The below article is excerpted from GHSA's Directions in Highway Safety member newsletter.
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Cities and states across the U.S. are implementing Vision Zero programs as they strive to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Now, several cities are seeing these programs’ beneficial safety effects. Notably, San Francisco and New York City both reported that 2017 experienced the lowest numbers of traffic fatalities on record.
New York City, which launched its Vision Zero initiative in 2013, has seen consistently declining numbers of fatalities each year since. The city’s program included $1.6 billion in road design, additional traffic cameras, heightened police enforcement and lowering the city speed limit to 25 mph. In 2017, the city experienced a 7.4% decrease in fatalities from the prior year, compared to a projected 1% decrease nationally.
San Francisco’s Vision Zero program began in 2014, and the city has also seen decreasing numbers of fatalities in the pursuant years. Since the program began, the city installed new speed humps, recalibrated the timing of traffic signals and increased visibility at crosswalks. Vision Zero SF aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities in the city by 2024.
NETS to expand employer-based traffic safety programs in the U.S. through assistance from State Highway Safety Offices
By Tara Casanova-Powell
Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop ways for expanding its reach through State Highway Safety Offices providing employers with road safety materials.
NETS is a collaborative group of employer road safety professionals whose objective is to advance road safety for employees, their family members and members of the communities where they live and work. Since 1989, NETS has worked to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicle crashes through programs implemented by private and public employers both on- and off-the-job.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported 85% of U.S. employees commute to work in a car. Employers often fail to recognize the importance and relevance of traffic safety, particularly when they do not employ fleet drivers. However, in 2013, motor vehicle crashes cost employers more than $47 billion dollars, indicating crashes can have a significant impact on all employers.
Through this project, NETS is evaluating ways to improve outreach to employers through State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to reach a significant portion of a state’s population by providing road safety education and awareness materials. This includes partnering with SHSOs to build, pilot and implement new processes. This new partnership promotes safe driving practices to employers through use of a website portal. While some SHSOs already have an employer outreach program in place, this portal is designed to serve as a roadmap for advice, resources and best practices to start or expand a state’s program regardless of program maturity.
The portal provides easy access to a variety of useful tools and resources including templates and sample documents from existing state programs. A 3-step tutorial includes the following:
- Step 1: How to identify an Employee Outreach Coordinator
- Step 2: How to build a database and strategy to reach state employers
- Step 3: Program Issue campaign materials from NETS, NHTSA, the National Safety Council (NSC), GHSA and other established state employer programs.
Five states are currently engaged in a pilot study to incorporate the NETS’ employer-based program framework and disseminate these materials to employers through use of the website portal. Project lead, Tara Casanova Powell, and NETS Executive Director Joe McKillips presented an overview of this project and a brief website demonstration to the GHSA Board in Tallahassee on March 13th, 2018. Completion of the pilot study is targeted for June 2018. The website portal is expected to be available to all State Highway Safety Offices by August 2018.
To learn more about this project, contact: Tara Casanova Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Gillies at email@example.com. To learn more about NETS and related products and services, visit www.trafficsafety.org.