U.S. House Committee Tells USDOT To Reduce Walking and Cycling Fatalities and Injuries

Last week the United States House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill. The legislation includes funding for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other related agencies. In addition, the committee also issued an accompanying report in which it directs United States Department of Transportation to reduce walking and cycling fatalities:

“The Committee on Appropriations submits the following report in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015….

(page 31): Safety performance measures and reporting requirements.—On March 11, 2014, FHWA published an NPRM to establish safety performance measures for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) as required by section 1203 of MAP–21. The NPRM proposes to establish one measure for each of the following areas as mandated by MAP–21: number of fatalities; fatality rate; number of serious injuries; and serious injury rate. In addition, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) already uses performance measures for pedestrian fatalities in administering NHTSA’s highway traffic safety grant program, the Committee understands that NHTSA intends to establish performance measures for bicycle fatalities when it administers its fiscal year 2015 traffic safety grants. Recognizing the increase in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, the Secretary of Transportation should establish separate non-motorized safety performance measures for the purpose of carrying out HSIP requirements. The FHWA [Federal Highway Administration] should define these performance measures specifically to evaluate the number of fatalities and serious injuries for pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The statutory deadline for completing the rulemaking has come and gone. The Committee directs FHWA to publish its final rule on safety performance measures no later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act.” [emphases added]