Since 2001 approximately 30 U.S. states have adopted programs to reduce traffic fatalities to zero with names such as Vision Zero, Target Zero, or Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). TZD is now being promoted as a national strategy by a coalition of transportation and safety groups. Successful TZD programs have five characteristics: 1) an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries; 2) high levels of inter-agency cooperation in
pursuit of the TZD goal among state departments of transportation, public safety, health, and other relevant agencies; 3) a comprehensive strategy addressing all 4 E’s – engineering, enforcement, education, and EMS elements of traffic safety; 4) a performance-based, data-driven system of targeting resources and strategies where they will have the greatest impact in reducing traffic fatalities; and 5) policy leadership from relevant entities, including the Governor, the state legislature, and the heads of state agencies. While many of the state TZD programs are relatively new and emerging, four state programs have been around long enough to have enough years of crash data to evaluate the impacts of the programs – Minnesota, Idaho, Utah and Washington. Statistical tests on these four programs support the conclusion that implementing TZD programs accelerates the reduction of fatality rates. The acceleration rate varies from state to state, taking time for a new program to gain its full effect. Although each state has different degrees of temporal effect of its TZD program, the average effect is more and more apparent over time.
Munnich, Lee W. Jr.; Douma, Frank; Qin, Xiao; Thorpe, J. David; Wang, Kai.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of State Toward Zero Deaths Programs.
Center for Excellence in Rural Safety.
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