of deaths occurred at night and many involved alcohol.
States have until Aug. 30 to apply for a total of $2 million that can be used for education and enforcement initiatives in 22 focus cities where pedestrian deaths are greater than the national average.
The new website pulls pedestrian safety information from both NHTSA and FHWA such as information for parents on teaching children about safe walking, reports on effective pedestrian projects for state highway safety offices, and guides for community pedestrian safety advocates.
Previous efforts to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists have focused on walking routes and infrastructure, such as offering technical assistance to cities and states with the highest pedestrian fatalities and tools like Pedsafe, an online toolbox that communities can use to improve pedestrian safety in their area.