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DOT Aims for Zero Traffic Deaths Within 30 Years

October 05, 2016

The NHTSA held a conference to introduce its Road to Zero campaign and to address the increase in traffic deaths over the past year. Screenshot via NHTSA
The NHTSA held a conference to introduce its Road to Zero campaign and to address the increase in traffic deaths over the past year. Screenshot via NHTSA

Three DOT agencies and the National Safety Council have teamed up to launch a new initiative with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths on U.S. roads within the next 30 years. Truck safety is one of the targets, and autonomous vehicle technologies envisioned as part of the solution.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining with the National Safety Council to launch the Road to Zero Coalition. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.

"Last year, our nation lost over 35,000 lives in fatal traffic crashes, which is a significant increase over the year before," noted Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

"Never before has a coalition of this size and experience been assembled with such an ambitious goal," Foxx said. "Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads. 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."

The Road to Zero Coalition will initially focus on promoting "proven lifesaving strategies" including truck safety, seat belt use, installing rumble strips, street design, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. The coalition will then 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.

The coalition is betting on the rapid advancement of autonomous vehicle technologies as a way forward to its goal of zero traffic deaths and will work to accelerate its adoption into infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and driver behavior. The groups believe that by countering inevitable human mistakes, it can seriously reduce and potentially eliminate fatalities on the road.

"With the rapid introduction of automated vehicle technologies that may prove to be a road safety game changer, our goal of zero deaths is achievable in our lifetimes," Foxx said.

"Reaching zero deaths will be difficult, will take time and will require significant effort from all of us but it is the only acceptable vision," said David Kim, FHWA deputy administrator. "We're not at zero yet, but by working together, the day will come when there are no fatalities on the nation's roadways, sidewalks or bicycle paths."

Comments

  1. 1. Michael Anderson [ October 05, 2016 @ 09:51AM ]

    It seems like that is a dream goal, but efforts should be made in achievable chunks. They must start their own issues, with DOT responsible areas, like the condition of roads, traffic congestion, and flow BEFORE they start mandating that others solve the problem through regulation.

  2. 2. Emily [ October 05, 2016 @ 09:57AM ]

    Michael Anderson, couldn't agree with you more. There are a lot of finger pointing always at our nations truckers when there are so many other issues at hand. The road conjestion here in MN, is deplorable. I have a 25 mile drive that takes sometimes an hour and it is not due to truckers. It is due to not enough road, also have accidents daily because of impatient drivers, drivers that have forgotten laws and basic rules of traffic. More regulations will equal less truckers, and more shipping costs thus creating more of a price increase at the store..its is all relatable.

  3. 3. Frank [ October 05, 2016 @ 11:15AM ]

    What are they drinking down there in Washington. I would like to have some of it. In my opinion, it is an impossible pipe dream, zero deaths on the highway. This idea will be used to put more rules and regulations on drivers, cars and trucks that will cost this country billions of dollars chasing this pipe dream.

  4. 4. Jack [ October 05, 2016 @ 12:52PM ]

    Outlawing cell phones, alcohol and drugs are the low hanging fruit. After that it would take 200 ft right of way with no trees, utility poles, guard rails or bridge railings. Then do away with all railroad crossings and pedestrian crossings. Of course they would also need to do away with bicycles. Then all they would need to figure out is how to away with all the stupid drivers. How to pay for all this, of course, just tax the rich!

  5. 5. Russ [ October 05, 2016 @ 06:04PM ]

    I'm so tired of reading about this BS. Look at the airline industry, basically have the whole sky to fly around in, computer controled auto pilot and assisted take off and landings, radar, two pilots and hundreds of safety measures in place, and people still die in aircraft accidents. Seams like a pretty basic concept to grasp that when humans are involved in any process, there will be catastrophic events from time to time. End of discussion.

  6. 6. tpauburn [ October 06, 2016 @ 04:14AM ]

    As the world, continues to think electronic that would be the way, to
    reduce, but never achieve, accident free. electronic, controlled mass
    transportation, taking out the human error. But since there are still humans
    making inspections, on our transportation, the accidents are reduced, but
    you still have the inadvertent time when something did not get inspected,
    and caused the accident. This is something that the dreamers will never see, even if they are only 25 year of age.

  7. 7. terry [ October 06, 2016 @ 04:14AM ]

    As the world, continues to think electronic that would be the way, to
    reduce, but never achieve, accident free. electronic, controlled mass
    transportation, taking out the human error. But since there are still humans
    making inspections, on our transportation, the accidents are reduced, but
    you still have the inadvertent time when something did not get inspected,
    and caused the accident. This is something that the dreamers will never see, even if they are only 25 year of age.

  8. 8. terry [ October 06, 2016 @ 04:15AM ]

    As the world, continues to think electronic that would be the way, to
    reduce, but never achieve, accident free. electronic, controlled mass
    transportation, taking out the human error. But since there are still humans
    making inspections, on our transportation, the accidents are reduced, but
    you still have the inadvertent time when something did not get inspected,
    and caused the accident. This is something that the dreamers will never see, even if they are only 25 year of age.

  9. 9. Justin [ October 07, 2016 @ 04:19AM ]

    Wow! Another way to dump billions of dollars down a rat hole!
    What kind of imagination does it take to keep coming up with this kind of bunk?
    Zero traffic deaths will never be achievable. It is humanly impossible.

  10. 10. Mark [ October 07, 2016 @ 04:33AM ]

    So a meeting about doing away with accidents, then why is the lady in the middle holding a beer? Hummm talk the talk, but don't lead by example?

  11. 11. Gary [ October 07, 2016 @ 06:30AM ]

    Just another government program that wastes taxpayer money and grows the size of our government. What benefits do we get from the DOT and DOE ? Rules and regulations to keep more government workers busy - that's all.

  12. 12. Bill [ October 11, 2016 @ 09:06AM ]

    Sure there will be zero fatalities on the roads when we have autonomous vehicles hauling robots to factories where they can replace human workers! It's hard to die in a crash when you are sitting at your house with nowhere to go because you were replaced by a robot and robots can deliver your goods right to your door. Hell, they will be able to eliminate robberies, murders, car crash deaths, and human interaction all at the same time. Seems like there's a book called the bible that warns us of a takeover by our governments, but I could be wrong.

 

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