In early October, four government agencies overseeing transportation in the U.S. announced a plan with the goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero within 30 years.
The plan, called the Road to Zero Coalition initiative, was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The NHTSA is joined by the Federal Highway Administration (NHWA), the National Safety Council (NSC), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). All these agencies will be working together.
The initiatives address the multiple causes of traffic fatalities and plan to use targeted plans, education, innovative technology, and funding to reach the 30-year goal.
To those ends, the inaugural efforts will 1) promote use of seat belts, a proven method of reducing fatalities, through specific enforcement; 2) put rumble strips in areas that are known to be hazardous sites of veering off; 3) enhance safety of commercial vehicles to reduce truck accidents; and 4) initiate educational campaigns to promote safe driving.
Longer term, the campaign will target the use of innovative technology, such as vehicles with self-driving capability, improved infrastructure and roadway design, safety behaviors, and enforcement of speed limits. The coalition hopes that technology developed for self-driving cars can be incorporated into all vehicles to reduce human error.
Initiative responds to spike in traffic fatalities
The consortium plans to generously fund organizations that create programs that save lives as part of the Road to Zero initiatives. It will be sponsoring $1 million in grant money every year over the next three years.
The programs will also target the risks that are the root cause of many highway vehicle accidents. The program plans to research new evidence-based strategies and systematic approaches that will make the risks a thing of the past.
The news of the formation of Road to Zero occurred shortly after the NHTSA had announced the first half 2016 statistics on traffic fatalities. Fatal traffic accidents occurred 10.4% more frequently in the period than in the first half of 2015. Last year’s first half, it should be noted, also saw a year-over-year increase, and registered the highest number of traffic deaths since 1996.
Deborah A.P. Hersman, the president and CEO of the NSC, observed that “The ‘4Es’ – Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services – provide a reliable roadmap for driving down fatalities. Coupled with new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we may now hold the keys that get us to zero.”
Trusted accident attorney in Los Angeles
The Zero in Thirty plans are admirable and future successes would be applauded. But for right now, the initiative offers little comfort for victims of reckless drivers
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a vehicle accident, Los Angeles car accident lawyer Sean F. Salamati offers skilled legal advice on your rights to compensation. Contact our office toll-free to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.