By Anthony Foxx
Before I get too far into my own “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” message, I want to thank KDOT for hosting this incredible series every year and for their clear commitment to road safety.
At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we share that commitment. Safety is our number one priority. Always has been; always will be.
And safety isn't just part of my job description. Safety was a priority for me when I was Mayor of Charlotte and a child who was walking with her mother was struck by a car and killed. It’s a priority for me as a father and husband. And it’s a priority for me as a driver, a bicyclist, and a pedestrian who has seen firsthand the need for greater safety.
As many readers might know, I was once hit by a car while jogging in Charlotte.
So when I talk about safety on our nation’s roads it's not in some abstract way. When I talk about safety, I'm talking about safety on the roads in my actual neighborhood, and in your actual neighborhood. Greater safety in the very real neighborhoods where our kids play and where our daily commutes begin and end.
I’m talking about safety from the ground up and not the top down. Which is what makes this “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” series, with its many personal stories, so effective.
As Secretary of Transportation, I know full well that it’s important for large organizations to advance safety in all the ways that large organizations can.
For example, at DOT, we’re nurturing development of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication technologies so we can reduce the impact of human error on road safety. And we’re supporting implementation of pavement surfaces and other roadway technologies to boost safety. We also conduct a wide range of crash-testing to encourage manufacturers to increase the occupant protection their vehicles provide.
We know that working with the Kansas Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across the country helps save lives by getting folks to drive sober, put away their texting devices, and buckle up. So we do that.
And when we can fund safer infrastructure, we do that, too.
But safety also increases when you and I make our own individual safe choices, when our kids see us making those choices, and when we encourage others to make similar choices.
We increase safety on our roads when we put on bike helmets. We do it when we drive our kids to soccer practice on the weekend and make sure they see us buckling our seat belts before we put the car into gear. We do it when we're crossing an intersection on foot without having our noses in our smartphones.
How do we Put the Brakes on Fatalities? One safe choice at a time.
Anthony Foxx is the United States Secretary of Transportation