Thursday, October 23, 2014 New DOT Initiative Aimed at Reducing Pedestrian, Bicycle Fatalities Americans' steadily increasing rate of walking and biking is definitely good news—but that healthy shift needs to be accompanied by more attention to safety, according to a new initiative from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). This fall, the DOT launched "Safer People, Safer Streets (.pdf)," an effort to curb a recent uptick in the rate of fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians, which accounted for 16% of all traffic-related fatalities in 2012. The initiative will begin with a survey of pedestrian and bicyclists "gaps" across the country—places where safety is compromised by lack of sidewalks or other safety infrastructure. With gaps identified, DOT and its agencies will work with state, local, and private industry partners to help create so-called "road diets" that are more attentive to safe space allocation for pedestrians and bicyclists. The initiative will also include public education campaigns on safety, according to DOT. Encouraging healthy, active lifestyles is central to the physical therapy profession's ability to transform society. Keep up with the latest resources at APTA's Prevention, Wellness, and Disease Management webpage.