U.S. Department of Transportation advances key actions in the National Roadway Safety Strategy
New Online Tool Allows Stakeholders to Track USDOT Progress on Safety Commitments
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an update on its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), which was released in January, and shared a new online dashboard that allows stakeholders and the general public to track the Department’s progress on commitments made as part of the NRSS. This update comes as U.S. traffic fatalities are at a 16-year high.
The NRSS lays out a roadmap for addressing the national crisis in roadway fatalities and serious injuries. Almost 95 percent of the Nation’s transportation deaths occur on its streets, roads, and highways. While the number of annual roadway fatalities declined for many years, progress plateaued over the last decade and now, alarmingly, fatalities have risen during the pandemic. The NRSS provides concrete steps that the Department is taking to address this crisis systemically and prevent these tragic and avoidable deaths and serious injuries. Bolstered by historic funding included in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the NRSS is the first step in working toward an ambitious long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities.
“At a time when it is safer to fly across the country than it is to walk across town, we must all act to address the crisis on our nation’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With new resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking critical steps to save lives on our roadways.”
Notable accomplishments since the release of the NRSS in January include:
- The Department issued a call for applications for $1 billion in roadway safety funding for regional, Tribal, and local governments through the new Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program. The deadline for applications was September 15 and the Department received over 700 applications from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
- The Department 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 Department’s Federal Highway Administration submitted a Complete Streets report to Congress, and encourages 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.
- The Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has enhanced safety monitoring of new technologies in motor vehicles through a Standing General Order on crash reporting.
- NHTSA has also issued a request for comment on the 5 Star Safety Rating Program (NCAP), proposing to add four more technologies to the ratings including: blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane keeping support, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.
As the result of effective safety interventions and adoption of new technologies traffic fatalities had been on the decline in the U.S. But progress has stalled in the last decade, and during the first two years of the pandemic moved in the wrong direction. Recent data released by NHTSA projects that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. Behind each of these numbers is a life tragically lost, and a family left behind.
The Department’s NRSS gives the nation a framework to address the roadway safety crisis. It includes specific actions that USDOT is taking and also acknowledges that no one level of government or sector can address this crisis alone. As part of the strategy, the Department calls on government at all levels, law enforcement, industry, non-profit and advocacy organizations, researchers, and individuals themselves to do their part to implement the Safe System Approach, to make our roadways safer and work towards a future where no one dies in a traffic crash.
Please visit https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS/Implementation to view the new NRSS Dashboard.
Learn more about the National Roadway Safety Strategy at https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS.