Over 80 countries have signed up to make our roads safer. Only one dissented.
There was a big conference you heard of recently in Stockholm, the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. It came up with a few pretty critical decisions and recommendations that could change our roads, our cities, and save tens of thousands of lives, recognizing”the need to encourage the integrated approach to road safety like a safe system approach and Vision Zero.” In their announcement, they:
Express great concern that road traffic crashes kill more than 1.35 million people every year, with over 90% of these casualties occurring in low- and middle-income countries, that these collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29 years, and that the projected up to 500 million road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide between 2020 and 2030 constitute a preventable epidemic and crisis that to avoid will require more significant political commitment, leadership and greater action at all levels in the next decade.
Among other things, they resolved to:
Call upon Member States to contribute to reducing road traffic deaths by at least 50% from 2020 to 2030… and to set targets to reduce fatalities and serious injuries, in line with this commitment, for all groups of road users and especially vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and users of public transport.
Include road safety and a safe system approach as an integral element of land use, street design, transport system planning and governance, especially for vulnerable road users and in urban areas, by strengthening institutional capacity with regard to road safety laws and law enforcement, vehicle safety, infrastructure improvements, public transport, post-crash care, and data.
Speed up the shift toward safer, cleaner, more energy efficient and affordable modes of transport and promote higher levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling, as well as integrating these modes with the use of public transport to achieve sustainability.
And the big one:
Focus on speed management, including the strengthening of law enforcement to prevent speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h [18.5 MPH] in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner, except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe, noting that efforts to reduce speed in general will have a beneficial impact on air quality and climate change as well as being vital to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries.
As Carlton Reid noted in Forbes, the U.S. was the only one of over eighty nations that rejected the plan and issued a dissenting statement, which in itself is a very interesting document, because of how much it gets wrong from the second sentence.
While the United States supports many of the objectives outlined in the declaration, we find it necessary to dissociate ourselves from certain paragraphs that, in our view, muddle our focus and detract attention from data driven scientific policies and programs that have successfully reduced fatalities on roadways. Specifically, the United States dissociates itself from preambular paragraphs (PP)7 and 8 that references climate change, gender equality, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production as these issues are not directly related to road safety.
Of course a look at any of the statistics from the USA shows that the deaths caused by drivers are disproportionately inflicted on the poor and the black populations. These are all directly related.
They then take a shot at the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the successor to the dreaded Agenda 21, noting that “the 2030 Agenda is non-binding and does not create or affect rights or obligations under international law, nor does it create any new financial commitments.” The US response asserts,”The United States is committed to improving global road safety and is leading by example.” This, when the number of pedestrians has been growing.
To reduce the risk of crashes and their resulting injuries and deaths, the United States will continue to work closely with our state and local partners to implement evidence- based public education and targeted awareness campaigns. In addition, we are continuing research to better understand the relationship between roadway design, traffic volumes, speed, and crash outcomes. The United States is focused on improving road safety especially for pedestrians and bicyclists through infrastructure design.
Needless to say, everybody understands the connections between rate and road layout and also the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians. It is only inconvenient for motorists.
Dominating from every angle.
— RamTrucks (@RamTrucks) February 23, 2020
And there is not a peep about light truck and SUV layout, that has been shown to be fatal . Instead, they wander away in the Declaration’s requirement that”all automobiles sold for each market by 2030 are equipped with appropriate levels of safety performance, which incentives for use of vehicles with improved safety performance are supplied where possible” Because pickups don’t look dominating from each angle should you do so.
Oh, and don’t forget, self-driving cars are just around the corner and they will save us all!
Further, our country is on the verge of one of the most exciting and important innovations in transportation history— the development of Automated Driving Systems (ADSs), commonly referred to as automated or self-driving vehicles. This new technology can lead to a future in which vehicles increasingly help drivers avoid crashes. And, especially important, it’s a future in which highway fatalities and injuries are significantly reduced.
Sweet that I’ve still got an exclusive but why aren’t other media outlets reporting on this shocking story about Trump’s America? https://t.co/vpZ5aWdAfC
— Carlton Reid (@carltonreid) February 24, 2020
Nobody is talking about this particular story, I learned about it since I trace Carlton Reid. Even in Canada, they did not ship Marc Garneau, the Transport Minister; only bureaucrats. In actuality, the Stockholm Declaration is a very major deal; I anticipate actual Vision Zero and 30 km/hr rate limits and safer automobiles in the near future.
And Americans will continue to die in enormous numbers, on streets which are broad, where drivers go too quickly, and where people continue to get murdered by these enormous black trucks which are so hot and fatal.
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