Vehicle deaths reach 15 year high, Secretary Buttigieg says DOT plans to make roads safer

More than 31,000 have died in vehicle crashes in 2021.
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 2:01 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Data recently released by the Department of Transportation shows more than 31,000 people died in vehicle crashes during the first nine months of 2021, the deadliest nine months on American roads since 2006.

The DOT said it has a plan to make American roads safer, called the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS).

Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “That means safer vehicles, safer road designs, safer people, safer speeds and paying attention to the care that people get when there is a crash in the immediate aftermath.”

According to the Department of Transportation’s website, the NRSS, “…Outlines the Department’s comprehensive approach to significantly reducing serious injuries and deaths on our Nation’s highways, roads, and streets. This is the first step in working toward an ambitious long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities. Safety is U.S. DOT’s top priority, and the NRSS represents a Department-wide approach to working with stakeholders across the country to achieve this goal.”

Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a group that pushes for policy it believes will makes roads safer, said the plan is a good start.

Chase said, “This issuance of a plan is the easy part if you will. The implementation of it is where the rubber hits the road.”

Chase also said the NRSS is light on specifics, and that she needs to see immediate action from the DOT before there’s anything to celebrate.

She said, “We really need the U.S. Department of Transportation to get going on some of these rule makings, especially considering the skyrocketing fatalities that have been happening on our roadways.”

Buttigieg and Chase said those numbers show why quick action is needed to make roads safer.

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