Senate can add safety measures to infrastructure package

Last year an estimated 38,680 people were killed on our nation’s roadways, including 6,236 pedestrians and 891 bicyclists, according to federal government estimates. With the U.S. Senate expected to begin considering transportation and infrastructure legislation soon, now is the time lifesaving policy changes must be made.

Research shows that technologies, like automatic emergency braking (AEB), which assist the driver if a crash is imminent, can save many lives. Unfortunately, bill language in the U.S. Senate fails to require this technology on all new vehicles and ensure that it stops collisions with all road users. For example, small and medium size trucks omnipresent in neighborhoods delivering packages are excluded. It also lacks a deadline for action. These lethal loopholes will leave countless Washingtonians, including those who walk and bike, needlessly at risk.

We urge Sen. Maria Cantwell, chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with jurisdiction over the bill, to correct these shortcomings. This unique opportunity to save lives now and for years to come must not be squandered. As someone who has experienced the tragic consequences of a fatal crash, President Biden should be sent a bill that will spare others loss and suffering and achieve significant safety advances.

Mike McGinn

America Walks

Vicky Clarke

Cascade Bicycle Club

Seattle

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