50 businesses, nonprofits pledge millions to stem road deaths

Efforts range from 3M investments to improve crosswalks at schools to enhanced seat belt warnings in Uber vehicles and discounted rides to prevent drunk driving.

WASHINGTON — Nearly 50 businesses and nonprofits — including ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, industry giant 3M and automaker Honda — are pledging millions of dollars to initiatives to prevent a road death crisis, according to a new federal effort announced Friday.

This is part of the Department of Transport’s “Call to Action” campaign, which leverages commitments from the private sector, trade groups and safety and health organizations to reduce injuries. and death from serious traffic accidents.

Traffic deaths are near an all-time high following an increase in dangerous driving during the coronavirus pandemic.

The public-private effort, announced Friday as part of the department’s multi-year strategy started last year to make roads safer, ranges from investments to improving school crossings learn about enhanced seat belt warnings in Uber vehicles and the partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told The Associated Press.

It comes after awarding 510 transportation grants this week totaling more than $800 million under a bipartisan infrastructure law for states and localities focused on road safety for the first time. pedestrians such as adding bike lanes, lighting, and guarding left turns and sidewalks.

After a record increase in 2021, the number of traffic deaths in the United States fell slightly in the first nine months of 2022, but the number of deaths in pedestrians and cyclists continues to increase. . More than 40,000 people are killed in traffic accidents each year.

“It’s still a crisis,” Buttigieg said, stressing the need for a nationwide mindset shift. “We are looking at road deaths that happen year after year at a similar rate to gun deaths. The problem is that they are so pervasive and pervasive that I fear as a country we are used to it and perhaps fall into the false sense that they are inevitable.”

He added: “We cannot solve any of these problems on our own. “We also know that there is no single work that can solve them all. But if we add all of this together it can be huge.”

Road users will see a flurry of safety measures this year. Uber told the AP it is donating $500,000 – its single largest investment in efforts to reduce drunk driving – to free and reduced-price rides in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Texas as part of the “Decided to Ride” program run parallel to MADD and Anheuser-Busch.

The world’s largest ride-sharing company also said it doubled the number of bike lane warnings this month from 71 cities to 144 for passengers getting off near bike paths. and provides a safety checklist for Uber Eats bike delivery drivers. It’s also committed to enhancing seat belt warnings, such as increasing the frequency of the warnings or adding an audible notification along with a pop-up message urging the driver to “fasten their seat belts”.

“We are thinking about how we can make a broader impact — how we can get people to start making better choice. “We know that it will take a broad coalition of many people to tackle the crisis in the streets of the United States right now.”

Uber’s investment comes with separate commitments from Lyft, the second-largest car-sharing company, which has partnered with the Governor’s Highway Safety Association in recent years to deliver cargo. tens of thousands of dollars in state funding to help reduce impaired driving and limit speeding.

3M, the maker of Post-it Notes, industrial coatings and ceramics, told the AP it is continuing to work with state transportation agencies to determine the best technology to help signs and markings. lines are easier to see and reflect.

It has committed to improving 100 school crossings and added to it a $250,000 pledge this year for a new transportation equity initiative that will fund half a dozen major projects in urban areas. unserved area. The company used the example of its partnership with nonprofit groups to help build the Hope Street Urban Trail of Providence, Rhode Island, last year, featuring pedestrian and bike lanes New connection connecting the neighborhood with schools and business district.

Dan Chen, president of 3M’s Transportation Safety Division, hailed the federal government’s call to action as the “right approach” that would allow companies like 3M to work in sync with policymakers and other stakeholders “to make roads safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. “

Other businesses and groups participating in the effort include American Honda Motor Co., which has committed further investments totaling $2 million to improve teen driver safety; UPS, will install automatic emergency braking on its newer large delivery vehicles; and the Automotive Innovation Alliance, a trade group, will push the industry to adopt safety technologies such as automotive headlights.

The Department for Transport said it is issuing a call for pledges and more companies are expected to join in the coming weeks.

Buttigieg, noted the need for a lengthy, multi-year effort to dramatically reduce traffic deaths, while highlighting opportunities with $1 trillion infrastructure legislation over 5 year of President Joe Biden and said much work remains to be done to rebuild public works and improve people’s livelihoods.

“I definitely have items that are worth four years and then some,” he said of his job as transportation secretary.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/companies-pledge-millions-federal-effort-to-stem-road-deaths-crisis/507-35333492-695b-438f-9d79-18f855c8fcdd 50 businesses, nonprofits pledge millions to stem road deaths

Edmund DeMarche

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