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New Initiative Will Improve Bicyclist, Pedestrian Safety


United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a new Department of Transportation (DOT) initiative to help enhance the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

In 2012, more than 4,000 pedestrians and 700 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles, according to the Department of Transportation. And that doesn’t count the injuries that didn’t lead to a fatality—an additional 70,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012 by things ranging from tripping to being hit by a car and 49,000 more cyclists were injured from collisions and accidents such as falls.

The new initiative includes safety, education and infrastructure resources that will help to make sure cyclists and pedestrians have safe routes everywhere.

The initiative will also include a guide to helping communities create “road diets.” A road diet is a process by which low-traffic roads are redesigned to add bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways. The DOT states that, “Studies show that road diets reduce all traffic crashes by an average of 29 percent, and when used on rural highways that pass through small towns, they can reduce crashes by almost half (47 percent).”

“Safety is our highest priority and that commitment is the same regardless of which form of transportation people choose, including walking and biking,” Secretary Foxx said in a DOT press release. “This initiative is aimed at reversing the recent rise in deaths and injuries among the growing number of Americans who bicycle or walk to work, to reach public transportation and to other important destinations.”

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