One year ago this week, the US Department of Transportation released its plans for road safety to decrease deaths on the road, naming it The National Roadway Safety Strategy. The program’s end goal is zero traffic deaths on US roads, but what has happened in a year to accomplish this goal?
One of the most significant accomplishments in the year after The National Roadway Safety Strategy was announced was the partnership made with trucking alliances around the country. Organizations like Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and American Trucking Association (ATA) are two partnered organizations assisting the US Department of Transportation (DOT). These partnerships are aiding the DOT in accomplishing its goal by implementing programs independently. A significant portion of these efforts to effect change includes lobbying for legislation, which is what these organizations are best at.
Focus on Safer Drivers
One of the critical elements of the National Roadway Safety Strategy listed in their progress report is the effort to educate drivers on safe practices. The DOT has spread public service and social media campaigns to reach a broad audience about safe driving practices. To address the recidivism of impaired driving, the agency has initiated a behavioral safety plan to take a public health approach to fix the issue. The DOT has also published a webpage allowing states to track CDL holders who have verified positive test results for controlled substances or alcohol or have refused to submit to testing.
Make Roads Safer
In an effort mainly in its initial stages, the DOT has begun to work on the country’s roads to prevent accidents. They’ve launched the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program, which provides $5 billion over five years to communities to plan and execute safer road design. They’ve also launched an initiative to increase lighting along busy corridors and dangerous pedestrian crossings. Other projects in this category are still in the research stage, including finding problem areas that must be addressed or redesigned.
Safer Vehicles and Speeds
One of the other problem areas identified is the vehicles and speeds on roads. Since launching The National Roadway Safety Strategy, the DOT issued a final rule on rear impact guards for trailers and semitrailers and implemented the speed management program to explore speed management around the country. They’ve also proposed new car assessments to increase the safety regulations of cars and new rulemaking concerning speed limiters with a motor carrier-based approach.
Post Crash Care
In the final element of their progress report, the DOT has increased safety and training initiatives for emergency responders and Expanded the use and support of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
While these efforts are all steps in the right direction, the Department of Transportation’s goals for The National Roadway Safety Strategy will take years. To keep up to date on drivers’ topics, visit https://www.godrivers360.com/newsletter