U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced the first-ever National Roadway Safety Strategy during an exclusive interview Friday with Black press members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).
Harris said the strategy will put $6 billion into state and local governments to improve safety on the roads.
“It’s about funding for local communities around better streetlights,” Harris said. “It’s about ensuring that crosswalks are safe, giving people enough time to cross the street. We’re talking about the elderly. We’re talking about a mother with a stroller or a father with a stroller. It is a very big thing when you talk about the quality of life that people have when they live in communities where they rely on public streets to walk to church, to get the kids to school, to get to the bus and to be safe.”
Data reported by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) projects that 6,721 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads in 2020, up 4.8% from 6,412 fatalities in 2019. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020. That’s the largest number of projected fatalities during the same time period since 2006.