Safer Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Motorcyclists, and Older Users

Source: US Department of Transportation

While many highway safety stakeholder organizations have their own strategic highway safety plans, there is not a singular strategy that unites all of these common efforts. The dialogue began towards creating a national strategic highway safety plan at a workshop in Savannah, Georgia, on September 2-3, 2009. The majority of participants expressed that there should be a highway safety vision to which the nation aspire; even if at that point in the process it was not clear how or when it could be realized. The Savannah group concluded that the elimination of highway deaths is the appropriate goal, as even one death is unacceptable. With this input from over 70 workshop participants and further discussions with the Steering Committee following the workshop, the name of this effort became "Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety." The National Strategy on Highway Safety is to be data-driven and incorporate education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical services. It can be used as a guide and framework by safety stakeholder organizations to enhance current national, state, and local safety planning and implementation efforts.

One of the initial efforts in the process for developing a National Strategy on Highway Safety is the preparation of white papers that highlight the key issue areas that may be addressed as part of the process. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin has prepared nine white papers on the following topics:

  1. Future View of Transportation: Implications for Safety
  2. Safety Culture
  3. Safer Drivers
  4. Safer Vehicles
  5. Safer Vulnerable Users
  6. Safer Infrastructure
  7. Emergency Medical Services
  8. Data Systems and Analysis Tools
  9. Lessons Learned from Other Countries

Experts in these areas were retained to prepare these papers. The authors were challenged to be thought provoking and offer strategies and initiatives that, if implemented, would move the country towards zero deaths.

A certain group of road users are particularly vulnerable to becoming a fatality if involved in vehicle crash including pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, bicyclists, motorcyclists and all of those users who have diminished abilities due to aging. Strategies for addressing these groups are presented in this white paper by a team of experts in these areas including Charlie Zegeer, Janet Barlow, William Hunter, Frances Bents, and Loren Staplin.

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