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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Safety Association Calls For 'Zero Deaths' on America's Roadways

New Manifesto Is Core Objective for Five U.S. States

Recently, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) released its 2009 surface transportation reauthorization policy, "Toward Zero Deaths," during ATSSA's 38th Annual Convention and Traffic Expo in New Orleans.

Outlined in the 31-page document are 11 specific roadway safety initiatives that ATSSA's 1,700 members will propose to Congress and the Administration for inclusion in the next surface transportation law. In August, 2005, President Bush signed the current law— The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)— for the five-year period of 2005-2009.

First adopted in Sweden in 1997 as "Vision Zero," ATSSA's "zero deaths" concept has evolved to several state DOTs who have identified zero deaths as a core objective in their Strategic Highway Safety Plans: Minnesota, Utah, Washington, Oregon and West Virginia.

Included in ATSSA's 11 unique roadway safety initiatives are a Highway Safety Improvement Program, Strategic Highway Safety Plans, Work Zone Safety, High Risk Rural Roads, Roadway Hardware, Brightness and Visibility of Signage and Markings, Older Drivers, and Congestion Mitigation.

In February, Minnesota Congressman James L. Oberstar, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, spoke about ATSSA's Toward Zero Deaths policy, as well as the 39-year-old association's role as roadway safety leaders. "As we move forward during my Chairmanship, we're going to have an unprecedented emphasis on safety, and you are going to be a part of it," Oberstar said.

"ATSSA's (Toward Zero) vision recommendations follow very much along the broad outlines of the national commission's report," he continued, "and I assure you your recommendations— those 11 points that you revealed today that I have had a chance to review in detail— will be a foundational building block in our review and restructuring of surface transportation and we need your partnership, and we need your participation in the hearings and in the in the crafting of the legislation."

To read ATSSA's full document, "Toward Zero Deaths, A Vision for Safer Roads in America," go to

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