The National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) unveiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation USDOT on Thursday focuses on moving the U.S. towards zero roadway deaths by taking a safe systems approach that includes six central themes.

The themes laid out are that: deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable; human mistakes are inevitable; humans are vulnerable to injury and death; there is a shared responsibility for these incidents; safety can be and should be proactive; and redundancy is critical.

The strategy introduced by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also focuses on five issues:

  • Safer People
  • Safer Roads
  • Safer Vehicles
  • Safer Speeds
  • Post-Crash Care

Within the Safer Roads component, USDOT recommends completing the current rulemaking for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), fully utilizing safety programs like the $16.8 billion Highway Safety Improvement Program HSIP and new Safe Streets for All competitive grant program within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act IIJA, implementing a complete streets initiative, improving performance measures and state strategic highway safety plans, and highlighting the Transportation Performance Management Dashboard.

The plan also indicates a need to protect vulnerable road users, including roadway constructions workers.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner issued a statement reacting to the new national safety strategy.

“ATSSA applauds Secretary Buttigieg on the release of the first National Roadway Safety Strategy, especially with its call for the enhanced protection of roadway construction workers. Shining a brighter spotlight on the need to dramatically reduce roadway fatalities is critically necessary,” Tetschner said. “As the first national non-governmental organization to adopt a toward zero deaths strategy, ATSSA looks forward to continuing to work with USDOT and state and local public agencies to realize a future where there are zero fatalities and serious injuries.”

“USDOT can make a significant impact by expediently releasing the final MUTCD rule and fully implementing the historic safety provisions and investments found within the IIJA,” Tetschner added. “At ATSSA, we know that safer roads save lives, and by bringing all stakeholders to the table, we know that we can move toward zero deaths on our roadways.”

New guidance on the HSIP is expected to be issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) next week.

The full text of the 42-page National Roadway Safety Strategy is available online.

ATSSA on the Hill is written by Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. To reach Nate,

Published Date

January 28, 2022


  • Policy

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