AASHTO Journal

AASHTO Joins With “Toward Zero Deaths” Coalition in Effort to End Roadway Fatalities

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials joined with a coalition of transportation industry groups in the "Toward Zero Deaths" effort, a national highway safety strategy that aims to eliminate deaths on U.S. roadways.

"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."

AASHTO and state departments of transportation are also leading research and activities to promote a traffic safety culture, and promoting data-driven policies to help achieve it.

"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, 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."

Toward Zero Deaths was created by a steering committee cooperative that includes numerous organizations committed to reducing annual U.S. traffic fatalities from more than 33,000 to zero. Its members are state and county safety groups, law enforcement and emergency services, plus the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Department of Transportation also embraces this national vision, which he said "drives and focuses our efforts to achieve our shared goal to eliminate injuries and fatalities on our roadways."

Foxx said the USDOT will use "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 TZD plan provides organizations in engineering, law enforcement, education and emergency medical services with safety initiatives designed to save lives. Those efforts target factors that contribute to roadway crashes, and promote actions that could significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

AASHTO and state departments of transportation are also conducting research and activities to encourage a traffic safety culture, and promoting policies to help achieve it.  

The TZD plan aims to produce safer drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and to improve safety of vehicles and the roadway infrastructure. Improvements in emergency medical services and their response to crashes are included, along with management of traffic safety programs.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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