The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to end traffic deaths on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. To help make that happen, it’s launching a new Road to Zero Coalition. It’s made up of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration along with the National Safety Council.
The government says it will spend $3 million over the next three years to provide grants to those working on life-saving road programs. This calls to action follows the latest traffic death stats. Regulators say 2015 marked the largest increase of traffic deaths on U.S. roads since 1966. What’s more, preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show they are up even more – about 10.4 percent compared to the first half of 2015.
“Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety – from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels.”
So here’s what the Road to Zero Coalition will do. It will initially focus on promoting proven lifesaving strategies, such as improving seat belt use, installing rumble strips, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. It will also lead the development of a new scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths based on evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to eliminating risks.
Of course, we already know the USDOT believes automated technology will go a long way in reducing human error, and therefore traffic deaths. That’s one thing they are counting on over the next 30 years as well. The coalition will also focus on moving things along in that area, too. It will look at overall system design, address infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.
The bottom line is that the regulators want to eliminate deaths that occur from human mistakes.
For more on the new coalition click here.