Federal Bicycle Safety Funding
The League of American Bicyclists believes that people of all ages and abilities must be able to use our nation's roadways safely regardless of the mode of travel that they use or the purpose of their travel. In order to ensure the safety of all road users, the League supports Vision Zero - that traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable and that the government is responsible for creating safe systems that prevent those traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
At the federal level, bicycle and pedestrian safety is affected by federal transportation funding and policies and funding for traffic safety programs, including education programming. With the help of nearly 10,000 comments from concerned citizens and bicycle and pedestrian advocates, the League has pushed the federal government to require that each state sets a goal for non-motorized safety.
In 2018, for the first time, every state had to set a goal for the number of non-motorized road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, who are killed or seriously injured within each state. These goals, although most are not aggressive in reducing fatalities and serious injuries, are important because they help set federal and state policies for traffic safety.
This page provides resources on federal advocacy related to bicyclist and pedestrian safety, primarily through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act created the section 405h National Priority Safety Program for Non-Motorized Safety. This program provides funding to states where more than 15% of traffic fatalities are people who were killed while biking or walking. Section 405 funds can only be used to fund law enforcement activities related to bicycle and pedestrian safety, training for law enforcement professionals on bicycle and pedestrian laws, and public education and awareness campaigns to inform motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists about bicycle and pedestrian laws.
This 2014 report was the outcome of a more than year-long project to collect data on bicyclist fatalities through media reports. In Every Bicyclist Counts, the League reviewed data on bicyclists fatalities, finding that a large plurality (40%) occur due to overtaking vehicles hitting bicyclists proceeding in the same direction and that drivers are rarely held accountable for a bicyclist's death, with charges reported in less than a quarter of all bicyclist fatalities reviewed.
Download Every Bicyclist Counts here.
The League of American Bicyclists works with a variety of other non-governmental organizations on traffic safety issues affecting people who bike and walk. This section highlights some of those partnerships.
- Road to Zero Coalition - The League of American Bicyclists is one of the over 650 members of the Road to Zero Coalition that is calling for zero roadway deaths by 2050. Road to Zero is organized through the National Safety Council.
- The Governors Highway Safety Association's Right to the Road report on bicyclist safety - The League of American Bicyclists served on an expert panel that helped review this report. This report highlights funding opportunities for bicyclist safety administered by Governors' Highway Safety Offices.
- The Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities - The League of American Bicyclists serves on the bicycle and pedestrian safety track committee that develops and organizes bicycle and pedestrian-related sessions for conference attendees. The Lifesavers Conference is the nation's largest conference for highway safety professionals.