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Opening Our Eyes to the Truth of Mobility Safety

Tom Flood will join the March 2 Countersteer as we tackle ways to shift perspective on who and what to prioritize in transportation systems.

Heidi Simon
January 12, 2023

The truth about mobility safety is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten so used to the current risky state of mobility safety in the U.S. that it’s hard to “see” its inherent dangers. Whether it’s walking down an unsafe street, biking and competing for space with an oversized vehicle, or sharing the road with a distracted driver, too many road users are forced to accept these conditions as the best we can do. As traffic safety advocates, it is our responsibility to open the eyes of our community members and show them how we can do better.

It can be an enormous challenge to shift others’ perspectives about what makes a successful transportation system, but we must share the message that we should not be satisfied with a system that looks at the movement of people in cars as the sole metric. As we have explored on earlier Countersteer sessions, mobility is about so much more. It’s the legacy of decisions made and the challenges facing our future. It’s how we engage with our community and celebrate our freedom to move. A successful mobility system must accommodate all people with safe and accessible options for anywhere they need or want to go. That is the story traffic safety advocates need to share with those who don’t work on the issue on a regular basis.

In the next session of Countersteer, we will tackle ways to promote the issue of mobility safety, and, perhaps more importantly, shift perspective on who and what we prioritize through our transportation systems. Tom Flood will join us at the National Safety Council to offer his marketing expertise and share how, as a parent looking to safely bike to school with his children, he had his own eyes opened to the issue of traffic safety. In order to improve safety and accessibility, we must confront the fact that too many of us have become numb to the daily challenges of safe mobility in our communities. We need creativity, urgency and a new narrative to turn the tide on traffic violence.

To make the most of this session, NSC encourages you to:

● Register for this March 2 session; come ready with an open mind to be part of a respectful and productive dialogue
● Help shape the conversation; submit your ideas or questions you’d like addressed in the session to [email protected]
● Familiarize yourself with Tom Flood’s work by checking out his Twitter feed and his webpage
● If you’re new to Countersteer, check out the recordings of our previous sessions

Special Guest: Tom Flood

Tom Flood worked in advertising for many years in Toronto on a wide range of projects, including corporate branding for automotive clients. Things changed direction for him when he took his kids to school on their bikes and noticed the serious imbalance in our shared spaces. He has most recently been developing strategy & creative through Rovélo Creative and giving lectures and workshops around framing and language as it applies to AT, road safety and road violence. He continues to work in marketing in Hamilton, Ontario, where he lives with his partner and two kids. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heidi Simon

Heidi Simon is senior program manager III, mobility safety strategy, at the National Safety Council.

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