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1 The Road Towards Zero Deaths: Rules to Live By Joe Toole Associate Administrator for Safety Federal Highway Administration Missouri Traffic and Safety.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Road Towards Zero Deaths: Rules to Live By Joe Toole Associate Administrator for Safety Federal Highway Administration Missouri Traffic and Safety."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Road Towards Zero Deaths: Rules to Live By Joe Toole Associate Administrator for Safety Federal Highway Administration Missouri Traffic and Safety Conference May 11, 2010

2 % -10.9% -10.5% Fatalities and Fatality Rate, by Year 33, %

3 3 3 One Death Every 15 minutes

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5 5 Challenges Rural roads: Rural roads: 56% of fatalities are rural – most on 2-lane roads 56% of fatalities are rural – most on 2-lane roads 36% are off the state highway system 36% are off the state highway system Sparse rural population density, large road density Sparse rural population density, large road density Data problems magnified in rural areas Data problems magnified in rural areas Motorcyclist fatalities – 12% Motorcyclist fatalities – 12% Pedestrian/bicycle fatalities Pedestrian/bicycle fatalities

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9 9 Distraction sources Driving and non-driving Built-in, carried-in, and outside the vehicle Passengers—attractions and distractions Role of person behind the wheel: driver or mother, boyfriend, diner, worker...

10 10 What are serious threats to safety on the road? Drivers talking on cell phones58% Drivers text messaging or ing87% Drivers who drink and drive90% Drivers believe it is unacceptable for a driver to… Talk on handheld cell phone 71% Talk on hands-free cell phone 38% Send text message or 95% Drive after drinking 99% What they said…

11 11 What they did… In the past 30 days:  Talked on cell phone while driving 67%  Read or sent text or 21%  35 or younger – text messaged 40%

12 12 Ultimately, the highway is a factor in every highway crash. Rules to live by…

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14 14 Perspective In congressional hearings in the late 1960s, several engineers made comments to the effect that we design the roads, not the roadsides. They were strongly rebuked by committee chairman Rep. John Blatnik (D-MN), who told them: “It is the height of cynicism to contend that the drivers should never have left the roadway or that many of them must have been drunk, or that somehow the driver was at fault. Why or how he left the road is not the issue. Whether he left because he was drunk, or stealing a kiss, or because he suffered a bee sting, dozed, had a blowout, was sideswiped, or forced off the road is irrelevant to roadbuilders. “What is relevant is that those who are responsible for road construction recognize that the roadside is as vital to the safe operation of a vehicle as the pavement itself, and that the duty to make that roadside safe is a very real one.”

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16 16 Create a “Forgiving Highway” Create a “Forgiving Highway” Understand the safety needs Understand the safety needs Just meeting design standards is not enough; look at addressing the needs Just meeting design standards is not enough; look at addressing the needs

17 17 No one can solve the problem by themselves. Rules to live by…

18 18 It takes Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency Response…working together! It takes Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency Response…working together! Strategic Highway Safety Plan Strategic Highway Safety Plan Crashes occur on every road Crashes occur on every road

19 19 Follow the data… Rules to live by…

20 20 Data Not just about looking at where crashes have occurred…look at where they are likely to occur in the future. Not just about looking at where crashes have occurred…look at where they are likely to occur in the future. Understand the dynamics of the environment you are working in. Understand the dynamics of the environment you are working in. Tools are available to help evaluate alternatives…use them. Tools are available to help evaluate alternatives…use them.

21 21 Every dollar spent on highways should be a dollar spent on safety. Rules to live by…

22 22 Recovery Act Status: Safety $1.3 Billion in safety and operational improvement projects $1.3 Billion in safety and operational improvement projects 820 projects 820 projects Other project categories (e.g., pavement widening) likely safety Other project categories (e.g., pavement widening) likely safety Safety countermeasures incorporated in many other projects Safety countermeasures incorporated in many other projects Rumble strips/stripes; cable guardrail; pedestrian Rumble strips/stripes; cable guardrail; pedestrian Intersection improvements Intersection improvements

23 23 Safety Countermeasures Rumble strips and rumble stripes Over 50% of fatalities a result of roadway departure on rural two-lane highways. Estimated to reduce fatal and injury run-off-the-road crashes by 22 percent Centerline rumble strips estimated to reduce fatal and injury head-on and opposing direction sideswipe by 25 percent. Median cable barrier systems Cross-over crashes some of most severe Very cost-effective Reduce fatal head-on crashes up to 90 percent on rural interstates

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27 27 NEXT 3 MILLION MILES

28 28 Putting their lives on the line…

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30 30 Your Role is Critical Opportunities – Look for opportunities in your organization to add value…to improve safety Opportunities – Look for opportunities in your organization to add value…to improve safety Leadership- Build the Safety Culture in your organization and your community; be an advocate for viable solutions Leadership- Build the Safety Culture in your organization and your community; be an advocate for viable solutions Fostering Partnerships - Be the Ideal Partner… look for opportunities to strengthen your partnerships beyond your own area… Fostering Partnerships - Be the Ideal Partner… look for opportunities to strengthen your partnerships beyond your own area…

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