In November 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) introduced a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan with a goal of reducing pedestrian accidents. Since 2016, the number of pedestrian fatalities each year has been steady at between 6,000 and 6,400, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). But the rate of pedestrian fatalities has accounted for a larger percentage of all fatalities, rising from 32,999 fatalities in 2010 to 36,096 fatalities in 2019.
The plan calls for collaboration with the following key government agencies:
- Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
First Initiatives Under the Plan
Rollout of the first initiatives under the plan was swift, with 30 actions scheduled to have taken place by the end of 2020. These include the creation of a Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) toolbox to guide stakeholders through the necessary steps of creating safer pedestrian crossings as well as a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Bystander care initiative to provide education on safety.
Actions for the Future
Future plans for the program include 59 additional actions that involve more education for pedestrians and cyclists, studies on how bicycle lanes are used versus how they were designed to be used, and incorporating crash-animation videos of high-risk behaviors by motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists into driver education courses.
Because most pedestrian accidents occur during the winter months between the hours of 6 pm to midnight, there is a plan for Adaptive Driving Beam Headlamps (ADB), which should encourage improved lower beam headlighting performance to increase a driver’s ability to see other road users.
Contact Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi If You Are in an Accident
The focus of this plan is to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in Virginia and across the country. However, even with a federal plan in place, serious pedestrian accidents will still happen. If you have been hurt or if a loved one died in a pedestrian crash, contact us for a free consultation.