Coalition wants Congress to help decrease highway deaths

Members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials are urging Congress to help cut the number of annual motor vehicle fatalities to less than 20,000 over the next 20 years.

Washington-based AASHTO and other safety organizations are asking Congress to allocate more funding for state highway safety programs, long-term strategic planning and research. A letter (.pdf file), sent March 12 to members of the House and Senate committees who are preparing to review reauthorization of a surface transportation bill, outlines eight authorization principles AASHTO said would help aggressively reduce the number of traffic deaths by 2030.

According to preliminary data (.pdf file) from the Department of Transportation, an estimated 33,963 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 -- the lowest number since 1954.

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