WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Jan. 27, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the National Roadway Safety Strategy to combat the rising number of traffic fatalities across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 42,915 people died due to traffic violence on American roads in 2021. In the one year since the rollout of the NRSS, the state of the roads in the U.S. remains bleak.
“U.S. roads are the most dangerous they’ve been in 16 years, but the National Safety Council remains committed to the shared goal of zero roadway deaths,” said Jane Terry, vice president of government affairs at NSC. “The National Roadway Safety Strategy was – and continues to be – a significant step toward advancing safety for all roadway users and breaking down silos. The time is now to put safety first on our country’s roads. NSC appreciates the passion of our partners at DOT in making safety a priority and protecting all those who use our roads.”
To support the implementation of the National Roadway Safety Strategy last year and continue working towards a goal of zero traffic deaths, NSC made commitments such as:
- Funding the Road to Zero Community Traffic Safety Grants program with shared priority projects that fill a gap or address existing disparities in traffic safety and additional shared goals from the NRSS.
- Supporting teen driver safety through delivery of DriveitHOME materials to 4,000 influencing adults.
- Improving vehicle safety by growing the already 700,000 drivers who have checked for recalls using Check to Protect by hosting at least three recall canvassing events and piloting programs within three states. In addition, 143 American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities received Check to Protect resources.
In 2023, NSC continues to work across private and public sectors, including with DOT – which just announced a historic $800 million in grant awards through the Safe Streets and Roads for All program – to combat roadway fatalities and put zero traffic deaths within reach. NSC commitments for this year include:
- Awarding 2023 Road to Zero Community Traffic Safety Grants program with shared priority projects from the National Roadway Safety Strategy and implementation of the Safe System Approach.
- Promoting learnings from 2022 Road to Zero grantees for replication throughout the U.S.
- Leveraging the Road to Zero Coalition to address emerging issues such as implementation of the Safe System Approach and risk of vehicle design to non-occupants, involving stakeholders through its working group structure.
- Hosting monthly webinars to the Road to Zero network of more than 1,800 members, providing opportunities to share resources, discuss ideas for implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, highlight speakers, and amplify successful traffic safety efforts to a virtual audience.
- Working with vehicle safety manufacturers, consumers, and other stakeholders to develop a minimum of three new resources for My Car Does What? to educate the public on the limits and opportunities of vehicle safety technology in vehicles.
- Expanding Distracted Driving Awareness Month for the general public, specifically within the 16-32 age demographic. Key messages around vulnerable road user safety, work zone safety and equitable mobility will be expanded.
- Advocating for state-level mobility safety improvements to complement federal efforts, including primary seat belt laws, reducing impaired driving, and lowering speed limits.
- Translating the DriveitHOME parent education program into a third language.
- Creating a DriveitHOME mobile phone application to showcase the new free educational materials for parents across the country.
- Offering 15 free DriveitHOME parent nights to educate parents on roadway safety issues and risks young drivers face and provide state-specific data for parents such as crash rates and GDL laws.
- Growing information and outreach on roadway safety to include the Safe System Approach, vulnerable road user safety, safe speeds, community involvement and more through online, communications, in-person and other engagement opportunities.
- Continuing to partner with NHTSA in support of expanding awareness and education opportunities regarding the safety of children in and around vehicles, to include child passenger safety and pediatric vehicular heatstroke.
- Offering and evolving the National Digital Car Seat Check Form at no financial cost to all U.S. certified child passenger safety technicians and instructors, CPS program managers, and vehicle and car seat manufacturers. The form is the only current source of public child passenger safety data based on use assessments from inside personal vehicles.
- Creating innovative solutions to increase public access to child passenger safety trainings, such as developing hybrid curricula (a combination of both online and in-person training components). This includes basic and specialty child passenger safety topics such as school bus and special needs transportation.
For more information and to hear directly from NSC, DOT and several advocacy groups, join the annual Road to Zero Coalition meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. ET. Topics of discussion include the Safe System Approach, doubling down on what works, accelerating technology and changing the narrative around traffic violence. It is open to the public, and to attend virtually, register here.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.