Thursday, June 30, 2011

BikeWalkLee statement in suppport of Distracted Driving Awareness Month

On June 21st, the Board of County Commissioners declared July Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and presented a resolution to the Stay Alive...Just Drive! coalition. BikeWalkLee's Ann Pierce spoke in support of the resolution. BikeWalkLee submitted the following letter to the commissioners:

Dear Commissioners:

BikeWalkLee is a community coalition working for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safety of all users. Bike Walk Lee expresses its support for the Stay Alive…Just Drive! Program and Lee County’s recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We applaud the collective effort bringing focused attention to the problem of distracted driving and advocate for educational and enforcement programs conveying the message, “One Road – Many Users”.

Nationally, such programs have successfully resulted in a consistent decrease in pedestrian deaths over the past decade, with 2009, the last full year of data, indicating a 7% decline. Still some 4,100 individuals were killed walking on our nations roadways and another 59,000 injured. Six hundred and thirty cyclists were killed and 51,000 injured.

We are all aware that Florida’s safety record for cyclists and pedestrians is again rated one of the worst in the nation, with 22% of all traffic deaths in Florida being pedestrians or cyclists (17% pedestrians and 5% bicyclists). This, while the national average for pedestrian and cyclist traffic deaths is 12%.

This record is a distinction that ill serves all Floridians and will require a significant change of attitude, awareness, and behavior to remedy. That change can begin here, with your leadership and aggressive response to an inimical cultural shift that puts automobile primacy above that of human well-being.

Click here to continue reading the letter.

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