The Future of Mobility
American roadways are more dangerous today than they have been in decades– especially for those who are not inside a motor vehicle. Even before the surge in traffic deaths during the pandemic, U.S. traffic deaths rose 17% from 2010 to 2019, with cyclist and pedestrian deaths rising almost three times faster. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has repeatedly referred to a “national crisis” of rising traffic deaths.
What we’re doing isn’t working. As a leading organization in the traffic safety community, NSC recognizes that we need to continue to learn, expand our partnerships and act decisively on causes of the violence on our roadways. Additionally, our response to this crisis must consider the rapid ways vehicles and mobility technology are changing. To do so, NSC is committing to three focus areas for its efforts in roadway safety:
● NSC will advocate for the need for infrastructure and policy to reduce points of conflict between modes
● NSC will confront the safety implications of vehicle design
● NSC will collaborate with the roadway safety community to reverse the traffic safety culture that accepts thousands of deaths each year
A report, Mobility, Technology and Safety: The Next 20 Years, was commissioned in 2021 by the National Safety Council to consider the potential evolution of transportation over the next 20 years and its implications for traffic safety in urban areas. The report is intended to provide research-based insights to inform future efforts and serve as a guidebook for those whose work intersects with traffic safety.
Incorporating extensive research, interviews with leading experts in multiple fields and the Council's decades of experience and leadership, the report resulted in 10 key conclusions that will inform the organization’s work around roadway safety.
NSC hosted an in-depth briefing on the research July 26. Hear from the report’s author David Zipper and representatives from NSC and Allstate on the importance of this work. Watch the recording.
NSC is excited to launch a series of programs and initiatives to support this new effort around traffic safety. These will serve to inform NSC and its network, create urgent action around the causes of traffic safety, and contribute to our mission of zero traffic deaths.
The Mobility Safety Advisory Group (MSAG) is composed of select leaders from the private sector, government, non-profit organizations and academia who are ready to rethink roadway safety and save lives. The group will advise the National Safety Council Roadway Safety Practice on tactics and strategies that can best fulfill its mission.
Members of the Inaugural MSAG Include:
● Jordan Davis, Executive Director, Smart Columbus
● Seth LaJeunesse, Senior Research Associate, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
● Michael Kelley, Policy Director, BIkeWalkKC
● Corinne Kisner, Executive Director, National Association of City Transportation Officials
● Philip Koopman, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
● Peter Norton, Associate Professor, University of Virginia Department of Engineering and Society
● Kelcie Ralph, Associate Professor, Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
● Kristina Swallow, Director, Nevada Department of Transportation
● Brad Thomas, CEO, First Transit and NSC Board Member
● Shin-Pei Tsay, Director of Policy for Cities and Transportation, Uber
● David Zipper, Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State and Local Government
● Anna Zivarts, Director of the Disability Mobility Initiative Program, Disability Rights Washington
● Veronica O. Davis, PE, Director of Transportation & Drainage Operations, Houston, Texas
A new discussion series, Countersteer, was launched in September 2022 to inform NSC and its network around the latest progressive thinking, research and work in traffic safety. The series hosts leading experts and practitioners in one-on-one discussions, followed by a Q&A and a deeper dive into their work.
Empowering Youth Through Mobility Safety
2 p.m. (ET) Dec. 8
This roundtable discussion with five youth safety leaders will explore the unique and complicated relationship youth have with the transportation system. Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for young people, and many living in the U.S. have few safe options for moving around. Hear panelists’ experiences and those of the people they work with to better understand how the current mobility system impacts youth and what can be done to enact change. NSC wants attendees to help shape the conversation; send your ideas or questions ahead of time. We look forward to having you there! Register.
● Transit agencies are facing unprecedented financial challenges, and this is having profound implications on traffic safety. On Aug. 3, 2023, panelists Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., CEO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority; Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board; and Veronica Vanterpool, deputy administrator, Federal Transit Administration discuss How Transit Makes Street Safer for Everyone. Watch the webinar.
● In the March 2, 2023, webinar, Opening Eyes to Mobility Safety, Tom Flood discussed how to shift perspectives on who and what we prioritize in our transportation systems. Watch the webinar, Passcode: LC97w@Mm.
● The Dec. 7, 2022, session explored the intersection of community design and mobility safety. Read the kickoff blog, and watch the webinar
● The first session of Countersteer Sept. 13, 2022, featured Jessie Singer, author of There Are No Accidents. Watch the webinar.