Road safety advocates remembered the 2,500 lives lost in fatal road crashes since 2015 covering the steps of the State House in yellow roses and calling on lawmakers to act on a list of bills designed to reduce the “human toll of traffic accidents”.
“This is the sixth year that the Vision Zero Coalition has called on the legislature to pass saving legislation on World Day of Remembrance. Every moment of delay adds to the devastating toll of preventable road accidents statewide, ”said Emily Stein of the Safe Roads Alliance, one of the few road safety organizations that make up the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition.
Over the past seven years, 910,149 car and pedestrian crashes in Massachusetts have left 2,463 dead and 15,700 seriously injured, the coalition said.
The 4,000 yellow flowers laid down on Sunday were a solemn reminder of every life affected by a fatal or serious traffic accident in Massachusetts in 2020 and 2021.
Representative Mike Moran, D-Boston, a major sponsor of a bill that would require side guards, convex mirrors, backup cameras and other preventative measures on trucks to keep drivers from overthrow people spoke of the “heartbreaking” process of mourning the lives lost in traffic accidents.
“One of the most difficult parts of our job is attending a ghost bike dedication at the site of a recent accident where someone was killed, and witnessing the collective sadness,” Moran wrote. in a column with MassBike Executive Director Galen Mook. published in Commonwealth Magazine.
It also requires the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to standardize the collection of data on cycling and pedestrian accidents and maintain a database accessible to the public for the purpose of informing policy.
Becca Wolfson, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union, said that “big trucks continue to disproportionately kill people on bicycles.”
“These preventable accidents are forever changing the lives of individuals and families across the Commonwealth. It is time for the Legislative Assembly to act and adopt these legislative solutions that we know will work. she said.
Moran’s is one of a handful of bills that attempt to address what advocates are calling a public health crisis on local roads. During a rose-laying ceremony on the steps of State House on World Day of Remembrance Sunday, they called attention to the “human toll of traffic accidents in Massachusetts and in the world, ”according to a statement from the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition. .
Other laws would pave the way for so-called “red light cameras” and automatically impose fines on drivers if they violate them. Two dozen states have already been given the green light for automated traffic monitoring.
Gov. Charlie Baker tabled a similar proposal earlier this year as part of his broader road safety bill that lawmakers have yet to act on, but critics say it would incentivize private third-party companies that manage cameras to search drivers’ pockets.
“Lawmakers heard again in hearings in October how these bills would save lives and reduce accidents while reducing opportunities for unfair and dangerous interactions between people and police,” said Stacey Beuttell of WalkBoston . “Now is the time to advance these road safety efforts. “