WFAE — Charlotte leaders this past Sunday commemorated the hundreds of lives that have been lost on city streets for the "World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims."
The day is meant to bring awareness to the alarming number of people killed and severely injured in preventable traffic crashes. In 2021, 42,060 people in the U.S. died in traffic crashes, according to the National Safety Council. So far in 2022, there has been a 7% increase in people killed nationwide compared to 2021.
That trend isn’t reflected locally, however: After years of higher traffic deaths, Charlotte fatalities are down so far this year. Forty-two people have died this year in traffic wrecks in Charlotte.
Three bonds approved in the midterm elections included $146.2 million of transportation funding, which will go toward sidewalk improvements, walkability and pedestrian safety measures and more transportation infrastructure. Shannon Binns, executive director of the advocacy group Sustain Charlotte, said she hopes the city will continue to invest in safety measures to help reduce traffic fatalities.
“We must redesign our streets for the safety of those most vulnerable and commit to making safety a higher priority than speed,” said Binns. “We applaud the city of Charlotte's efforts to move in this direction and urge them to always prioritize their critical work of ensuring that our streets are safe for every person.”