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Letter: Don’t let the leading killer of children — traffic violence — slide into the shadows

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Traffic on 400 South in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

What’s the leading cause of death for children? Rebekah Wahlberg’s March 29 article, “These are the safest cities in Utah,” didn’t bother to tell us. It only summarized crime rates for violent felonies and property theft. Are either one of those the biggest threat to most people’s safety? Children’s safety? Not even close.

Tribune editors, if you’re really interested in Utah’s safest cities, you should inform your readers of the leading killer of children aged 5 to 19: traffic violence.

We have normalized them as “accidents,” but when roads are built for the speed of cars, crashes are no accident. US roads got 45% more deadly for pedestrians between 2010-2020. Harm rises exponentially with speed. Traffic engineers know this, yet have given us a world where the need for speed trumps everyone’s safety.

The best news outlets lead their readers to look below the surface. Next time when reporting on safety, please don’t let the leading killer of children slide into the shadows.

Luke Garrott, Salt Lake City

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