A Road to Zero coalition, comprised of the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, is fighting back against the increasing traffic fatalities on U.S. roads. To help with this challenge, the DOT is committed to providing $1 million per year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations with lifesaving initiatives.
“Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated in a DOT press release. “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.”
In August, the NHTSA reported that 2015 saw an increase in traffic fatalities, the first one in decades. In fact, the 7.2 percent increase in deaths from 2014 to a total of 35,092 was the highest single-year increase since 1966. The Road To Zero coalition is one of the responses to these alarming statistics.
The coalition’s initial focus will be on the “4Es” – Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services. Included in this will be improving known lifesaving strategies, such as seat belt use, use of rumble strips, truck safety and campaigns to reduce drunk and distracted driving. This will be paired with development of new technologies, including self-driving vehicles and other innovations.