NHTSA Launching Campaign To Make Speeding Socially Unacceptable

NHTSA Launching Campaign To Make Speeding Socially Unacceptable

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will take on speeding in a new campaign designed to convince Americans to slow down. The plan is just one of the regulator’s efforts to reduce traffic deaths, which have risen sharply in recent years.

“We have a new speed campaign that’s going to be kicking off in a couple of weeks,” Steven Cliff, NHTSA‘s administrator, told Reuters this week. He added that he wants speeding to “be as undesirable and seen as negatively as other types of bad” driving.

The administration says that more drivers have been engaging in unsafe driving since COVID lockdowns came into effect. Traffic data indicates that average speeds have increased since then, too.

Read Also: The NHTSA Wants Automakers To Record More Data From You Car’s Black Box In The Event Of A Crash

In 2020, the number of speeding-related traffic deaths increased by 17 percent, up to a total of 11,258. Overall traffic deaths, meanwhile, rose by 7.2 percent that same year. In 2021, the number jumped again, this time by 10.5 percent to 42,915. That’s the highest annual number of people killed on U.S. roads since 2005.

Indeed, the numbers are even more alarming because the country is almost alone among developed nations in seeing rising traffic deaths. Canada’s per capita road fatality numbers, for instance, shrank by as much as the America’s numbers grew between 2010 and 2020, reports Bloomberg. Reasons for this range from the size of the vehicles on the road, the price of gas, and, simply, how much more Americans drive on average.

In addition to this anti-speeding campaign, Cliff said that he wants NHTSA to complete its investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system “as quickly as possibly.” He said, though, that he also wants “to get it right. There’s a lot of information that we need to comb through.”

On a similar note, he said that the regulator is holding talks with automakers and safety advocates about a potential demo program for autonomous vehicles to help “us better understand how safety would be evaluated in determining whether it’s appropriate to pull a human driver from the vehicle itself in widespread deployment.”

NHTSA is moving to kick off “a lot of rulemakings related to automation” with an aggressive new push to get regulations out surrounding autonomous vehicles.

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