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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Contact: TaMara McCrae
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 33-01

Transportation Partners Designate "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day"

To help reduce fatalities and injuries on the nation's highways, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) today joined a host of national safety advocates to mark the first annual "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day."

Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Jeffery W. Runge, M.D., signed an agreement marking Oct. 10 of each year as "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" on behalf of the USDOT. Also signing were the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Automobile Association, Roadway Safety Foundation, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, American Trucking Associations, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and The Road Information Program.

"Safety is President Bush's highest transportation priority," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. "This new partnership further demonstrates our commitment to save lives and prevent injuries on our nation's highways."

"The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is committed to working with our safety partners to reduce crash-related traffic fatalities and increase driver awareness," FHWA Administrator Peters said. "We have one of the safest highway systems in the world, but we must take a greater personal responsibility when using the nation's roadways."

During today's signing ceremony, NHTSA Administrator Runge said, "The more we do to educate the public about this nationwide epidemic, the closer we approach a day with no fatalities."

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are partners in the initiative along with the FHWA.

The agreement provides the framework for action in implementing the national commemorative day to promote a reduction in crash-related roadway fatalities and increase driver awareness. The goals and objectives of the memorandum of understanding are:

  • To engage public and private sector partners in promoting safe driving behavior on the national commemorative day;

  • To encourage community action, through partnerships, in support of the national commemorative day;

  • To promote safe driving behavior, better vehicle maintenance, and roadway safety improvements; and

  • To increase public awareness and individual responsibility for safe roadway travel whether as drivers or passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians.

More than 250,000 crash related fatalities have occurred in the last six years (1995-2000). In 2000 alone, almost 42,000 fatalities were recorded on U.S. roadways, an average of 114 every day. The lowest number of crash related fatalities on any one day in 2000 was 60.

Additional information and a list of participating organizations is on the Internet at http://www.brakesonfatalities.org/


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