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Listen: Packer and Freemark discuss rising traffic deaths in the US

While other nations are reducing their traffic deaths and serious injuries, the US is heading in the wrong direction. KUOW’s Soundside asked Seattle’s Ryan Packer and DC’s Yonah Freemark why the US is exceptional.

Listen to the 20-minute story.

An excerpt:

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“When you look at countries in Europe and Asia, what you find is that there’s been a tremendous effort to reduce the scale of their arterial roads to increase improvements for pedestrians, such as improved sidewalks and crosswalks,” Freemark explained.

Another contributing factor in traffic fatalities is vehicle size. There has been an increase of strikes to the head, neck, and chest, due to the increased height of many of the trucks and SUVs that are on the roads today. Freemark says that problem is uniquely American.

“We have made absolutely no effort to restrict the size of the increasingly giant vehicles that we see on the streets throughout our communities,” he explained. “In other countries, there’s been more of an effort to essentially encourage people to drive smaller vehicles by creating weight taxes on vehicles, and by requiring different hood designs on these large SUVs and trucks.”

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One response to “Listen: Packer and Freemark discuss rising traffic deaths in the US”

  1. Ryan’s takeaway is fully spot on (it’s around 17:30, in the last minute):
    “Seattle and the Seattle region is great at making plans and setting goals – or ambitions for remaking our transportation system, but we haven’t followed through on implementing that… We know what the tools are, we have them available to us, and we just need to act on them.”

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