ITE Journal - May 2020 - 27

"Imagine that, in 2050, not a single person in the United States dies
in a traffic crash."
This powerful-but hard-to-imagine-scenario-is the premise
behind a comprehensive stakeholder effort captured in the RAND
report for the Road to Zero (RTZ) Coalition titled, The Road to
Zero: Achieving Zero Deaths by 2050.1 The report further describes
what a future 2050 could look like:
Given that it's impossible to eliminate human error entirely,
planners and engineers began thinking of ways to design roads
and vehicles to accommodate human error to make the entire
system safer. This was paired with efforts toward creating a
"Safety Culture" that emphasizes the value of safety in every
decision made by every person. Safety has become a shared
responsibility among those who use the system and those who
design and operate the system. A whole generation is now using
these approaches.
But how is this scenario possible-especially 30 years in the
future, at a time when the U.S. population is estimated to soar above
400 million? In 2019, an estimated 38,000 people lost their lives on
U.S. roadways, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).2
While this figure represents a slight decline in fatalities from the
previous two years, the number of pedestrian deaths has risen, and
the amount of people lost to these preventable crashes has been
deemed unacceptable by transportation professionals everywhere.
ITE firmly believes that getting to zero by 2050, as described in
the RAND report, should be our goal, and is achievable with the
right set of actions. That is why ITE has joined the RTZ effort to
prevent crashes by adopting best practices and utilizing technology
that can change the way our roads are used, and how users are
affected.
This article will describe the Road to Zero Coalition, ITE's
role in this Coalition's efforts, and the Safe System Framework
that can help guide changes in practice by infrastructure owners
and operators that can support this effort to reach zero roadway
fatalities by 2050.

Road to Zero Coalition
The Road to Zero (RTZ) Coalition was established in 2016 through
the leadership of the US Department of Transportation and the
NSC. The RTZ Coalition's purpose is to bring together a broad
coalition of organizations in support of the goal of achieving zero
roadway deaths in the United States by 2050. The Coalition is
managed by the NSC and is made up of more than 1,500 professional associations, business and industry associations, safety
groups, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. ITE is a
member of the RTZ Steering Committee and a founding member of
the Coalition. Other partners that make up the RTZ Coalition are

federal, state, and local officials; auto manufacturers and technology
developers; emergency medicine and trauma academics, practitioners, and advocates; safety researchers and advocates; business
community and fleet owners, and more. All RTZ stakeholder
groups are providing leadership within their industries and greater
communities, prioritizing achieving zero roadway fatalities by 2050.
To help the RTZ Coalition work to achieve zero deaths by
2050, NSC commissioned the RAND Corporation to help the RTZ
Coalition create an overall vision and strategy. Three intensive
workshops were held in 2017 to discuss the group's vision, goals,
approaches, potential obstacles, and strategies. As a result, three
interrelated approaches were determined.
1.	 Double Down on What Works - draw on the accumulated
body of evidence-based countermeasures and network of
professionals who can deploy them;
2.	 Accelerate Advanced Technology - identify and prioritize
both existing and emerging safety applications and
maximize their potential in a 30-year timeframe;
3.	 Prioritize Safety - focus on methods to facilitate change
including creating a Safety Culture and adopting a Safe
System approach (discussed in detail below).
ITE has been an instrumental part of the Coalition since its
founding. Jeff Paniati, ITE Executive Director and CEO, has been
an active contributor to the RTZ Steering Committee and provided
support for many of its early efforts. ITE was a recipient of a RTZ
grant focused on speed management for safety. ITE Chief Technical
Officer Jeff Lindley and Technical Programs Manager Sarah Abel
led this effort (see sidebar on page 29).
After the completion of the RAND report, the RTZ Coalition
transitioned its efforts from vision and strategy to implementation.
National leaders were identified to serve as champions for each of
the three approaches identified in the RAND report. ITE under
the leadership of Jeff Paniati is guiding the effort to advance the
Prioritizing Safety approach.
Under ITE's leadership, a Prioritizing Safety Steering
Committee and two working groups were formed-one on Safety
Culture and a second on Safe System. More than two dozen
leading national transportation and safety organizations and
technical experts, including the Federal Highway Administration
and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are
participating in this effort. ITE is coordinating the overall effort
and leads the Safe System work group. David Yang, executive
director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, is guiding
the Safety Culture work group. The efforts focus on supporting
implementation by increasing the understanding and application
of Safe System and Safety Culture concepts and practices in North
America, identifying key tools and references, creating case
studies from leading jurisdictions, and finding ways to integrate
knowledge into practice.
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May 2020

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ITE Journal - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - May 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_December2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110939_ITE_November2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110110_ITE_October2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110109_ITE_September2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108250_ITE_July2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G107225_ITE_June2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104039_ITE_May2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G103582_ITE_February2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G98028_ITE_September2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G97366_ITE_August2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G96287_ITE_July2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G94315_ITE_June2018
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