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Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) National Roadway Safety Culture Summit here in Washington, D.C. 

The session focused on the need to develop national safety culture, an environment that encourages people to make decisions that make our roadways safer.  This safety culture will help us combat one of the most challenging public health issues our nation faces today: the high number of traffic crashes and resulting roadway injuries and deaths.

Photo of Ann Ferro speaking

At the Department of Transportation, we have seen the difference that public awareness campaigns can make in changing attitudes, along with enforcement measures that deter unsafe activity and industry actions that challenge dangerous behavior.  

Last year, representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration published an overarching plan to significantly reduce roadway injuries and deaths. 

Their work became known as the US DOT Roadway Safety Plan, which focuses on six principles: collaboration, safer behaviors, safer vehicles, safer roadways, empowering communities, and ensuring accountability.  The plan, which examines every aspect of roadway safety, concludes that a greater awareness of an individual’s role in safety will bring us closer to our vision of zero deaths on our roadways.  Everyone has a role to play in keeping our roads safe.

At FMCSA, we spread this message through education and outreach – letting our drivers, motor carriers, and industry leaders know about our policies, programs, and enforcement actions focused on making everyone safer.

We have seen that when carriers and drivers take responsibility for their safety performance, crashes are prevented, and safety on our roads improves.  Last year, violations per roadside inspection were down 8 percent and driver violations per inspection were down 10 percent, the most dramatic decrease in these rates in a decade. 

Each and every decision we make on the road is important.  Whether you are staying off the road when you’re tired, putting down your phone and concentrating on driving, or talking to your family and friends about driving smart, safety begins with you.  The most important opportunity to effect change is with our own actions.  As we drive forward with the vision of zero deaths, we all must recognize the role we play in roadway safety.

Anne Ferro is the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Here's my safety idea: I would like to suggest that there be a campaign "Drive with your lights on days and nights!" to encourage people to turn their lights on while driving during the day and night. Also, it would be good if all new cars in the future have automatic always on while car is running / driving headlights and taillights (not just the running lights.) Because cars are so much easier to see with the lights on, I think that just these two easy to do suggestions could potentially help to save lives and reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our roads.

The title and the six principles ring true for any mode of transportation, and their importance is something all drivers and transportation implementers should have engrained in their daily cultures.

You want to really make the roads safer??? Require ALL licensed drivers in the United States to pass ALL the requirements that we as Class A truck drivers have to pass. A, D.O.T. physical, Drug screen, written test, and lets not forget that these passenger car drivers also will be carring 20 gallons of explosive gasoline in their vehicles so lets get them a hazmat endorsement also! You want the roads safer then step up and do it!!
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