Zero Fatalities is a program set up by the Nevada Department of Transportation to promote traffic safety. “One death on Nevada roads is too many, and we are working together to reach Zero Fatalities,” said NDOT Director Susan Martinovich. The NDOT has gathered several agencies to work towards reaching the zero fatalities goal.
A few of these agencies include:
- Nevada Department of Public Safety
- Office of Traffic Safety
- Nevada of Highway Patrol
- Nevada Department of Education
- Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
- Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority
Two committees organize regulations to make the Zero Fatalities program a reality: the Nevada Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety and the Traffic Safety and Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. These committees communicate with the Nevada and regional traffic safety agencies to establish policies, aid with safety strategies, contribute to road planning and improvement projects, and organize safety programs for safer driving across Nevada.
Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)
The SHSP is a statewide strategy designed to prevent or reduce traffic fatalities and severe injuries on the roadways. The plan creates objectives and strategies in partnership with the federal, state, local sponsors. It is updated five years after a thorough review of the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts and adjusted after collaboration with varying agencies.
The Action Plan, a plan that is adjusted yearly, supplements the SHSP. It tracks progress and places emphasis on specific strategies and how they affect the Zero Fatality goal. They follow four guiding principles that support these goals:
- Incorporate Equity – As plans are created, the committees pay extra attention to the more vulnerable communities in Nevada. Before they implement these plans, they ask themselves which groups would benefit from the change, what negative impacts it may have on others, what data was considered as the action plan was developed, and who is involved in this step. This is to ensure all voices from different backgrounds are heard.
- Prioritize Safe Speed – Nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities are because of speeding. By controlling the speed of highways, streets, and freeways, the SHSP could lessen the impact of collisions. They hope that decreasing the speed limits may provide more time for drivers to stop and increase visibility.
- Emphasize data and proven safety methods – The SHSP monitors scientific-based evidence to establish what programs and strategies have proven to work. The countermeasures they analyze include the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Proven Safety Countermeasures and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Countermeasures That Work.
- Update to the Latest Technology – Technology is constantly updating, and each new update brings Nevada closer to our goal. The SHSP establishes collaborations with technology providers, health and safety groups, and manufacturers to promote advanced safety technology.
The Structure of the SHSP
The structure of the SHSP has four key areas that branch into 13 emphasis areas. Nine of those areas are CEAs, or Critical Emphasis Areas.
The Four Key areas are
- Safer Roads
- Vulnerable Road Users
- Safer Drivers and Passengers
- Impaired Driving Prevention
Safer Roads focuses on speed control, lane departures, intersections, and work zones. These areas are integral to maintaining a safer road.
Vulnerable Road Users analyze who are more likely to be in danger on the road, including pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and micromobility users (scooters, skateboards, etc.).
Safer Drivers and Passengers concentrates on the education of drivers. They create a curriculum and emphasize the importance of safety on the road to all drivers.
Impaired Driving Prevention tracks strategies to prevent fatalities and injuries due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For more details on the Zero Fatalities program, visit their website, which provides a detailed report and plan of action on how they are turning Nevada’s streets into a safer place.
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