Citizen Speaks Truth To Power

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Marianne Karth is upset – as we all should be – by President Obama’s words and continued inaction in his last days as President.

“Dear President Obama,

I sat at my computer the other day and listened to you speak at a Town Hall on PBS News Hour (recorded June 1, 2016).

You said that crash fatalities were a major public health problem — as if they no longer are. You implied that we have already done, or are already doing, everything possible to prevent 33,000 people from dying on the roads of our country every year.

In fact, your attitude brushes off my daughters’ deaths as inevitable rather than potentially preventable.  It sounds like, to you, their deaths — their lives —  weren’t worth enough to put out the additional effort needed to decrease the fatality rate to the fullest extent possible. And not once have you acknowledged our petition for Vision Zero action.

Let me tell you, that makes me mad! Would you be any less so were your family in our shoes?! Would that change your tune about the acceptability of the current crash fatality rate? Would you suddenly speak out against the decades of political tug-of-war which delay — over and over — needed safety measures?

Would you go beyond talking about it and do what no one else can do: lead the way in setting our entire nation (and not just some programs in the USDOT or scattered efforts in states, cities, and communities) on a course of aggressively moving toward zero crash deaths & serious injuries?

Would you, in fact, make Traffic Safety a national priority–placing it on the list of important issues listed on and then do something about it, e.g.,:

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal?
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force?
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to allow Vision Zero Rulemaking?
  4. Get We the People involved in the action and the solution by promoting the development of a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero Community Groups?
  5. Appoint a Traffic Safety Ombudsman who would oversee all of this and be an  Advocate for vulnerable road users (which includes us all) —untainted by political pressures?

President, Obama, don’t be misled by DOT’s commitment to the TZD (Toward Zero Deaths) initiative. It is obviously not enough. I should know; I have spent endless hours engaged in a battle for safer trucking, and others have spent many more years doing so.

Take the bull by the horn, make use of the authority invested in you as the leader of this country, and end this public health travesty. And please, talk to me about this; show me that you are not ignoring our heartfelt, data-driven pleas.

On behalf of AnnaLeah & Mary (and countless others), who can no longer speak for themselves,

Marianne Karth

p.s. What is stopping you from taking this action which would benefit us all?

On the PBS News Hour, June 1, 2016, starting at 1:57 to about 3:05 on this video,  hear President Obama speak about the crash fatality rate:

The President has the responsibility and power to do that which Marianne Karth is asking for and he should do so – unless there is a higher political power stopping him.

For Vision Zero goals set by others around the world see



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