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Hon. Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of Utah and Chairman, National Governors' Association
Hon. James E. Hall, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
Our Children are being killed
- Crashes are the Number 1 Cause of Death for every age from 6 through 27 years of age.
- Since 1990, 72,000 children under age 20 have died on our highways
- 14,000 of those children were under age 10 - 33 deaths per week.
- 7,513 children died in highway crashes in 1998
- We can't lose as many kids in the next decade as we have in the 1990's. We must do better.
- 5,374 people died in truck crashes in 1998.
- There's a national shortage of 28,000 truck parking spaces in rest areas.
- 42% of 1,487 State rest areas restrict the hours truckers may stay; many have police force truckers out after 2 hours.
- State policies putting tired truckers back on the road has to stop and more spaces and rest areas need to be built.
Economic Costs and Funding
- Federal funding contingent on State action creates piecemeal funding and results in fragmented efforts.
- Crashes cost $150 billion each year; Utah's share is $1.22 billion per year. That is $580 for every citizen every year.
Changes are going to make traffic worse and more dangerous
- Young driver population will increase 22% by 2005.
- 225,000 more trucks are added to the fleet each year.
- Road construction lags highway use; lane mileage increased 3.2% from 1980 to 1996
- Travel increased 66.5% in the same period.
State Leadership can recapture highway safety for our citizens
- Highway safety is primarily a State government function.
- States must take the lead. Graduated licensing laws represent a good example.
- States collect safety data inconsistently. Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MUCC) was an NGA initiative. All states need to use the MUCC.
- Leadership needed to make tough decisions should come from NGA and from each Governor.
- More lives can be saved if highway safety is the number 1 priority than any other action a Governor can take.
- Take the National Leadership Role in Highway Safety as NGA has done in education and other fields.
- Make Highway Safety the Top Priority in Each State.
- Ask Governors to provide political leadership.
- Get the funds necessary to make it work.
- Consider NTSB Participation in NGA Plenary Session.