The National Strategy on Highway Safety, called Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) was officially rolled out today nationwide. The TZD plan provides countermeasures in education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) for organizations, businesses and individuals to reduce deaths on our roadways from over 33,000 each year to zero.
“The philosophy behind Toward Zero Deaths is until our roads are absolutely free of fatalities, our work is not finished,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). “Our aim is that the united effort of these organizations will reduce highway fatalities at a much faster rate.”
“We embrace the vision of Toward Zero Deaths; it provides an overarching and common vision that drives and focuses our efforts to achieve our shared goal to eliminate injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone-from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels. The U.S. Department of Transportation will do our part by aggressively using all the tools at our disposal – research into new safety systems and technologies, campaigns to educate the public, investments in infrastructure and collaboration with all of our government partners to support strong laws and data-driven approaches to improve safety.”
More than 40 states have zero-based traffic safety efforts underway, but there is a need for a single, national vision for highway safety. TZD was developed by a steering committee cooperative to fill this need.
“Crashes are influenced by many factors,” said Steve Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). “To reach our goal of zero, solutions must come from multiple angles, which is why the TZD plan addresses the vehicles, the road and the driver.”
“Adopting a TZD safety vision is a crucial first step in eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roadways,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “But following through with real-world actions is of equal, if not greater, importance. The TZD plan outlines something everyone can do-on a personal or professional level-that will contribute to saving lives on our roads.”
Many states and local organizations have begun implementing initiatives outlined in the National Strategy on Highway Safety.
Examples of initiatives in progress:
- Law enforcement is identifying high crash corridors and is implementing high-visibility and targeted multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional enforcement coupled with education and outreach activities to help motivate behavioral change.
- Several state EMS and highway safety officials are linking electronic crash record data with EMS (and hospital) electronic data to determine which treatments are most effective in saving lives and reducing disabilities.
- Future enhancements to the 911 system, referred to as “Next Generation 9-1-1” are being planned to enable people to transmit text messages-including images, video, and other data files-about the crash location and scene. This vital information will help EMS staff significantly improve the preparations, response and services provided at a crash scene.
- County engineers nationwide are assembling multidisciplinary work groups at the local level to address specific community roadway safety issues.
“Reaching zero deaths on our nation’s roads will take dedication and collaboration by everyone who touches our transportation network who will turn this vision into a reality,” said Anne Ferro, president & CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
About Toward Zero Deaths
For more information about the Toward Zero Deaths National Strategy on Highway Safety, visit TowardZeroDeaths.org. The TZD effort is led by a group of associations representing state and local government agencies working to reduce highway fatalities:
- American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
- Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
- National Association of County Engineers (NACE)
- National Local Technical Assistance Program Association (NLTAPA)
- National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO)
The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided technical support to the TZD efforts.
For more than five years, these associations have been working together to identify and prioritize the leading initiatives that will reduce traffic fatalities over the next 25 years.
AASHTO Media Relations Manager