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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who has yet to effectively address the ongoing supply chain crisis, appears to want to impose European-style restrictions on automobile travel as part of a national road safety strategy.
Buttigieg is lamenting an increase in traffic fatalities that occurred through September 2021 even with more people staying home during the pandemic. This is according to soon-to-be-released federal data that is prompting several top-down initiatives.
In the first six months of 2021, traffic deaths totaled 20,160, thus sadly marking a 15-year high in first-half statistics.
“Buttigieg said his department is embracing a new ‘safe system’ approach urged by auto safety advocates to bolster initiatives, underway in several cities, that seek to eliminate fatalities by taking into account more than just driver behavior,” the Associated Press reported.
“Over the next two years, he said, his department will provide guidance as well as $5 billion in grants to states to spur lower speed limits and embrace safer road design such as dedicated bike and bus lanes, better lighting and crosswalks. When roads become safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, that opens up transit options overall and can lead to fewer dangerous cars on the road, he said,” the news outlet added.
Funding in the $1.2 trillion so-called infrastructure bill, which Democrats jammed through Congress with the help of 13 Republicans, will pay for these grants.
Most, if not all, Americans would likely welcome practical, sensible — rather than theoretical — measures that make traveling by car safer and minimize harm to operators and passengers. There are obviously a lot of reckless or inattentive drivers out on the roads.
Whether Buttigieg’s proposals can accomplish their stated objectives or are just another form of bureaucratic control over personal freedom is another matter entirely.
“Today we commit that our goal is this: zero. Our goal is zero deaths” from traffic accidents, Buttigieg said, which perhaps sounds a little like the goal of zero COVID, however.
“The decision to commit to that goal in a serious way at a national level changes the way cities and towns design roads, changes the way companies build cars, changes the way people drive,” he added
The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., is also apparently advocating more speed cameras, which have proved controversial in many jurisdictions.
The failed 2020 Democrat presidential candidate is the same purported bike-to-work enthusiast who was spotted traveling around D.C. in a convoy of gas-guzzling, black government SUVs. He is also the official who last year claimed that racism is inherent in some highways or bridges.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, also plans to move forward on rule-making to require automatic emergency braking in all new passenger vehicles, set new standards on car safety performance by emphasizing features such as lane keeping assistance and require crash avoidance information on new car window stickers,” the AP added.
The infrastructure bill also mandates anti-drunk driving ignition locks for vehicles, but it is as yet undetermined when that sort of technology will be included in the carmakers’ assembly line.
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