Safe Kids Worldwide Issues Statement in Support of DoT Transportation Legislation
Favors Bipartisan Approach to Road Safety
Washington, D.C. – Safe Kids Worldwide President and CEO Kate Carr released a statement today applauding U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman on their leadership in sending Congress a comprehensive proposal for the next transportation bill. The GROW AMERICA Act would update the MAP-21 law which expires September 30, 2014. Smart and practical public policy is effective in improving safety. Safe Kids hopes that Congress and the White House will continue the bipartisan approach to transportation safety laws.
The bipartisan MAP-21 law made significant progress on safety, and the new transportation law can move us even further with refinements to make the law more effective in encouraging states to take greater steps toward safety, especially involving kids. The proposal addresses several Safe Kids’ priorities important to road safety affecting kids, including teen driving and graduated drivers’ license (GDL) laws, distracted driving risks and challenges confronting young pedestrians and bicyclists. More than 75 Safe Kids coalitions joined together in letters to Secretary Foxx and Congress laying out Safe Kids’ recommendations.
Safe Kids is especially concerned about the preventable loss of lives of teen drivers and their passengers. In 2012, nearly 2,500 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, divided almost equally between drivers and passengers. Strong GDL laws work to save lives. Safe Kids supported the MAP-21 grant program to provide incentives to states to make their GDL laws tougher. Safe Kids favors the approach in the GROW AMERICA Act to make the grant program more effective. Greater flexibility is balanced with sensible steps to gradually increase driving privileges for teens and tough enforcement.
Safe Kids’ research, “Teens and Distraction" found that kids are at significant risk as pedestrians, particularly older kids who often walk while using a phone or wearing headphones. Safe Kids strongly supports Secretary Foxx’s mission to respond to the pedestrian risk and the additional resources the GROW AMERICA Act would provide, especially where kids walk and bike including schools.
Similarly, we must improve our laws to stop distracted driving. Safe Kids supports a more flexible approach towards encouraging state action, such as awarding grants as states make steady progress on reform.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost all of these tragedies are preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.