The newly formed Bypass 52 Committee said there were dozens of near misses every day along the busy road, and that drivers were taking bad risks and driving aggressively through villages such as Pant.
They said there had been too many deaths and too many injuries, and something needed to be done.
Members of the group will work to convince governments on both sides of the border that a new bypass could not only save lives, but money and time too.
Attendees of the inaugural meeting at Cross Guns in Pant on Wednesday night watched from the venue's restaurant, pointing out the many times that HGVs and tractors sped past.
The group will be looking for improvements from Mile End roundabout in Oswestry to Four Crosses across the Welsh border.
Mike Catt, who has been campaigning for improvements for seven years, said you took your life in your hands each time you travelled on the current road.
"It breaks my heart," he said. "It's not just adults that are getting hurt, but kids. There was a 16-year-old die in Llanymynech. I don't want anybody going through that.
"The speed people do along the road, it's only a matter of time. It is a death road. You take your life in your hands. The near misses we've all had, it's a wonder some of us are actually here.
"There's a lot of passion to get traffic slowed down. We're not going to sit and watch people die."
The group believes that this is the longest-awaited bypass in the country, with evidence that campaigners have been working since at least the 1950s.
But with increases in fast traffic every year, they say the issues highlighted in 1952 are now many times worse.
"It's been a long time coming," Mr Catt.
"They knew back in 1952 that we needed it and it's now 2019 – there's probably 70 per cent more traffic.
"About four years ago they said it was 16,000 vehicles a day using it, and now it's 20,000 and many of them are HGVs. We should not have been waiting this long."