AASHTO lays out plan for reduction of roadway fatalities

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the national organization for state departments of transportation, recently joined the National Strategy on Highway Safety Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) effort, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roadways.

The Toward Zero Deaths effort was created by a steering committee cooperative that includes numerous organizations committed to reducing annual US traffic fatalities from more than 33,000 to zero. The TZD Plan provides organizations in the fields of engineering, law enforcement, education and emergency medical services (EMS) with initiatives and safety countermeasures designed to save lives.

“This national effort is a perfect example of why partnerships are so critically important,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “The TZD National vision brings together a wide range of organizations and individuals under a unified commitment to transform our nation’s traffic safety culture. Everyone has to be part of the solution — including the nation’s educators, roadway designers, engineers, law enforcement officers and motorists.”

“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. “The U.S. Department of Transportation will do our part by aggressively using all 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.”

The National Strategy includes initiatives that are known to be—or are expected to be—effective in addressing specific factors contributing to roadway crashes, have the potential to make a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries nationally, or address areas of growing concern.

The TZD plan includes initiatives spanning from engineering to education with the intended result of achieving:

  • Safer drivers, passengers and pedestrians
  • Safer infrastructure
  • Safer vehicles
  • Enhanced emergency medical services and response
  • Improved management of traffic safety programs

AASHTO and state departments of transportation across the country are working to accomplish the TZD vision by:

  • Leading research and other activities to promote a culture of traffic safety in America.
  • Identifying new safety partners and promoting a collaborative, multidisciplinary, data-driven approach to safety related policies and programs.

“As leaders in the transportation industry, we have a duty and a responsibility to do what we can to accelerate the efforts to save lives on our nation’s roadways,” said Rudy Malfabon, P.E., director of the Nevada Department of Transportation and Chair of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. “Our mission is to one day rid the nation of all traffic fatalities and the TZD National Strategy will help us reach that goal faster.”

For more than five years, organizations representing transportation, safety, law enforcement, engineering, and state and local government agencies–with the technical support of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—have been working together to identify and prioritize the leading initiatives that will reduce traffic fatalities over the next 25 years.

These organizations are leading the TZD effort:

  • 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)

For more information about the Toward Zero Deaths National Strategy on Highway Safety, visit TowardZeroDeaths.org.