Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a new coalition to tackle the increasing number of fatal traffic accidents on America’s roads. The Road to Zero coalition, made up of the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, have one goal: Achieve zero traffic deaths in the United States within the next 30 years.
The coalition was formed in the wake of startling statistics regarding traffic deaths in the United States. In the first half of 2016, according to the NHTSA, an estimated 17,775 people died in motor vehicle accidents. Compared to the first six months of 2015, which totaled 16,100, that is an increase of 10.4 percent.
“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a DOT press release. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal.”
According to the DOT, the Road to Zero coalition will begin its efforts by increasing promotion of proven lifesaving strategies. This includes seat belt use, rumble strip installations, truck safety and programs to decrease drunk and distracted driving. The DOT has also committed to allocating $1 million per year for three years for grants to support organizations working on lifesaving programs.
Another vital component of the Road to Zero will be support of new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility. This will include innovations that “focus on overall system design, addressing infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.”