AASHTO Board of Directors Endorses 'Toward Zero Deaths' Strategy
to Reduce Fatalities

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Board of Directors endorsed the Toward Zero Deaths strategy as a national vision for highway safety and as the updated AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The vote occurred during the AASHTO Spring Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

"This is an excellent step towards our goal to reduce fatalities and injuries on our roads. Toward Zero Deaths is a roadmap to reaching the vision of making sure every trip on our nation's highways is safe," said Nevada Department of Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon, chairman of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. "We have two main goals for this national strategy. First, we want to build on what we've been doing that has been working, while still working on new countermeasures that will also be effective. And we also want to work on creating a traffic safety culture."

The TZD national strategy establishes a vision of a highway system free of fatalities, and is a tool for uniting and mobilizing efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries relating to traffic crashes. TZD's programs and countermeasures are focused to address highway safety from all approaches, which include:

  • Safer drivers and passengers
  • Safer vulnerable users
  • Safer vehicles
  • Safer infrastructure
  • Enhanced emergency medical services
  • Improved safety management
  • Transformed traffic safety culture

In 2012, more than 33 thousand lives were lost and more than two million people were injured on our nation's roads. The TZD strategy is a collaborative effort to reduce fatalities and injuries while reminding the public that traffic fatalities are a public health crisis. So far, at least 35 states have adopted a TZD vision or a goal of zero highway fatalities.

The TZD National Strategy was developed by a steering committee comprised of associations representing state and local government agencies working to reduce highway fatalities. Along with AASHTO, the TZD Steering Committee includes the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Governors Highway Safety Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of County Engineers, National Local Technical Assistance Program Association, and the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials. The Steering Committee encourages highway safety stakeholders to participate in the national dialogue on highway safety, develop or enhance a long term strategy for their own programs, and share their ideas, best practices, and lessons learned with others.

AASHTO's Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety, along with the Subcommittee on Safety Management, has been planning how to implement the TZD strategy including communicating about the national TZD initiative with other AASHTO committees and other stakeholders. Additionally, the committees have proposed NCHRP research, including:

- NCHRP 17-64: Guidance for the Implementation of the Toward Zero Deaths National Highway Safety Strategy

- NCHRP 17-69: Development of Strategic Plan for Transforming Traffic Safety Culture

- Two domestic scans:

  • 12-03: Advances in Safety Program Practices in "Zero-Fatalities" States
  • 14-03: Successful Approaches for the Development of an Organization-wide Safety Culture

Join highway safety stakeholders around the country on July 8 for a webinar on traffic safety culture led by the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Safety Culture and sponsored by AASHTO and the Governors Highway Safety Association and several other partners. For more information on the webinar, click here.

For more information on Toward Zero Deaths, visit TowardZeroDeaths.org.

Published 6-13-14