Tag Archives: Road to Zero Coalition

Road to Zero Coalition Announces $1 million Safe System Innovation Grant Program

At the conclusion of the Road to Zero Coalition meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on December 15, 2016, National Safety Council (NSC) CEO, Debbie Hersman, announced the Safe System Innovation Grant program funded by NHTSA.

NSC, as the leader of the Coalition, will administer a $1 million per year (for 3 years) grant program. Details are available at their website and here:

road-to-zero-safe-system-innovation-grants-announcement

Road to Zero Coalition Safe System Innovation Grants Program. pdf

road-to-zero-coalition-grants

My ideas: Road to Zero Coalition Considers Priority Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

Road to Zero Coalition Considers Priority Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

The Road to Zero Coalition Steering Committee organized the meeting on December 15 for 130 participants to spend an hour in groups of 4 and then 16 to identify Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities.

The participants were first divided into six groups based on these key areas/categories:

  1. Safer drivers
  2. Safer vulnerable users
  3. Safer vehicles
  4. Safer infrastrucure
  5. Enhanced emergency medical services

Then, each person was asked to come up with at least one action to reduce traffic fatalities and the following questions:

  1. Will it work? What could go wrong? How certain are we?
  2. What does it enable? What does it prevent or closeout?
  3. What is the potential impact? How certain are we about this?
  4. How will it affect the other 5 categories other groups are discussing?

These instructions were sent to us ahead of time, so I had spent some time as I traveled on Amtrak the day before to come up with these proposed actions–not knowing for sure in which group I would end up:

  1. Establish a Vision Zero Rulemaking process.
  2. Appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.
  3. Set a National Vision Zero Goal.
  4. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.
  5. Organize a Tired Trucker Roundtable.
  6. Organize and facilitate a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero community action/advocacy groups. (Develop a pilot project for a state-based Road to Zero Coalition which would reproduce its efforts through and support the development of RTZ groups in local communities throughout the state. Write a grant proposal for an Americorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America — I was one in 1977-78 when I worked as a nursing home patient advocate) corps of Community Organizers who would develop these grassroots traffic safety advocacy groups. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps as a result of the seed of an idea suggested to University of Michigan students during a campaign stop; let’s follow that example and harness the energy of today’s college graduates to mobilize the citizens of this country to be personally involved in this battle against the Goliath who is slaying our loved ones through Death by Motor Vehicle!
  7. Increase the minimum liability insurance for trucking companies.
  8. Develop an interactive Vision Zero map website — with pages devoted to information intended to influence driver and decisionmaker actions, including crash details and personal crash stories. This could include pages or links to crash maps which highlight specific crash causes or factors, e.g., the National Speed Fatality Map recently launched by the National Coalition for Safer Roads and the Vision Zero Network.
  9. Mandate comprehensive underride protection (rear, side, front) on all large trucks. I was in a horrific truck crash on May 4, 2013 and survived because, unlike AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) in the backseat, I did not go under the truck when our car was sent backward into the rear of truck ahead of us. How many might be saved if this were to be made a priority to address?
  10. Develop innovative human/technology interface training to provide for ongoing improvement in ability to capitalize on advances in traffic safety technology.
  11. Create an online interactive traffic safety victim patchwork quilt.
  12. Redefine a vehicle as a weapon rather than simply a means of transport.Call for/initiate appropriate Vision Zero laws, along with effective law enforcement and justice for victims of vehicle violence. Specifically, expose those who oppose Vision Zero and counteract the forces that contribute to the perpetuation of an Unsafety Culture. Counteract “doubt science.”
  13. Launch a FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme)  pilot project modeled after Transport for London‘s “publicly funded, three-level voluntary certification program aimed at making sure freight companies have safe, sustainable working practices.”

I was placed in the Safer Vehicles group and had some lively discussion with other participants. Out of all my ideas (I only shared ones which would directly promote safer vehicles), I got support from another participant on #4 Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.  Several times, he brought up the impact which resulted from the Commission on Drunk Driving established by President Reagan. And, in my opinion, if the Road to Zero Coalition backed this goal, it could have comprehensive and far-reaching effect on each of the six categories of Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities.

Tragic deaths

Road to Zero Coalition Meeting Searches for Solutions to Rising Crash Deaths

The Road to Zero Coalition hosted a meeting today with 130 people (100 more online) participating in lively discussions about promising actions to take us down the Road to Zero crash deaths and serious injuries.

I especially appreciated the opening remarks by Debbie Hersman, National Safety Council CEO & President, including inspiring thoughts from the Kennedy Presidential Library and reminding us that we are not doing this because it is easy but because it is hard (paraphrase). And she went on to say that hard is being hit by a car. Hard is being extricated from a vehicle. Hard is burying your daughters. . .

Debbie also said, “Safety delayed is safety denied.” Well said, for every safety measure which gets waylaid or delayed for whatever reason means that more people will die who might have been saved.

Debbie also mentioned that, from the time the Road to Zero Coalition was launched back in October until this day, 7,000 more people died on the roads in the U.S.

It was encouraging to see so much attention directed to solving the problem of vehicle violence. I even got to promote our Vision Zero Goals, including a White House Vision Zero Task Force. A few people might have even noted that I did it with a bit of passion!

Marianne Karth signing the Vision Zero Petition Book for President Obama, March 4, 2016
Marianne Karth signing the Vision Zero Petition Book for President Obama, March 4, 2016

Delivery of a Vision Zero Petition to Washington; What I have learned in our battle for safer roads

Road to Zero Coalition Meeting in DC “Safety delayed is safety denied.”

he Road to Zero Coalition hosted a meeting today with 130 people (100 more online) participating in lively discussions about promising actions to take us down the Road to Zero crash deaths and serious injuries.

I especially appreciated the opening remarks by Debbie Hersman, National Safety Council CEO & President, including inspiring thoughts from the Kennedy Presidential Library and reminding us that we are not doing this because it is easy but because it is hard (paraphrase). And she went on to say that hard is being hit by a car. Hard is being extricated from a vehicle. Hard is burying your daughters. . .

Debbie also said, “Safety delayed is safety denied.” Well said, for every safety measure which gets waylaid or delayed for whatever reason means that more people will die who might have been saved.

Debbie also mentioned that, from the time the Road to Zero Coalition was launched back in October until this day, 7,000 more people died on the roads in the U.S.

It was encouraging to see so much attention directed to solving the problem of vehicle violence. I even got to promote our Vision Zero Goals, including a White House Vision Zero Task Force. A few people might have even noted that I did it with a bit of passion!

See more on the meeting activitiesRoad to Zero Coalition Considers Priority Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

Vehicle violence

On My Way to the Road to Zero Coalition Gathering in DC

I am encouraged by the opportunity to gather with like-minded individuals and organizations to collaborate in a quest for traveling a road toward fewer deaths and serious injuries from preventable vehicle violence.

Road to Zero New Partnership Aims to End Traffic Fatalities Within 30 Years

In memory of AnnaLeah & Mary.

Roads Safer

With Road to Zero, DOT commits $3 million; compare that to $9.6 million Value of a Statistical Life

I should be jumping up and down for joy about the recent launch of the Road to Zero Coalition by the US DOT and the National Safety Council. So it doesn’t feel great to be one of those voices who are saying negative things about this great project.

I do look forward to watching how they coordinate the efforts of many organizations around this country who work to save lives. But I have some concerns about the process:

  1. Will they make any significant change in the strategies used to address the disturbing public health problem of 35,200+ Deaths by Vehicle Violence each year?
  2. Will they harness the energy and motivation of survivors/families of victims of vehicle violence?
  3. Will they mobilize citizens to be a significant part of the solution?
  4. Will they have a powerful voice to speak on behalf of the vulnerable victims who cannot speak for themselves?
  5. Will they take steps to address the imbalance of priority in rulemaking of profit over people?

Let’s just consider the last question. One thing which I have learned, after my life was catastrophically up-ended by my two youngest daughters’ deaths from a truck underride crash, is that there appears to be a hesitancy (to put it mildly) to put a meaningful monetary value on the cost of saving human lives.

To begin with, there is the difficulty of getting safety measures to pass the stringent test of the cost/benefit analysis required in federal rulemaking which, in my mind, inordinately favors the cost to industry vs benefit of preventing deaths and serious injuries. This is also reflected in the opposition to increasing the minimum liability insurance for truckers which was set at $750,000 in 1980 and has not been raised since then — despite the current Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) set by DOT at $9.6 million for 2016.

Value of a Statistical Life-guidance-2016

If you have read much of what I write, you might realize that I am in favor of reshaping the rulemaking process to ensure that it properly values human life. But aside from that, let’s just use that $9.6 million and do a little math.

The US DOT announced with the launch of the Road to Zero Coalition that it was committing $1 million/year for three years for grants to non-profit organizations that propose initiatives to save lives. Sounds great, right? But then I took out pen and paper (to get the hands-on sense of the calculation) and worked out the Value of the Statistical Lives of the 35,200 people who died on our roads in 2015 — keeping in mind that it was probably undercounted and does not include the cost of serious injuries.

$9.6 million X 35,200 = $337, 920,000,000 or almost $338 billion in one year alone

Then I decided to take it one step further and calculate the cost of the traffic fatalities over the next 30 years of the Road to Zero strategy to save lives — without taking into account the probable increase in the VSL.

$337,920,000,000  X 30 = $10,137,600,000,000 or over $10 trillion (which includes the cost to society)

And how much is DOT dedicating to this project to try and put a dent on the estimated 1,056,000 Deaths by Vehicle Violence? $3 million (of taxpayer money) — not even 1/3  the supposed value of a person’s life. Why, my two daughters alone were supposedly worth $18.2 million combined in 2013. Two immeasurably precious ones gone far too soon.

$3,000,000 vs $10,137,600,000,000

Now I had trouble even typing those numbers in accurately, so it is entirely possible that I made a mathematical error (didn’t use a calculator). So, please, do the math yourself. And then let me know if you think that we, as a country, are making a truly meaningful effort to do something new to stem the tide of bloodshed.

IMG_4464

 

CBA Victim Cost Benefit Analysis Victim

Car Safety WarsPetition

Breaking News: Road to Zero Coalition announced by DOT & National Safety Council

I am encouraged by the announcement today of a Road to Zero Coalition by DOT and the National Safety Council. See the details in the Press Release below.

I hope that they will seriously consider my Vision Zero requests for Vision Zero rulemaking, as well as citizen involvement and the appointment of a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal and make citizens aware of it.
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking by DOT (and other agencies).
  4. Establish an Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman as an independent advocate/spokesperson for vulnerable victims of vehicle violence — not swayed by political pressures.
  5. Endorse the mobilization of citizens through a nationwide network of Vision Zero Community Action Groups — coordinated by the National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

And, another thing. . .  it sure would be nice to sit down in person with these people and speak face to face. How many victims of vehicle violence have they involved in this coalition?

Feds set goal: No traffic deaths within 30 years

Livestreaming day-long conference:  http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/symposiums/october2016/index.html

Roads Safer

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

NHTSA contact:  Bryan Thomas (202) 366-9550
FHWA contact:   Jane Mellow (202) 366- 0660

FMCSA contact:  Ed Gilman (202) 366 – 9999

NSC contact:  Maureen Vogel (630) 775-2226

U.S. DOT, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL LAUNCH ROAD TO ZERO COALITION TO END ROADWAY FATALITIES

New partnership aims to end traffic fatalities within the next 30 years

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.

“Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety– from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels.”

The year 2015 marked the largest increase in traffic deaths since 1966 and preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show an alarming uptick in fatalities – an increase of about 10.4 percent as compared to the number of fatalities in the first half of 2015. 

“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal.  It is the only acceptable goal.”

The Road to Zero Coalition will initially focus on promoting proven lifesaving strategies, such as improving seat belt use, installing rumble strips, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. Additionally, the coalition will then lead the development of a new scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths based on evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to eliminating risks. 

“The “4Es” – Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services provide a reliable roadmap for driving down fatalities. Coupled with new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we may now hold the keys that get us to zero,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The Road to Zero Coalition affirms that it will take ALL of us working together in new ways to eliminate preventable deaths.”

“Reaching zero deaths will be difficult, will take time and will require significant effort from all of us but it is the only acceptable vision,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator David Kim. “We’re not at zero yet, but by working together, the day will come when there are no fatalities on the nation’s roadways, sidewalks or bicycle paths.”

With the rapid introduction of automated vehicles and advanced technologies, the Department believes it is now increasingly likely that the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries can be achieved in the next 30 years. The Road to Zero Coalition will work to accelerate the achievement of that vision through concurrent efforts that focus on overall system design, addressing infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.  An important principle of the effort will be to find ways to ensure that inevitable human mistakes do not result in fatalities.

“Working closely with our partners, both inside and outside the Department, we are committing significant resources to the serious effort being put forth to make the ambitious goal of zero deaths an eventual reality,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III. “While we work tirelessly every day to promote safer roadways, we understand that this coalition will only succeed if we all do our part and pledge to make safety our highest priority.”

The “zero deaths” idea was first adopted in Sweden in 1997 as “Vision Zero” and since then has evolved across the country and across the world. A growing number of state and cities have adopted “Zero” fatality visions.