While noting a large increase in traffic violence, it says "Oregon ranks among the states with the best transportation safety laws" and also quotes the State Epidemiologist and State Health Officer, who says “Driving under the influence of drugs or even distracted driving by texting while driving are both big problems that contribute to these deaths.”
But of course the bigger, unacknowledged problem is that we are driving more. The count of deaths tracks closely with vehicle miles traveled.
|The more we drive, the more we die|
(from the paper a year ago; red comments added)
Over at the Vitoria Transport Policy Institute, Todd Litman proposes a new traffic safety paradigm.
Despite large traffic safety program investments, motor vehicle accidents continue to impose high costs, particularly in the U.S. Crash casualty rates have ended their long-term decline and recently started to increase. New strategies are needed to achieve ambitious traffic safety targets such as Vision Zero....The current paradigm favors targeted safety programs that reduce special risks such as youth, senior and impaired driving. A new paradigm recognizes that all vehicle travel imposes risks, and so supports vehicle travel reduction strategies such as more multimodal planning, efficient transport pricing, Smart Growth development policies, and other TDM strategies.If we really want safer roads and less death we need to drive less often, drive shorter distances, and drive more slowly. That's what our policy actions should aim to accomplish, not driving more carefully while driving as often, driving the same distances, and driving the same speeds. It's driving in general, not "targeted safety programming" we need to think more about.
|Tieing up Traffic worse than death and safety|
The prospect of more crosswalks and signals on South Commercial made one neighbor worry about "a spate of new applications for ones...which could further tie-up traffic."
Never mind the safety and comfort of those who might travel on foot! This attitude for free-flow, unimpeded, even high-speed, travel is an important ingredient in our death rates and the resistance to reducing them.
|A new light at 12th & McGilchrist|
The Morningside Neighborhood Association meets at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall, 3911 Village Center Drive SE on Wednesday the 10th at 6:30 PM.