Almost 95% of the nation’s transportation deaths occur on its streets, roads, and highways. With a goal of reducing these fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently released a status report on the strides it has made to date with its National Roadway Safety Strategy.
The NRSS, announced in January, is a blueprint for addressing the national crisis in roadway injuries and fatalities, which reached 42,915 according to recently projected estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The strategy provides concrete steps that the DOT is taking to address this crisis systemically and prevent avoidable deaths and serious injuries.
DOT pointed to several notable accomplishments since launching the NRSS, including:
- The department received more than 700 applications from all 50 states and Puerto Rico after issuing a call for applications for $1 billion in roadway safety funding through the new Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program.
- The DOT adopted a Safe Systems Approach, which provides a framework to proactively create a safer transportation system and lower risks for people by building multiple layers of protection through safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care.
- The Federal Highway Administration submitted a Complete Streets report to Congress and is encouraging states and communities to adopt and implement Complete Streets policies that prioritize the safety of all users in transportation network planning, design, construction, and operations.
- NHTSA has enhanced safety monitoring of new technologies in motor vehicles through a Standing General Order on crash reporting. The agency also proposed adding four more technologies to the rating — blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane-keeping support, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking — and is awaiting comment.
Along with its status report, DOT also shared a new online dashboard that allows stakeholders and the general public to track the department’s progress going forward on commitments made as part of the National Roadway Safety Strategy.