Next Monday, June 6, we will remember the sacrifice of the armed forces as they fought to bring an end to WWII.
On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” https://www.army.mil/d-day/
On June 6, 2016, let us also remember the countless victims of traffic crashes in our country. Michael Lemov has written an eye-opener, Car Safety Wars: One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics, and Death in which he tells us that in the more than 110 years since the first traffic crash in 1898, more than 3.5 million Americans have been killed and more than 300,000,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes [p.9]. This, I learned, is 3x the number of Americans who have been killed and 200x the number wounded in all of the wars fought by our nation since the Revolution [p.10]. Imagine.
And, beyond that, let us seize the moment to send out a loud message to President Obama and members of Congress:
Move Us Toward Zero Crash Deaths: Create an Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman (Advocate)
Despite the 33,000 people who die annually on the roads each year, our country does not currently have a reliable means of addressing the problem. These people cannot cry out in protest. And there is no one who has been granted the responsibility and authority to speak on their behalf.
I think I have a way to change that unfortunate oversight.
Let’s appoint an ombudsman to stand in the place of vulnerable road users (each one of us). Let’s create a National Office of Traffic Safety Ombudsman (or Advocate or Ombuds), who would serve to advance a National Vision Zero Goal–acting to oversee the process of moving us toward zero crash deaths and serious injuries.
An indigenous Danish, Swedish and Norwegian term, ombudsman is etymologically rooted in the Old Norse word umboðsmaðr, essentially meaning “representative” (with the word umbud/ombud meaning proxy,attorney, that is someone who is authorized to act for someone else, a meaning it still has in the Scandinavian languages). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman
Stay tuned for a way to participate in a Virtual Flash Mob on June 6, 2016, to send this life & death message to our country’s leaders.
Let this be, a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”