WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials today joined with the United Nations, members of Congress, and some of America's leading traffic safety and public health organizations to launch "The Decade of Action," a 10-year international campaign aiming to save 5 million lives and prevent 50 million serious injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes around the world. The campaign was announced in Washington, D.C. and 30 other major international cities.
"The Decade of Action campaign is bringing together highway safety professionals from around the world," said AASHTO Vice President Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. "It promotes a common vision of highway safety, and AASHTO is proud to be a supporter in the United States. We will share our experiences and learn from what our safety partners around the world have to share with us."
Steudle joined former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); and U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-FL), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, at a press conference near the U.S. Capitol. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released new data on the impact of traffic crashes nationwide, including state-specific information on the financial cost of motor vehicle crash deaths and the number of youth fatalities across the country.
The event coincided with the release the "Safe Routes to School – Noteworthy Practices Guide," a compendium of state Safe Routes to School Program practices. The federally-funded Safe Routes to School Program promotes walking and bicycling to school.
"In addition to promoting physical activity, this program teaches children safe travel skills that will last their lifetimes," Steudle said.
The guide was developed in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, and the Governors Highway Safety Association.
"Like so many state transportation programs, there is no single, preferred way to a conduct a SRTS program," said Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. "The benefit of the guide is that it documents many different and creative approaches to SRTS implementation and provides valuable insights and resources for state SRTS coordinators and others."
May is designated National Youth Traffic Safety Month in the United States. Sesame Street's Road Safety Ambassador, Walkaround Grover, attended the Washington D.C. event.
Safe Routes to School: www.saferoutesinfo.org. Decade of Action: www.decadeofaction.org.