Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have joined the Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver Public Works, and the Denver Police Department today to remind all Colorado road users to share the road attentively and safely.
Acting Administrator of DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) James Owens and DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams visited Colorado to remind road users of Denver Vision Zero, a five-year plan that calls for improved street design, safe speeds, a culture of safety, and improved data.
“Our mission is to protect Americans on our roads,” said Owens. “And our collective work is paying off. NHTSA recently released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4 percent decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities.”
“U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao’s top priority is safety,” said Williams. “That’s one reason why the Federal Transit Administration is working to help our transit agency partners eliminate grade-crossing crashes and prevent trespassing to keep the traveling public safe. This safety partnership will raise awareness and save lives.”
According to the Denver Vision Zero Data Dashboard, from January 1 to October 31, 2019, there were 61 fatal crashes in the city. Bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists accounted for most of those deaths, at 56 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Although overall traffic related deaths were down across the nation in 2018, fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists and other vulnerable road users increased by 3.4 percent.
NHTSA is examining current and planned research related to these vulnerable road users, including recently announced plans for upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program – the 5-Star Ratings system for new vehicles. As part of these NCAP upgrades, NHTSA will consider new technologies tied to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, among other vulnerable road users.
Over the past three years, DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded Colorado $46.6 million because Colorado’s annual combined pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities exceeded 15 percent of the total annual crash fatalities in the state.