Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to Governors Requesting State Cooperation to Reduce Automobile Accidents.

January 24, 1935

My dear Governor:

I am gravely concerned with the increasing number of deaths and injuries occurring in automobile accidents. Preliminary figures indicate that the total of these losses during the year 1934, greatly exceeded that of any previous year. We should, as a people, be able to solve this problem which so vitally affects the lives and happiness of our citizens.

In order to assist in this, the Federal Government, through the Secretary of Commerce, has taken the leadership in developing remedial measures. Proposals for uniform State legislation have been worked out by the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety with the cooperation of responsible State officials and representatives of interested organizations from all parts of the country.

The remedies that need to be applied are thus available in form which appears to meet the unanimous approval of experienced judgment. The pressing problem is to secure universal application of these remedies which have proved effective where applied.

The responsibility for action rests with the States. There is need for legislation and for the organization of proper agencies of administration and enforcement. There is need also for leadership in education of the public in the safe use of the motor vehicle, which has become an indispensable agency of transportation. With the legislatures of most of the States meeting during 1935, concerted effort for appropriate action in the States is most important.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation and the urgent need for attention to the problem, I am confident that you will desire to participate in this effort.

Yours very truly,

(The foregoing letter was sent to each Governor in the United States.)

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to Governors Requesting State Cooperation to Reduce Automobile Accidents. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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