What federal policies could reduce the number of non-alcohol-related traffic fatalities?

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One issue here is that if there really were a simple, cost-effective, universally acceptable way of reducing traffic fatalities, it would already have been implemented. The policy options that remain will tend to be incremental rather than radical and often involve trade-offs. Below I will list a few possible policy options you might investigate. Once you have selected one, then you can ask additional questions to explore it in more detail.

  1. Adding an additional tax on gasoline to subsidize mass transit would be a sensible policy. Increasing use of mass transit reduces driving fatalities by taking drivers off the road. If people have increased access to mass transit, it will be easier to increase the age at which licenses can be obtained and tighten restrictions for retesting of senior citizens to prevent age-related deficits from endangering them. Light rail systems, in particular have a far better safety record than cars as well as reducing air-pollution induced illnesses.
  2. Tightening specific safety standards for cars will reduce fatalities. Many currently available safety technologies for cars are sold as options. Mandating incorporation of one or more of them on new cars would increase safety. See this source.
  3. Road design can reduce fatalities. One current measure is placing more speed bumps in residential neighborhoods to force drivers to slow down. Another major way to improve road safety would be a policy to replace 4-way stop sign intersections with roundabouts. See this source.