Groundbreaking NTSB report: Speed kills and we must do more to slow dangerous automobile traffic : Streetsblog

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The federal safety watchdog says speeding is a big blindspot in America's road safety efforts. To change that, it's issuing a new set of recommendations for federal and state officials.

More than 112,500 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes from 2005 to 2014, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in America over that period. In a draft report released earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Board says excessive speed is a deadly problem in our nation’s transportation system — one that federal and state officials aren’t doing enough to address.

The recommendations presented at an NTSB board meeting on Tuesday represent a breakthrough for the agency, which is known for investigating plane and railroad disasters. Traffic crashes are less spectacular but cumulatively much more dangerous, claiming tens of thousands of lives each year. When the agency does turn to road safety, it has tended to focus on impaired driving and seat belt use. A thorough look at the dangers of speeding and how to prevent it is a welcome departure.

“The simple truth is that speeding makes a crash more likely. In a crash that’s speeding related, you’re more likely to be injured, your injuries are more likely to be severe, and you’re more likely to die,” NTSB Acting Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said in his opening statement at the board meeting. “And that’s true whether you’re the speeding driver, another driver, a passenger, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian.”

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