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Transportation

How the Dutch Delivered a Traffic Safety Revolution

Drivers and pedestrians in the Netherlands faced injury risks similar to those in the U.S. in 1970. Since then, American streets have become far more dangerous. What happened? 

A street in Amsterdam shows a mix of pedestrians and bikes — and few cars. 

A street in Amsterdam shows a mix of pedestrians and bikes — and few cars. 

Photographer: Ana Fernandez/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

For the last 50 years, the U.S. has increasingly fallen behind most other industrialized countries when it comes to traffic fatalities. But the Biden administration’s transportation strategy offers an opportunity to change that trajectory — Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called the U.S. traffic fatality rate a “crisis” and promises to release a first-ever National Roadway Safety Strategy

One way we can take maximum advantage of this opportunity is to seek lessons learned from countries that have blazed a path toward Vision Zero, the goal for zero traffic fatalities that has been embraced by policy makers around the globe.