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In this special investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examines pedestrian safety in the United States and recommends actions to help prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The investigation, which began in 2016 with a public forum on pedestrian safety, was supported by an inquiry into the causes of 15 crashes in which vehicles fatally injured pedestrians on public highways—representing only a fraction of the nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed on US roads in 2016. The report reviews the past 10 years of data on highway deaths; describes previous NTSB investigations related to pedestrian safety, including the 15 fatal pedestrian crashes as well as studies of the effects of speed and alcohol on highway crashes; summarizes the issues raised during the public forum; and makes 11 recommendations for improving pedestrian safety. The report considers vehicle-based countermeasures, such as improved headlights, vehicle designs that reduce injuries to pedestrians, and collision avoidance systems. It also reviews infrastructure designs that make streets safer for pedestrians. The report emphasizes that better data are needed—especially on pedestrian activity (exposure data) and on the types and outcomes of crashes involving pedestrians—to improve federal, state, and local decision-making related to pedestrian safety. As a result of its special investigation, the NTSB made safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: Expand your support of state and local safety projects beyond focus cities to promote municipal pedestrian safety action plans that develop a network of safety improvements.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Acceptable Response
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FHWA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
We are pleased to note that you offer resources to and accept requests from nonfocus states and cities to support their efforts to develop pedestrian safety action plans. These actions are responsive to the intent of this recommendation; however, the details explaining how the resources are distributed are not readily available on your website. To help us understand the reach of these programs, we request some additional information, including, at a minimum, the following: • List of the cities and states, outside of the eligible “Focused Approach” list (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/fas/), that have requested and obtained technical assistance from you over the past 2 years. • Documentation of any technical assistance or additional resources provided to cities and states in conjunction with the document, “How to Develop a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan.” • Supplemental documents outlining how the fourth round of Every Day Counts (EDC-4) has worked to promote pedestrian safety countermeasures with the 36 states beyond the 16 focus states specified under the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program. • Description of resources (such as training, analytical tools, and workshops) available to state and local agencies when implementing the seven countermeasures relevant to STEP EDC 5. This additional information will allow us to thoroughly evaluate the extent to which your programs fulfill the intent of this recommendation. Pending our receipt and review of this additional information, Safety Recommendation H-18-47 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Brandye L. Hendrickson, Deputy Administrator: In 2004, FHWA launched the Focused Approach to Safety to target FHWA's limited resources on the locations with the most severe pedestrian safety concerns. However, as noted on the Office of Safety Website (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/fas/), non-Focus States and Cities can still request assistance, but they " ... will simply not have as high of a priority as the needs of Focus States and Focus Cities." We do not typically turn down technical assistance requests. The FHW A has also developed numerous resources to empower local agencies to develop action plans on their own. How to Develop a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan, which is cited in the special investigation report, is accessible on the Office of Safety Website. In addition, the Every Day Counts initiative entitled Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), started in 2017 and continuing through 2020, increases FHWA's reach in assisting State and local agencies in creating safer pedestrian networks. Through STEP, FHWA has worked with 36 States to improve pedestrian safety at crossings, thus extending our reach beyond the 16 Focus States. Additional States may sign up for assistance during 2019 and 2020. The FHWA has a variety of technical assistance efforts to help agencies, beyond Focus States and Cities, that request aid and has tools that other agencies can use without direct assistance. We believe these actions satisfy the intent of the recommendation and request that Recommendation H-18-47 be classified as Closed-Acceptable Action.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. On September 25, 2018, the NTSB adopted its special investigation report Pedestrian Safety, NTSB/SIR-18/03.. The details of the special investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. Among the Safety Recommendations are two issued to the Federal Highway Administration, which can be found on pages 42 and 43 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response to email@example.com. If it exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.
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