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A Round and a Roundy: Federal ‘Pedestrian Safety Month’ is a Joke

10:00 AM EDT on October 5, 2020

Cartoon: Bill Roundy

This week, our cartoonist Bill Roundy goes national!

Editorial cartoon of Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoon of Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoon of Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.

After Streetsblog USA published not one, but two, stories about the sham of the federal government's first-ever "Pedestrian Safety Month," our rapier-thrusting editorial draftsman cranked out a comic that captures his — and our — visceral reaction to the nation's ongoing lack of concern about the deaths of thousands of pedestrians every year.

Pedestrian safety month is just a Trump Administration press release. What's really needed, as Streetsblog's Kea Wilson pointed out in her stories, is five pragmatic improvements:

    • Require the installation of pedestrian detection systems, automatic emergency braking, and other automated driver assistance technology on all new cars;
    • Require the installation of systems that onboard alcohol sensors or other technologies that detect erratic driving behavior from drunk motorists on all new cars;
    • Require automakers to redesign hoods and bumpers to make cars more forgiving in crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, using better crumple zone technology;
    • Enhance headlight visibility standards for new cars to help prevent the 76 percent of pedestrians crashes that happen at night;
    • And last but not least, finally join the rest of the planet in requiring automakers to test how safe their vehicles are for vulnerable road users in the event of a crash, rather than just the people inside vehicles. 

Notice that none of the above even asks for the obvious: sustained prosecutorial action to get repeat reckless drivers off the road (a driver's license is a privilege, not a right) and redesigning our cities so that roadways actively discourage speeding. You don't need cops for either of those things.

All of Bill Roundy's editorial cartoons are archived here.

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