To the editor: We write in response to the letter to the editor submitted by Dr. Charles Kenny and Jim Wilusz.
I was pleased to read about vaccinations and masking, until I read “only about 10 people died in motor vehicle accidents.” We lost our daughter, Emily Claire Fredricks, 24 years old, in 2017. She was killed by the driver of a sanitation truck while cycling in Philadelphia.
Traffic violence killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2020, the equivalent of a regional jetliner crashing every day. But our society is complacent about traffic deaths and these tragedies are preventable.
A Congressional resolution has been introduced calling for the first national goal of zero traffic deaths in the United States — Vision Zero. Despite far less travel due to the pandemic, there was an 8 percent increase in traffic deaths in 2020 over the previous year. The resolution recognizes the urgency of addressing traffic deaths, the leading cause of death among youth in this country and calls for effective, equitable actions to prevent traffic deaths and severe injuries.
Organizations like Vision Zero Network, Families for Safe Streets and It Could Be Me are making important strides in the movement of the Safe Systems Approach, and changing the dialogue from “Crash, Not Accident.”
We do our part to protect ourselves and others with vaccinations and masks, but we need to bring attention to the epidemic of traffic violence that has changed our lives forever because of the senseless, tragic and preventable death of our beloved Emily.
Richard and Laura Fredricks, Becket
The writers are members of Families for Safe Streets and founders of the Emily Fredricks Foundation.