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					President Clinton’s health care/injury      Secretary of Transportation Federico       The Department of Transportation
control proposal calls for increased        Peña has set tough goals for               will meet Secretary Peña’s highway
responsibility for health and safety.       increasing safety belt use and             safety/health and injury control goals
Further improvements in highway             decreasing impaired driving; the two       by working with states,
safety will assist in the national effort   actions that hold the most promise of      communities, and private
to reduce health care costs.                saving lives, preventing injuries, and     organizations to encourage strict
   About 40,000 people die in traffic       reducing traffic-related health care       enforcement of state seat belt and
   crashes each year and five million       and other economic costs.                  anti-impaired driving laws, and
   are injured. Each day 107 people            Secretary Peña has set a goal for the   through intense public information
   die from traffic crashes. (In               nation to reduce alcohol-related        activities to alert Americans to the
   comparison, about 25,000 murders            fatalities by 6,000 annually by the     savings in lives and dollars that will
   and one million aggravated assaults         year 2005. Reaching this goal           accrue from these activities.
   occur each year.)                           would save American taxpayers
   Traffic crashes are the leading cause       $1.4 billion in health care costs
   of death for people between the             (adding related injuries).
   ages of six and 28.                         He has also set a goal of increasing
   Motor vehicle crashes cost the              safety belt usage to 75 percent by           Seat Belts:
   nation $137 billion annually,               1997. Increasing seat belt usage in           Lifesavers on our
   including $14 billion in health care        passenger cars alone to 75 percent
   costs ($3.7 billion of which is paid        would save 1,700 lives and many
                                               times that number of injuries.
   directly by taxpayers). The cost to
   employers is $37 billion each year.         Health care costs would be reduced
   A total of $35,000 in health care           by $684 million ($180 million of
   costs is saved for each serious injury      which is publicly funded) and
   that is prevented. In comparison,           another $328 million would be
   crime of all sorts costs the nation         saved in income taxes and
   $19 billion each year.                      public assistance.

November 1995                                                                             U.S. Dept. of Transportation