FSS members and partners testify at DMV Budget Oversight Hearing asking to fund critical safety program

Members from the DC chapter of Families for Safe Streets testified on April 24, 2024 at the DMV Budget Oversight Hearing held by the DC Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Testimonies asked the Council to consider funding a critical program in the recently passed STEER Act, which addresses dangerous and reckless driving.

The District reached a grim milestone last year with 52 people who were killed while traveling on DC streets—a 16-year high. Seven people have been killed while traveling on DC streets since Mayor Bowser returned this bill unsigned on February 29. The District has the opportunity to follow through on the Safe Systems Approach to eliminate fatal and serious crashes for all road users.

We support funding all components of the STEER Act, but we also recognize that not all are going to have an equal impact on this crisis. We urge the Council to fund the Act’s Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) provision in the FY25 budget. The STEER Act requires ISA be installed in the vehicles of the most reckless drivers—an approach that is strongly recommended by the National Traffic Safety Board, the Road to Zero Coalition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and others. This provision should not be held up because other parts of the bill may be harder to implement. We cannot continue to allow the most reckless drivers to terrorize DC residents and visitors with impunity. We cannot wait a year or more before we make our roads safer.

Mother Jessica Hart testified on behalf of Families for Safe Streets, with additional written testimonies from members Ashton, Jaime, and others. Partners at the Institute for Safer Trucking and the DC Transportation Equity Network also testified in support of prioritizing funding and implementing the STEER Act’s ISA program.

Share your story and show your support

The record for the DMV Budget Oversight Hearing will remain open until Friday, May 3, 2024 at 5:30pm. Submit your written testimony through the Council’s hearing management system (click the “Submit Testimony” button on the top right corner). Please feel free to take inspiration from our own testimony and/or reach out to us if you’d like assistance with sharing your story.