Road safety is a worldwide problem and should be a top concern for transportation professionals everywhere. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.3 million people die because of road traffic crashes around the world.
Statistics from around the world show the dangers of our roadways for drivers and vulnerable users alike. Based on an early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for 2021 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the Unitied States—the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and an increase of 10.5 percent compared to 2020. Based on the Transport Canada’s National Collision Database statistics for 2021, 1,768 people were killed in motor vehicles, up 1.3 percent from 2020—but this number is at its lowest since Transport Canada started collecting the data in the 1970s. Based on a news article by the European Commission, published on March 28, 2022, an estimated 19,800 people were killed in road crashes in 2021. This represents 1,000 more deaths (up 5 percent) compared to 2020, but represents 3,000 (down 13 percent) fewer fatalities compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019.
While these numbers from around the world show that indeed some countries are doing better than others, if safety is our highest priority, then it must remain at the forefront of our work. Leaders at all levels must engage in the work of roadway safety to help affect change in their communities.
There is great value ITE can bring in helping to share lessons learned from members working in different countries and trying different approaches to stop this trend. The collective knowledge of our global community of transportation professionals runs deep and wide, and we can all tap into one another’s strengths and experiences to foster a culture of safety where roadway injuries and death can be brought to zero. One more death is one too many. Roadway safety needs YOU and ME.
This is also a year of change as ITE Executive Director and CEO Jeff Paniati, P.E. (F) announced his plan to retire once a new CEO is in place. I have appointed ITE Past President Michael Sanderson, P.E., PTOE, LEED AP (F) as Chair of the Search Committee. The Committee is diverse in its geographic representation, experience, and perspective. Korn Ferry, an executive search firm with experience in the transportation and nonprofit sectors will help us with the recruitment of candidates. The job posting will be up this month. ITE has thrived under Jeff ’s leadership, our membership is at an all-time high, our finances are strong, and we are delivering high value to our members. Although we are sad about Jeff ’s retirement, ITE is in an excellent position to attract great candidates in this new chapter. I want to thank Jeff for all
he has done for the organization during these last 7-plus years. While Jeff is not leaving just yet, we wish him a well-deserved retirement!
This month, I will be visiting the Northeastern District at their Annual Meeting in Burlington, VT, USA. I’m looking forward to visiting with the Northeastern District members. If you’re going to be there, let me know! Please reach me by email at email@example.com or on the ITE e-Community.