NASEMSO Introduces Toward Zero Deaths Effort to Reduce Highway Fatalities
Falls Church, VA– March 10, 2015 - The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) joined the National Strategy on Highway Safety Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) effort, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roads.
The National Strategy on Highway Safety Toward Zero Deaths effort was created by a steering committee cooperative that includes numerous organizations representing our nation’s highway safety system that have joined together to reduce annual traffic fatalities from more than 33,000 a year to zero. The steering committee rolled out the TZD plan that provides engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical services (EMS) organizations with initiatives, or safety countermeasures, that can be enacted by public agencies, businesses and individuals.
“We embrace the vision of Toward Zero Deaths; it provides an overarching and common vision that drives and focuses our efforts to achieve our shared goal to eliminate injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone—from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels. The U.S. Department of Transportation will do our part by aggressively using all tools at our disposal - research into new safety systems and technologies, campaigns to educate the public, investments in infrastructure and collaboration with all of our government partners to support strong laws and data-driven approaches to improve safety.”
“Never before have so many key national roadway safety organizations worked together for a united effort,” said Dia Gainor, NASEMSO Executive Director. “The TZD National Strategy on Highway Safety brings together stakeholders in areas such as engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical services, all with a vision to eliminate traffic fatalities. This adoption and implementation of the Toward Zero Deaths vision by so many partners demonstrates a unified commitment and major step in the effort to transform our nation’s traffic safety culture.”
The National Strategy includes initiatives that are known to be—or are expected to be—effective in addressing specific factors contributing to crashes, have the potential to make a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries nationally, or address areas of growing concern.
The TZD plan includes initiatives spanning engineering to education all with the intended result of achieving:
• Safer drivers and passengers
• Safer vulnerable users
• Safer infrastructure
• Safer passenger and commercial vehicles
• Enhanced emergency medical services
• Improved safety management
• Safety culture
TZD strategies most applicable to emergency medical services include:
• Develop, implement, and enforce safety engineering and design standards for ambulances, including removing the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards crashworthiness exemption.
• Fully implement enhanced 911 centers.
• Implement pairing of Advanced Automated Collision Notification (AACN) data with algorithms to predict probability of severe injury.
• Implement comprehensive state trauma systems to improve care for crash victims.
• Improve and sustain excellent communications technologies for emergency medical responders.
• Linking EMS data with crash records to determine which interventions improve crash victims’ outcomes.
“As leaders in EMS, we have a duty and a responsibility to do what we can to accelerate the efforts to save lives on our nation’s roads,” said, Dia Gainor, Executive Director. “We earnestly believe that until all public roads are absolutely free of fatalities, our work is not finished. The TZD National Strategy outlines those steps we can take in our industry to aggressively pursue a culture of safety and reduce highway fatalities at a much faster rate.”
Many of the countermeasures included in the TZD plan will take years to implement, while others are being implemented right now.
“The next step we need to take in EMS is to consider how we fit in with the coordinated efforts to achieve the TZD vision and how we can best inject new energy and commitment into our own efforts,” added Donnie Woodyard, Chair of NASEMSO’s Highway Incident and Traffic Systems Committee. “There are many proven safety strategies that are applicable to our industry and we ask all of our members to download the National Strategy on Highway Strategy at TowardZeroDeaths.org and identify the short- and long-term strategies you can commit to implementing.”
About Toward Zero Deaths
For more information about the Toward Zero Deaths National Strategy on Highway Safety, visit TowardZeroDeaths.org. The TZD effort is a led by a group of associations representing state and local government agencies working to reduce highway fatalities:
• American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)
• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
• Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
• Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
• International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
• National Association of County Engineers (NACE)
• National Local Technical Assistance Program Association (NLTAPA)
• National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO)
The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided technical support to the TZD efforts.
For more than five years, these associations have been working together to identify and prioritize the leading initiatives that will reduce traffic fatalities over the next 25 years.