There has been a major uptick in risky, distracted, and aggressive driving since the onset of the pandemic, and it’s not just a bad case of road rage. Traffic deaths are up 22 percent this year compared to the first quarter of 2019.
The CDC reports that road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States for people under age 54. Every day, almost 3,700 people are killed globally in crashes, with more than half of those being pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
So how did we get here? What would it take to make our roads and streets safer for everyone?
For today’s show, guest host Richelle Wilson takes up this topic and fields a variety of listener calls—about right turn on red, city cycling, crosswalk safety, roundabouts, and more—with transportation experts Renee Callaway and Colleen Hoesly from Madison and Dave Werner from New York.
Renee Callaway is the Pedestrian Bicycle Administrator for the City of Madison, where she leads the city’s Vision Zero initiative.
Colleen Hoesly is a transportation planner with the Greater Madison MPO. She is also a part of the Dane County Traffic Safety Commissions (TSC).
Dave Werner is a long-time member of the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board in Malone, New York, where he has served as chair, vice chair, and executive secretary. He writes a weekly column about traffic safety.