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Letter to the Administrator, Federal Works Agency, Asking Him To Head a Conference on Traffic Safety.

December 21, 1945

[ Released December 21, 1945. Dated December 18, 1945 ]

Dear General:

I am deeply concerned by the extent of traffic accidents on the Nation's streets and highways which have increased alarmingly since the end of gasoline rationing. The loss of life, the bodily injuries, and the destruction of property resulting from these accidents are a drain upon the nation's resources which we cannot possibly allow to continue.

It is my intention to call into conference at the White House next spring representatives of the States and municipalities who have legal responsibility in matters of highway traffic, together with representatives of the several national organizations which have a primary interest in traffic safety. I hope that additional means may be devised by such a conference to make our streets and highways safer for motorists and for the public before the beginning of the automobile touring season of 1946.

The Federal Works Agency, through its Public Roads Administration, is the organization that is concerned with matters relating to highway construction and transport.

Therefore, I should like to have you, as Administrator of the Federal Works Agency, head up the conference. I suggest, as a necessary preliminary step, that you call into consultation in the near future appropriate representatives of the interests involved in order to lay the groundwork and prepare the agenda for the conference.

Very sincerely,

HARRY S. TRUMAN

[Major General Philip B. Fleming, Administrator, Federal Works Agency]

Note: The White House release of the President's letter stated that information supplied to the President showed that traffic fatalities in the United States totaled 2,510 during August (the month in which gasoline rationing ended), 2,839 in September, and 3,440 in October. These figures represented increases of 30, 40, and 50 percent, respectively, over corresponding months in 1944.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Administrator, Federal Works Agency, Asking Him To Head a Conference on Traffic Safety. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229475

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