By Bob Chauncey
We are a growing alliance of organizations and individuals seeking to end the acceptance of over 40,000 traffic deaths a year in the United States. We are outraged at the common belief that traffic crashes are unavoidable "accidents" and are combining our forces to stop these unacceptable and predictable crashes.
The Traffic Justice movement will be based on four defining principles.
1. The primary goal of our transportation system must be the prevention of traffic crashes. We believe the traditional emphasis of US transportation and safety agencies on making crashes safer through technology has failed to achieve reductions in injuries and fatalities on a par with the crash prevention efforts in other countries.
2. We offer instead the principle of Traffic Justice -- the expectation of just and accountable conduct of all participants in our transportation system. Our initiatives will require that drivers, car manufacturers, road designers, elected officials, law enforcers, community planners and others take specific actions toward preventing traffic crashes. For example, some of the traffic justice changes we are working toward would:
- require drivers to comply with all traffic laws and thereby hold drivers fully accountable for their actions;
- require the installation of event data recorders and other law enforcement technologies into cars and trucks to support the adherence of traffic laws;
- require roads to be designed and built to dramatically reduce speeding, while safely accommodating pedestrians and bicyclists;
- restrict any promotion of dangerous driving;
- assist in the passage of laws extending the privilege of driving only to those who have not abused it;
- require law enforcement agencies to assign traffic law enforcement a priority consistent with the importance of preventing traffic crashes in the communities they serve;
- encourage community leaders to support developments likely to yield shorter trips, fewer trips, and more walking, biking and public transit to complete these trips.
3. The Traffic Justice Task Force and working groups will support and deliver resources to an alliance of organizations and individuals. We will work with and through these organizations rather than create an entirely new organization.
4. We see as the outcome of a successful Traffic Justice movement a sustainable safe transportation system that reduces traffic crashes to such a low number that when a fatality or injury occurs the response is as it should be: outrage, investigation as to the cause, and reparation to the victims.
Let me know what you think of this statement. Also, contact me with ideas on potential partners, potential funders, other campaign ideas, etc. Look for a Traffic Justice workshop at the National Bike Summit in March. Traffic Justice will also be a topic at Velo-city 2007 in Munich.
Traffic Justice Information: http://www.bikewalk.org/tji.php