News Road to Zero- A Resolution Calling for an End to Traffic Deaths

A group of United States Senators and Representatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday, July 27th, that would commit the US to zero traffic deaths by the year 2050. This bold resolution was authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and joined by 11 other members of Congress, including Rep. Jared Huffman, whose district includes Marin and Sonoma counties.

Traffic violence is a public health problem of epic proportions in the United States. With nearly 40,000 annual deaths on our roads and highways, our country far outstrips our peer nations. This catastrophic toll of human life is as avoidable as it is tragic. If the U.S. had the same level of traffic safety as Germany (home of the Autobahn and no stranger to cars), nearly 28,000 lives would be saved every single year. Very few Americans will lead a life untouched by traffic violence – indeed, it is the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 25. 

Crucially, we are not even moving in the right direction. While 2020 saw drastically lower levels of traffic, auto-based fatalities increased by nearly 2,500 people (not to mention the far greater number of traffic-related injuries). This continues a worrying trend – the number of pedestrians killed in traffic has risen 44% in the past 10 years, a burden that falls disproportionately on lower-income people, many of whom have to traverse hostile roadways to get to a bus stop. Bicyclists have fared nearly as poorly. Fatal crashes involving riders have increased 36% in the same 10-year period.

The reasons behind this are still being studied, but are almost certainly related to the ever-growing size of pickup trucks and SUVs and the fact that large numbers of people are using their phone and driving.

We cannot sit idle and let this tragedy continue, and must learn from the nations that have already begun to tackle this problem. That’s why a coalition of street safety advocates, including MCBC’s Warren Wells, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition’s Eris Weaver, Marilyn Price of Trips for Kids, Stephen Bingham of Ride of Silence, and Leah Shahum of the Vision Zero Network, met (virtually) with Rep. Huffman’s office, asking that he join as a co-sponsor of the Zero Traffic Deaths Resolution (full text here). 

After a productive meeting, we were thrilled to learn that the Congressman agreed to co-sponsor the resolution, lending his support to this crucial project. We at MCBC would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Congressman, and encourage you, his constituents, to do so as well (you can contact his office here).


However, many of the changes that will make our streets safer for everyone, whether they are driving, walking, or biking, happen at the local level. To this end, we need your help urging your local elected officials to act as well., This means contacting the County Supervisors and your city/town councilmembers. Our three neighboring counties, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Alameda, have all committed to a goal of zero traffic deaths. We believe that Marin County should do the same, and make it clear that safety is the most important priority in our transportation system. 

If you would like additional information, please contact 

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