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THE CRISIS
42,000 people were killed by automobiles in the U.S. last year!
    The fact that about 42,000 people were killed last year, innocent victims, in violent deaths and millions more are injured, often severely crippled, simply going about their daily business in or near automobiles should, and will, create a groundswell of rage to force solutions to be enacted by those who sit passively and watch the horror. We need efficient and affordable public transportation nationwide, safe (truly safe) automobiles, and laws that give law enforcement agencies the ability to protect and control drivers and passengers on roads and highways. Perhaps a memorial like the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial would make and keep people aware of the number of people who have been killed in and by automobiles. The design of such a memorial will be difficult, however, for thousands of names will have to be added each month. 
    The most severe problem facing the citizens of the United States today, the greatest threat to public safety, and one of the most dire, unbelievable catastrophes in history continues, unabated, and the death toll is rising at the rate of 115 per day. Highway fatalities account for 94 percent of all transportation deaths. In 2001 42,116  people were killed by automobiles. A disaster of this magnitude needs immediate and drastic action. The simple act of transporting a child to school or to the library or to visit relatives has become like an act out of a violent horror story.  
     We citizens are responsible. We must hold the government accountable, at the federal, state, and local level. Write them, informing them of your concern. Monitor their voting record on issues of public transportation, automobile safety , traffic law, and funds for law enforcement of traffic violations , and vote accordingly.
    Let the automobile industry know, with your voice and with your wallet, that our lives, our children's lives, are more important than their profit margin. Encourage them to take the steps necessary to make automobiles safe. Forty-two thousand lives should not be an acceptable standard in determining that cars and trucks are safe enough. Redesign is what is called for, instead of band aid measures, and fights to reduce or limit safety standards to decrease costs. As they build more and more large vehicles, appealing (falsely) to our instinct for self preservation, the death toll will increase as these larger and heavier vehicles share the road with smaller, more vulnerable vehicles. Many auto company advertising campaigns now play to our worst impulses, promoting speed and aggression, over safety and civility. 

    Appeal to the media to report what is truly important to all of us, what the real dangers are, perhaps with regular features, reporting accident data, status of laws and the stands of proponents and opponents, auto industry efforts to apply, or discourage, true safety standards, and reports on law enforcement efforts in combating unsafe driving and preventing disasters and, perhaps most important, use their forum to educate us in what safe driving measures are. Encourage law enforcement officials and officers to apply their resources where the data declares they belong, in the enforcement of traffic safety, and to treat unsafe driving as the criminal act that it is.
    These and other measures are critical if we wish the death, injury, and phenomenal taxpayer property loss to cease, but the government, the heads of the automobile industry and its subsidiaries, and the media will take action only if we let them know loudly and unceasingly that we are outraged and won't stand for it. But the most important thing we can do as citizens who care for life over greed or speed is to recognize the great responsibility of piloting 3000 to 6000 pounds of steel down a roadway upon which lives are dependent upon you and your actions. Think, when the need to hurry arises: is it worth risking someone else's, a child's, life? Obey the speed limits, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, don't weave in and out of traffic in what will be a futile, and possibly fatal, effort to save a few minutes or seconds, and drive especially cautiously in residential areas, or areas where children and other pedestrians are vulnerable. Of the 5412 pedestrians and 761 pedal cyclists killed by automobiles in 1996, 666 of the pedestrians killed were children, and 223 of the pedal cyclists killed were children (0 to 14 years). Our lives, our children's lives, are at stake when we are behind the wheel.
       Please, help spread the word. Write the President, the Vice President, the First Lady, your Congressperson, your Senator, your state and city elected officials, auto companies, your local and national newspapers, local law enforcement officials, friends and relatives. Make a noise and make a change. Visit links for more information, and places to begin making your voice heard.

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bad (automobile) ads
Despite the fact that almost 42,000 people were killed and millions more were injured in or by automobiles last year in the United States, certain automobile corporations are presenting television ads that promote the very practices that are leading contributors to these fatal and disastrous events. The roads are becoming exponentially more crowded as the population grows, and socially acceptable driving practices are becoming more and more antisocial and dangerous. The government continues to funnel hundreds of billions of our tax dollars annually toward the support of this industry, at the expense of the development of safe, environmentally friendly, and friendlier modes of transportation. The news media ignores the problem, if 42,000 people were killed by planes or trains or in a war in one year we would hear a constant and deafening television roar, and heads would roll and changes would be made. But this industry has proven itself to be concerned only with profit, and with vast sums of money to politicians, and to media outlets are buying the right to sell a product and a mode of transportation, and a way of life that causes immense grief and suffering. They receive no penalty, and are allowed to continue their profitable and deadly game without censure or appeal. And now, amazingly, they are blatantly encouraging us in television and print ads to drive fast, drive aggressively, arm ourselves with killer tanks (the SUV); they now bear even more responsibility for the carnage. They must be held accountable. The time has come to make a change.

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And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. FOR ALL WHO DO EVIL HATE THE LIGHT AND DO NOT COME TO THE LIGHT, SO THAT THEIR DEEDS MAY NOT BE EXPOSED. BUT THOSE WHO DO WHAT IS TRUE COME TO THE LIGHT, SO THAT IT MAY BE CLEARLY SEEN THAT THEIR DEEDS HAVE BEEN DONE IN GOD{John 3:19-21}

 

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