Compare this to the way we handle traffic deaths in America. Homendy explains, “In road safety, we tend to say, ‘Oh, it’s just all enforcement or it’s just all education.’ In aviation, we got to zero for years because we took a holistic approach. That’s what’s needed on our roads.” The “zero” she’s referring to is “zero deaths.” It’s something many people scoff at as an impossibility when it comes to car crashes, but Homendy believes “damn right it’s possible.”
How do we get there? Homendy suggests that “if there’s a high-risk area, [state and local governments] can go out and assess the area to see what is really causing all these crashes. In Bellevue, Wash., they made a small change in a traffic signal after walking the area, and it cut crashes at that intersection by 60 percent.”
For more ideas for how you can change the design of your streets to make them safer for everyone, check out our Local-Motive course “Let’s Fix a Dangerous Street in 24 Hours or Less.” The time to put a stop to traffic deaths is now—and you don’t have to be the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board to do it.