Good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us.
I'm pleased to have David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Greg Nadeau, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration here with me today.
I want to thank Yolanda Savage-Narva [Yo-lawn-duh Sav-ij Nar-vah] from America Walks for joining us and for everything she does to improve pedestrian safety.
I also want to thank the District Traffic Control Officers and AAA's School Safety Patrol program for joining us.
These students are from Montgomery County, and they are some of the nearly 600,000 young people, who volunteer to keep their peers safe when they walk to and from school every day.
And I want to thank the officers from Montgomery County and the District of Columbia for being here. Across the country, our law enforcement partners are critical to our safety efforts, and I can't thank them enough for their support.
As Secretary of Transportation, my overriding priority is to make our transportation system the safest in the world. The American people are counting on us to keep them safe--and we will.
DOT and our safety partners do fantastic work every day to ensure people are safe.
Now, when people think about transportation safety, they usually think of roads, planes, trains and buses.
Very often, they leave out the one method of transportation we all share.
Whether or not you drive, fly, take the train or metro, everyone is a pedestrian.
We've made good progress on pedestrian safety, and Greg will highlight some of our work in a minute.
But the truth is--our job is never done when it comes to safety.
Over the past two years, pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise. In fact, on average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours on U.S. roads.
This is something that impacts all of us. Whether walking from your car to your office, taking a morning jog, or crossing the street to say hello to your neighbor--at some point in the day, every one is a pedestrian.
At DOT, we're working very hard to make sure local communities have the resources and the tools they need to prevent pedestrian deaths and injuries.
As a former mayor, I know from experience how important it is to have this kind of support.
Today, I'm proud to announce that the Department of Transportation is launching a new $2 million grant program to improve pedestrian safety through increased education and enforcement.
These grants will go to 22 cities, which have experienced a higher rate of pedestrian fatalities than the national average.
We are also launching a one-stop shop webpage to provide safety tips and other resources for local communities. You can access this page by visiting NHTSA--dot--GOV [NIT-ZA--dot--GOV] and clicking on the "Every One is a Pedestrian" link.
Both of these steps will help raise awareness and they'll help save lives.
And this is only the beginning. This fall, I'll be joining America Walks at their Pedestrian Safety Summit, where I hope we can have a broader conversation on what we can do to turn this trend around.
Every single pedestrian death is one too many. Let's do what we can to prevent these tragedies.
And now I'd like to hand it over to Administrator Strickland, who is going to talk about these programs in more detail.