By Debbie Hersman
Each year nearly 34,000 people die in transportation-related accidents. Day-in and day-out people are killed in this country – needlessly and senselessly – because of distraction, substance-impaired driving, hazardous weather, and more. That’s the tough news. The good news is that as a nation, we are doing better. Planes, trains, and automobiles are being manufactured with more safety features; many laws are stronger; and more people aware of how they can make safer decisions.
My Valentines are the countless individuals and organizations who work so hard and do so much to improve transportation safety. With all the work these Valentines have done to make aviation safer, travelers on U.S. airlines now live in the safest period in commercial aviation. You, dear Valentines, have shown the love for safety by making our highways and vehicles safer. You have strengthened occupant protection with air bags, seat belts, child safety seats and more. You have worked to understand better and call for changes that address human performance, including fatigue, impaired driving, and distracted operations in transportation. And you’ve championed stronger safety cultures in helicopter, passenger vessel, and rail mass transit operations. Without your efforts, none of these safety strides would have been possible.
So in closing, dear Valentines, we share your passion for safety and moving toward zero deaths in all forms of transportation – on our roadways, railways, airways and waterways — so more people can enjoy a happy Valentine’s Day each and every year. That’s one great reason to show the love for safety.