In achieving our mission of zero traffic deaths by 2050, the Road to Zero Coalition acknowledges the disparities that exist in roadway safety and commit to doing better to improve safety for all system users. The Road to Zero Statement on Equity aims to serve as groundwork for our engagement on the topic of equity in roadway safety, commit the Coalition to improved efforts of partnership, programming, and communications, and acknowledge the ways that we know roadway safety has contributed to undue harm or burdens to communities.
Learn More About Road to Zero Efforts
Want to engage Road to Zero on a topic, program, or communication related to equity? Please email us at [email protected]
Additional Resources from Road to Zero Coalition Partners
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In addition to the efforts of the Road to Zero Coalition on this topic, we acknowledge that our members and other partners are also doing work in this space. We look forward to working with and learning from their own efforts through resources and statements such as:
Disparities in Roadway Safety
We know disparities exist within roadway safety and efforts to address roadway fatalities. For example, research and reporting show that:
- Disparities in Activity and Traffic Fatalities by Race/Ethnicity develops exposure-based estimates of fatalities per mile traveled for pedestrians, cyclists and light-duty vehicle occupants and describes disparities by race/ethnicity, including a subanalysis of fatality rates during darkness and in urban areas.
- Drivers are less likely to yield to Black people walking and biking than white people. Black pedestrians were passed by twice as many cars and experienced 32% longer wait times for cars to yield to them than white pedestrians.
- The pedestrian fatality rate for Native Americans is nearly five times higher than that of whites; for Blacks, it is nearly twice as high as that of whites.
- Lower-income neighborhoods experience more than twice as many pedestrian fatalities as those with the highest incomes.
- Older adults experience higher rates of pedestrian fatalities. For those 50 and above, the rate of pedestrian fatalities is more than a third higher than the general population. This jumps to almost twice as high for people 75 and older.
- Fatality rates within car crashes vary by age. Older adults and drivers under the age of 25 have a higher fatality rate than other age groups.
- Policies such as jaywalking disproportionately burden communities of color. Over one five-year period studied, Black people received 55% of pedestrian tickets in Jacksonville, Fla., despite representing 29% of the population.
- Biking policies are inconsistently applied, resulting in the disproportionate enforcement of Black cyclists. In one study, Black cyclists accounted for almost half of incident or arrest reports for bicycle citations despite making up just 18% of the population in Minneapolis.
- Black and Hispanic people received 86.4% of biking-on-sidewalk tickets in New York City in 2018-19.
- Public transportation inequities disproportionately impact Black people. Bus drivers are twice as willing to let white people ride for free than Black people.  Ninety-one percent of WMATA/Metro Police citations/summons were issued to Black people in Washington, D.C., while only 8% were issued to white people.
- The majority of crash-test dummies are designed to represent the 50th percentile male. The government does not require use of available dummies that more accurately represent female physiology (differences in hips, breasts, abdomen, necks) or use sensors to more accurately sense impacts where women are severely injured (such as lower legs and arms).