Effective Transportation Policies Require Injury Prevention Strategies

The Safe States Alliance is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to serve as the national voice in support of state and local injury and violence prevention professionals engaged in building a safer, healthier America. 

In September 2009, the Safe States Alliance released a report highlighting the importance of prevention in transportation injuries. The report ends with policy recommendations and policies for State and local governments to improve the overall health and wellness of their communities, including:

  • Adopting “Complete Streets” policies that require the implementation of engineering enhancements, traffic calming strategies, and design characteristics to make new and existing roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Increasing funding for programs that encourage walking and biking (e.g., Safe Routes to School) to increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, promote physical activity, and reduce motor vehicle use.
  • Revising school siting policies to support the construction and renovation of community-based schools that are accessible by walking or biking.
  • Increasing investments in public transportation systems to reduce traffic fatalities and provide communities with enhanced transit options.
  • Requiring the use of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) during transportation and land-use planning processes to accurately assess the impact of proposed projects on the health of surrounding communities.
  • Developing transportation and land-use practices that result in the construction and revitalization of mixed-use communities to encourage active transportation and make the utilization of public transit feasible. 
  • Adopting traffic safety laws that have been proven effective in preventing injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicles (e.g., primary enforcement seat belt laws, helmet laws, child booster seats, GDL programs, etc.).
  • Providing training opportunities for public health practitioners, transportation/land-use planners, and other professionals to better understand the overall impact of planning decisions on communities.
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