Road to Zero: A Plan to Eliminate Roadway Deaths

Call on Biden Administration to End Traffic Fatalities

Please join with us to urge the Biden Administration to commit to reducing traffic fatalities to zero by 2050. As a nation, it is time to take decisive and collective action to address roadway safety and preventable crashes to save hundreds of thousands of lives and end the millions of life-altering injuries seen each year.

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The Road to Zero Coalition, managed by the National Safety Council, released a comprehensive report laying out strategies to end roadway deaths in the U.S. by 2050. It is the first time so many organizations have collaborated to put forth a plan to address motor vehicle fatalities, which recently increased after years of decline.

The Coalition, in a report written by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution, identified three main initiatives to reduce roadway fatalities:

● Double down on what works through proven, evidence-based strategies

● Advance life-saving technology in vehicles and infrastructure

● Prioritize safety by adopting a safe systems approach and creating a positive safety culture

In the short term, the report stresses enforcing and strengthening current traffic safety laws, providing new resources for traffic safety researchers and practitioners, and supporting those who design and build roads and vehicles.

While widespread use of fully automated vehicles is still decades away, the Coalition proposes accelerating the benefits of new technologies by creating partnerships between public safety and health groups, and industry professionals.

The report encourages fostering a safety culture and adopting a Safe Systems approach. Many businesses have improved fatality and injury rates by adopting a safety culture, and a number of cities have adopted a Vision Zero strategy incorporating the Safe Systems approach that accommodates human error. But to be fully effective, these ideas need to spread across the country.

“The safe systems approach has saved lives in other countries. Sweden reduced the number of traffic deaths by more than half since the approach was introduced,” said Liisa Ecola, a senior policy analyst at RAND and lead author of the report. “This shows that we in the U.S. can make large strides in traffic safety with existing technologies and policies.”

The Road to Zero Steering Group has been integral to the creation of this report. The Road to Zero Coalition also supports innovative strategies through the Safe System Innovation grants. Funding was provided in 2017 and 2018.

Coalition membership is continuously growing. If your organization is interested in joining the Road to Zero initiative, please fill out this membership form.

Annual Meeting

The 2024 Road to Zero annual meeting was held May 13 at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined us to highlight the importance of the Safe System approach, uplift our advocacy work, and encourage us to continue leveraging data and stories to make an impact at the local level. We also held a Safe Streets for All panel with representatives from towns big and small to discuss the ways we can think outside the box to authentically engage with community members.

In addition, many individuals and family members of those impacted by traffic violence attended the meeting. They then joined us as we held 120 meetings with lawmakers to advocate for road safety policies as part of our Capitol Hill Roadway Safety Advocacy Days.

This year’s gathering was a great opportunity to connect with fellow Coalition members. Whether you joined us in person or online, we hope you enjoyed this once-a-year opportunity. We’d like to express a special thank you to the National League of Cities for hosting our in-person event! We’re already looking forward to next year’s gathering!

Fireside Chat: World Day of Remembrance

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National Safety Council President and CEO Lorraine Martin, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Amy Cohen discuss mobility safety and what must be done across public and private sectors to save lives ahead of World Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.

Imagine a World with Zero Traffic Fatalities

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It's not impossible. It just hasn't been done yet.

In 2020, We Met Safety Challenges Head On

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In 2020, our roads became riskier, and we faced a reckoning over systemic inequality.

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