Road to Zero Newsletter

April 2019




Stay Up to Date with Road to Zero

We are very excited that our 2019 grant winners will be announced soon. Stay tuned and be sure to check out nsc.org/RoadToZero for the official announcement.

The Steering Group also approved two Road to Zero priority statements: Distracted Driving and Vulnerable Road Users. These are posted on the Road to Zero website. If your organization is interested in signing on in support of either of these statements, please email Jane Mellow at [email protected]

GHSA Pedestrian Report

GHSA's annual spotlight report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2018 Preliminary Data, finds that 6,227 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads in 2018, the highest number in nearly three decades.

GHSA's projection represents a 4% increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities during 2018. The report examines a number of factors that may be influencing the rise in pedestrian deaths, including increased exposure, unfriendly infrastructure, unsafe driving behaviors and increased presence of sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Additionally, comprehensive infrastructural, educational and enforcement approaches are discussed as promising strategies to reduce pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes. Download the full report to learn more.

NACTO Speed Limit Guide

NACTO's new guidance, released this month, gives practitioners a detailed, context-sensitive method to set safe speed limits on urban streets. Using the Safe Systems approach, the guidance provides a consistent, rational, scalable approach to urban speed limit setting, from citywide strategies to corridor-by-corridor methods based on easy-to-study street characteristics.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended an overhaul of how speed is managed on U.S. streets, including the way speed limits are set. Answering this call, NACTO's new guidance, based on best practices from a wide diversity of municipalities across North America, gives practitioners the specific methods — at the level of an entire city or a single street — needed to set substantively safe speed limits.

Visit nacto.org/safespeeds for more.

In the Know

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

Attend the World Traffic Safety Symposium on April 18 in New York City and get a sneak peek at the NY Auto Show! The FIA Foundation executive director will speak at the event about the need to focus on youth. Learn more.

The National League of Cities recently released a report, Fixing Funding by the Mile: A Primer and Analysis of Road User Charge Systems, to help local leaders pilot road user charge systems. An RUC system would charge a driver for their use of a roadway and could be used as a potential sustainable funding solution for American’s transportation infrastructure deficit. Read the full report to learn more.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released its updated American Driving Survey earlier this year. The results, covering data from 2016 and 2017, found that all driving metrics increased over the previous period, including time spent driving, total miles driven and the average numbers of trips made each day. Take a look at the key findings to learn more.

Reaching zero traffic deaths will require a shift in how we approach decisions, actions and attitudes around safe mobility. To help with this shift, the Vision Zero Network has crafted its Vision Zero Core Elements to help communities set priorities, work toward tangible results in promoting safety and benchmark their progress relative to best practices. This resource encourages leaders to focus on the most impactful actions and helps hold them accountable to their Vision Zero commitments. See the full guide here.

The CDC recently released the Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States Widget, a free interactive calculator to help states and state decision-makers prioritize and select from 14 effective motor vehicle injury prevention interventions. The widget provides states with a quick overview of evidence-based interventions proven to work and a summary of the strategies currently being used in each state, as well as the ones that could be implemented.

In 2018, 51 children died in hot cars. It was the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years. Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these preventable deaths. NSC now offers a free e-learning course to help educate everyone about the danger of vehicular heatstroke in children. This training provides an overview of the three primary circumstances that have led to children dying and what we all can do to prevent these deaths. One child is too many. Visit nsc.org/HotCars to complete or share this training now. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the training.

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.

Put Down the Phone and Just Drive

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time to avoid distractions behind the wheel and encourage other drivers to do the same. Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all; an estimated 40,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways in 2018, and distracted driving is a major contributor.

Each of these deaths is 100% preventable if we can put aside our distractions and just drive. From cell phones and dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all of these distractions pose a threat to our safety but not all drivers realize it. Just one second of inattention is all it takes to change a life forever.

The National Safety Council is promoting Distracted Driving Awareness Month with free infographics, videos, a poster and a safe driving pledge to help drivers show their commitment. You can help spread the message by sharing on social media with the hashtag #JustDrive and talking to others about the dangers of distracted driving. Download free materials at nsc.org/JustDrive and help us save lives.

News from the Hill


With the 116th Congress now in full swing, lawmakers will be focusing on a number of topics, including the reauthorization of surface transportation. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed by President Obama in 2015, authorized $305 billion over fiscal years 2016-2020 for highway, motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research and technology. With 2020 quickly approaching, the RTZ Coalition has begun working with Congress to emphasize the three pillars of the coalition report as ways to strengthen the transportation system and reduce fatalities.


On March 11, President Trump released his 2020 budget request totaling $4.75 trillion. The President’s budget proposes cuts in most areas of transportation, including federal highway infrastructure programs, Amtrak service and transit construction. However, it does include a $200 billion placeholder for “other infrastructure priorities.” It is now Congress’ turn to act on this request and highlight its own priorities by Sept. 30 or face another government shutdown.