December 2018

See You Dec. 4!

Mark your calendars for the next Road to Zero Coalition meeting, hosted at the 20 F Street, NW Conference Center in D.C. from 9 a.m. to noon EST Tuesday, Dec. 4. The location is near Capitol Hill and Union Station.

Planned speakers and topics include:

  • Beth Alicandri, associate administrator for safety at the Federal Highway Administration - The Vision and Path of Road to Zero
  • Oro Valley Chief Daniel Sharp, Arizona Police Department; chairman of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Highway Safety Committee - Community Partnerships Using Proven Countermeasures and Developing Relationships (HiVE)
  • Kyle Clark, project manager, DECP Eastern Region, Drug Evaluation Classification Program (DECP), International Association of Chiefs of Police - Stopping Drugged Driving On the Road to Zero
  • Judge Earl Penrod, former fellow for the American Bar Association in Cooperation with NHTSA and faculty at the National Judicial College - Judicial Role in Traffic Safety: “Different Role - Common Goal"
  • Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission; chair of the Governors Highway Safety Association - Traffic Safety Culture: Transformational Partnerships Between State Highway Safety Offices to Support Law Enforcement and their Relationship with their Communities

If you cannot join us in person, please consider joining the webcast. You can register here. A link to the webcast will be sent to you 48 hours in advance.

Taking on Distracted Driving

Insurance companies AON, Liberty Mutual, Zurich, USAA, and Nationwide along with the Property and Casualty Insurers Association (PCI), and Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) will join the National Safety Council and the Road to Zero in a panel discussion on distracted driving challenges, methods and tools to audit/monitor/document behavioral changes, and mid- to long-term countermeasures and trade-offs. The panel is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, following the Road to Zero Coalition meeting at 20 F Street, NW Conference Center in Washington D.C.

Specific topics will include:

  • The challenge of addressing distracted driving across industries
  • What has and has not been effective to reduce prevalence of distracted driving
  • Methods and tools to audit/monitor/document behavioral changes
  • Questions/challenges/trade-offs to implementing behavioral change
  • What the Insurance industry views as failures, or challenges to further control

The panel discussion is free and open to Road to Zero Coalition members. Visit nsc.org/roadtozero for more information.

Time to Get to Work

In April 2018, the Road to Zero Coalition issued a report outlining three priority areas that must be addressed to reach zero fatalities on U.S. roadways by 2050.

  1. Double down on what works
  2. Accelerate technology
  3. Prioritize safety

The Coalition will now begin focusing on implementing recommendations in each of the three priority areas identified in the report. To that end, the National Safety Council will continue to lead the Coalition efforts, but will be joined by several members of the Steering Committee to coordinate three working groups. Dia Gainor of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), David Harkey of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Jeff Paniati of Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) have volunteered to lead activities in each of the three priority areas.

Coalition meetings will be held twice per year and Coalition members are encouraged to participate in specific efforts focused on the three strategies. NASEMSO will lead a work group focused on doubling down on what works, IIHS will coordinate efforts on accelerating technology and ITE will focus work group efforts on prioritizing safety.

The doubling down on what works working group will lead the advancement and promotion of initiatives that yield a measurable increase in results when additional effort and more widespread implementation occurs. The workgroup will identify and prioritize proven practices as well as promising unconventional and emerging efforts. Dia Gainor of the NASEMSO will lead the group, which will meet at regular intervals.

Work on accelerating technology will focus on the implementation of vehicle, infrastructure and personal technologies within our transportation system to reduce fatalities. This effort will include one or two public meetings held each year to discuss a variety of technologies and what can be done to accelerate their implementation. David Harkey of IIHS will lead these activities.

The prioritizing safety working group will guide efforts to institutionalize safety thinking and safety culture. Initially, this working group will focus on advancing the concept of safe systems, which will require the development of educational tools and case studies to help infrastructure owners and operators understand the rationale behind safe systems, compare and contrast it with current safety decision-making frameworks, and evaluate the costs and benefits. Jeff Paniati of ITE will lead this effort.

NSC will continue to provide organizational leadership and administrative support for the Coalition, administer the Road to Zero grants, support the meetings outlined above and continue its role as communicator regarding the RTZ strategy and priorities.

The new leaders will talk about their plans at the Dec. 4 Coalition meeting. Coalition members are encouraged to participate in these groups to help implement the report recommendations.

In the Know

Here are some updates, findings and news from your fellow Road to Zero Coalition members and the transportation industry:

Voters strongly support, requiring large trucks to have speed limiters and AEB technology, according to a new study from Road Safe America released in late October. Seventy-nine percent of those likely to vote in the general election said they would favor requiring speed limiters set at a maximum of 65 miles per hour, according to the poll. The study is available here.

FHWA has released its Strategic Plan, which includes FHWA’s new mission statement: The mission of FHWA is to enable and empower the strengthening of a world-class highway system that promotes safety, mobility, and economic growth, while enhancing the quality of life of all Americans. The strategic plan is available here.

Decriminalized marijuana is impacting safety on the roadways, and some of those effects are summarized in a new GHSA report. According to the report, marijuana use increased in Colorado and Washington, two states that legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. Read the full report and guide for states Safer Roads Challenge 2019-2020, inviting communities to apply. Through the Safer Roads Challenge, the private sector and local leadership come together to diagnose road safety challenges and deliver measurable solutions using combined expertise and resources. Community leaders can apply by identifying a critical road safety challenge that they propose to address with TSR’s support. Applications will be reviewed and selected by a panel of experts, and selected applicants will be invited to TSR’s Annual Membership Meeting in June. Apply here.

According to Zendrive, distracted driving contributes to one in four crashes, and is 100 times worse than we’d thought. Unsafe driving is rampant around U.S. schools, putting our kids in danger. To help fix these issues, Zendrive has created #FundMyStreets, a new initiative bringing together mobility leaders, companies and nonprofits to give $50,000 for local solutions to local road safety problems. Visit www.fundmystreets.com for more information.

Sixty-nine percent of employees, many of whom work in safety-critical industries such as Transportation – are tired at work, according to a recent National Safety Council report. Help address this common workplace issue by joining the National Safety Council at the first-ever Workplace Fatigue Conference on Feb. 20-21. Together, we will share best practices, review the latest research and discuss effective workplace practices so we can help employees be safer, healthier and more productive. Register now.

Registration is open for the annual Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities. From distracted motorists and pedestrians to new technologies, drugged driving, autonomous vehicles, and more, Lifesavers addresses the issues impacting roadway safety today. Lifesavers will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center March 31-April 2, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. Register now.

We can feature your news as well. To submit news, announcements or updates for inclusion in the Road to Zero newsletter, email your message to [email protected]. Include all relevant details, links, names, etc. and any special notes regarding the announcement.

If You Feel Different, You Drive Different

Drug-impaired driving is a problem on America’s highways. Like drunk driving, drugged driving is impaired driving - which means it is dangerous and illegal in all 50 States, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Whether the drug is legally prescribed or illegal, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers, and other road users. NHTSA wants to spread the word about drug-impaired driving and to remind all drivers: If you are impaired by drugs and thinking about driving, pass your keys on to a sober driver, particularly during this holiday season. Learn more about the campaign and get materials to help promote it.

News from the Hill


Another election day is in the books, with Democrats regaining control of the House and Republicans gaining ground in the Senate. Following the lame duck legislative session, the new Congress will commence on Jan. 3.


In the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will likely run for Speaker and may face a challenge from within the party. Kevin McCarthy (CA) appears to be the frontrunner for Republican minority leader. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer are expected to remain majority and minority leaders, respectively. Of particular note among incumbents who lost their seats were long-time members Pete Sessions (R-TX; Chairman of the Rules Committee) and John Culberson (R-TX; Subcommittee Chairman on the Appropriations Committee).


Top policy items mentioned for the new Congress include:


Infrastructure bill. The current surface transportation reauthorization bill, the FAST Act, expires at the end of 2020. Action will be required on surface programs such as those that fund roadways, railways, and other modes of transportation. In addition to the surface reauthorization bill, there may be an effort to illustrate bipartisan efforts on infrastructure through legislation that prioritizes specific projects around the country.