The National Transportation Safety Board shared the following statement from Chair Jennifer Homendy in response to the traffic fatality estimates released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Jennifer Homendy's Statement
“In just six months, 19,515 people died on U.S. roads. It is a cause for outrage, not celebration, even if the numbers are trending in the right direction. We still lost THOUSANDS more people than we did in the same period before the pandemic, when the death toll was already unacceptably high.”
“Adding to the heartbreak is that these 19,515 deaths were preventable: eliminating traffic violence starts with implementing NTSB recommendations, which align with the Safe System approach.”
“As I write this, we stand on the verge of a potential government shutdown that would negatively impact not just road safety, but transportation safety more broadly. I’m especially concerned we’d lose the progress we’re making in addressing the shortage of air traffic controllers (ATC), a safety-critical profession that’s already chronically understaffed. A shutdown would stop ATC training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City for the duration of the shutdown and take time after to ramp back up.”
“Finally, a shutdown would bring to a screeching halt our agency’s ability to advocate for the safety measures needed to achieve zero deaths. Our nation cannot afford to lose the small safety gains we have achieved on our roads, as reflected in the data released.”
Protecting vulnerable road users through a Safe System Approach is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of transportation improvements, according to the board.