Highway safety agency runs ads in effort to curb speeding

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stem / stɛm / (v.) – to stop something from continuing or spreading

    Vaccines will stem the spread of the pandemic.

  2. wreck / rɛk / (v.) – to destroy something completely

    The workers wrecked the old house so they can build a new one.

  3. fatal / ˈfeɪt l / (adj.) – can cause or result to death

    Some insecticides are fatal to both plants and insects.

  4. inevitable / ɪnˈɛv ɪ tə bəl / (adj.) – cannot be avoided

    When they lost their best player, the team’s defeat was inevitable.

  5. preventable / prɪˈvɛn tə bəl / (adj.) – able to be stopped or prevented from happening

    Most diseases are preventable if people eat right and exercise regularly.


Read the text below.

The U.S. government’s road safety agency said it will spend $8 million on ads aimed at stemming the rising number of traffic deaths caused by speeding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign called “Speeding Wrecks Lives” will run on television, radio and digitally, targeting drivers from ages 18 to 44.

The agency said 11,258 people died in speed-related crashes in 2020, up 17% from 2019 even though there was less traffic on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic. Speed contributed to 29% of all fatal crashes, with 87% of speed-related deaths happening on local roads, not interstate highways.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, representing state traffic safety offices, said the death trend continued last year with speed killing nearly 12,000 people in 2021.

“Speed-related deaths aren’t inevitable,” said Steven Cliff, NHTSA administrator. “They’re preventable, and everyone has a role in addressing this crisis.”

The ads ran in English and Spanish and were aired from July 20 until Aug. 14.

The agency announced the campaign at an event in Los Angeles.

Nearly 43,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year. That’s the highest number in 16 years as Americans returned to the highways after the pandemic forced many to stay at home.

Traffic deaths rose 10.5% over 2020, the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its fatality data collection in 1975.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Speed contributed to 29% of all fatal crashes, with most speed-related deaths happening on local roads. What do you think the government should do to reduce this other than the ads (ex. install more speed bumps, put more police officers on the streets)? Do you have these precautions in your country? Discuss.
  • The agency said that there was an increase in speed-related crashes even if there were fewer cars because of the pandemic. What do you think was the cause of the increase (ex. fewer cars encourage faster driving, fewer police on the streets because of COVID-19)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The NHTSA administrator said that “speed-related deaths aren’t inevitable.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The administrator also said that “everyone has a role in addressing” the speeding crisis. How can you help lessen speed-related accidents in your country? Discuss.