Ride IllinoisRide Illinois
December 06, 2021

Zero Traffic Deaths Resolutions

Here’s a sobering fact: 1,118 people were killed on roads in Illinois in 2020. That was a 13% increase in traffic deaths over 2019. This figure includes all roadway users – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, motorcyclists, and truck drivers. Also, preliminary data for the first 6 months of 2021 show a 23% increase in traffic deaths in Illinois over 2020. Nationally, over 40,000 people die on America’s roadways annually 1. That’s the equivalent of a regional plane crashing daily! Here are a few more facts that may cause you to shake your head in dismay:

  • The number of pedestrian fatalities increased 45% from 2010 to 2019.2
  • The number of motorist fatalities increased 11% from 2010 to 2019.3
  • People in low-income areas are almost 3 times as likely to be killed while walking than people in high-income areas.4
  • In 2018, an estimated 19% of the population lived in rural areas and accounted for 30% of vehicle miles traveled, yet 45% of all roadway deaths.5

The violence and tragedies that are happening on Illinois’ and the country’s roadways are not OK! The fact is that many traffic deaths are preventable and we must not accept this as “the price of doing business”.

Outreach to Congress

It’s clear that change is necessary in order to greatly reduce injuries and deaths on the country’s roadways. Over the past two months, Ride Illinois has been requesting and attending meetings with elected officials to ask for their support of Zero Death Resolutions that have been introduced in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. This effort is being led by Families for Safe Streets, a nonprofit organization based in New York City.

The resolutions commit to 1) advancing policies that will end roadway fatalities by 2050, and 2) calling on Congress and the U. S. Department of Transportation to commit to working together to achieve zero roadway fatalities by the year 2050. Click the links below to learn more about each resolution.

These House and Senate resolutions are intended to be the first step towards change. This approach may not be aggressive enough for some, but advocates must start somewhere to elevate this issue and build political will. These resolutions aim to do just that.

To date, 36 Representatives (including five from Illinois) and 13 senators (none from Illinois) have chosen to co-sponsor these resolutions. Ride Illinois would like to publicly thank the following Illinois Representatives for their support of H. Res. 565 and ask them to encourage their peers to co-sponsor the resolution:

  • Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky [D-IL-9]
  • Rep. Bobby L. Rush [D-IL-1]
  • Rep. Marie Newman [D-IL-3]
  • Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia [D-IL-4]
  • Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi [D-IL-8]

Ride Illinois, Families for Safe Streets, and constituents have met or have requested meetings with the following elected officials. We are hopeful that they will co-sponsor the relevant resolution very soon and encourage their peers in the House and Senate to pledge their support.

  • Sen. Dick Durbin [D]
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth [D]
  • Rep. Robin Kelly [D-IL-02]
  • Rep. Mike Quigley [D-IL-5]
  • Rep. Brad Schneider [D-IL-10]
  • Rep. Rodney Davis [R-IL-13]
  • Rep. Darrin LaHood [R-IL-18]

Contact Your Elected Officials

We’re asking you to contact your elected officials and request that they support these resolutions! See suggested text below in Step 2.

Step 1: Identify Your Elected Officials

Step 2: Voice Your Concern

Below is a suggested message to share in your email message or when speaking on the phone. Feel free to add your own experience to make it more personal:

“Hello. I am a constituent of [insert elected official] and I am appalled at the number of injuries and fatalities that occur on Illinois roads. Over 1,000 people (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists) died on Illinois roadways in 2020. Deaths have increased by 23% in the first half of 2021. I ask that [elected official official] co-sponsor [H. Res 565 or S. Res. 321], the Zero Traffic Deaths Resolution. Thank you!”

If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, please contact them and share your appreciation. Also, be sure to take the opportunity to encourage them to seek additional solutions to end the scourge of traffic violence on America’s roadways.

Got Questions?

If you have questions about these resolutions, please contact Dave Simmons at dave@rideillinois.org. Thanks for your assistance and support!


  1. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/overview/introduction/
  2. https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/
  3. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/overview/introduction/
  4. https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/
  5. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812957