Happy Anniversary, Road to Zero!

Happy Anniversary, Road to Zero!

Happy Anniversary, Road to Zero!

One year in, the coalition has hundreds of partners and a single goal.

Deborah A.P. Hersman is president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

​It's hard to believe that one year ago, the National Safety Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation kicked off the Road to Zero Coalition, our collaborative moonshot goal of eliminating roadway fatalities by 2050. A year after our launch, I'd like to share the three things that the Road to Zero Coalition represents and what it aims to do.

First and foremost, it is a coalition of the willing; stakeholders dedicating their time and energy to achieve ZERO roadway deaths by 2050. This coalition exists because multiple federal agencies are working with us, including three DOT partner agencies that have been with us since day one: the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Transportation Safety Board have dedicated time and resources to presentations or participated as grant reviewers.

The Steering Group is comprised of more than a dozen organizations from advocates to automakers, and as a result of their hard work, today we have over 430 Coalition members from diverse organizations, associations, industries, locations and functions. Every new member has helped us persuade others to dream big, to commit, and to devote the thought leadership and necessary resources to help us approach zero.

Second, we are developing a roadmap to identify by 2018 the specific actions that will help us get to zero fatalities. Since January, we held seven days of working sessions with scores of organizations to gather their input and prioritize next steps. We plan to release our Road to Zero Report in 2018, and while we agree that we will keep focusing on what works, we recognize that if we are going to reverse the trend of increasing roadway fatalities, we'll have to do some things differently as well.

Finally, we have our Safe System Innovation Grants. Out of more than 60 applicants, seven inaugural recipients were announced in March. The seven recipients are using a total of $1 million in grant funding to identify, evaluate and improve safety across the U.S. In December, our next round of grants will open, with winners announced in March. These initiatives allow us to work at the local level to reach zero.

After just one year, we have brought together the best minds in traffic safety, technology, law enforcement, emergency response, road design and beyond who have embraced opportunities and shined a light on obstacles we will surely overcome in the future.

With the power and energy of more than 400 organizations behind the goal of zero, we are excited about how we can create momentum to do things differently. When we reach zero roadway fatalities in 2050, it will be due to everyone who has joined the Coalition and to everyone reading this post that believes we can make a difference. So many solutions to our problems are already out there. Join us now and help us put an end to over 100 completely preventable deaths each day.

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