Toward Zero Deaths (TZD)
Toward Zero Deaths was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). TZD is based on the principle that even one traffic death is unacceptable. The national strategy is data driven and focuses on identifying and creating opportunities for changing our highway safety culture. Toward Zero Deaths provides tools that national, state, and local safety partners and stakeholders can use to develop their safety plans. Officially adopted as New Jersey’s safety vision, TZD will guide all traffic safety activities in New Jersey. SJTPO has had a long-standing commitment to traffic safety, as an early adopter of an award-winning Road Safety Audit Program, the first MPO in New Jersey to make use of the Highway Safety Manual (HMS) to determine the benefit of a safety improvement, and through the development of a robust Traffic Safety Outreach and Education Program, dating back to 1998.
Traffic Safety Education Program
For many years, SJTPO has had a robust behavioral focus, with a strong emphasis on safety education. SJTPO collaborates with federal, state, county, municipal, schools, and private organizations on programs that address different facets of traffic safety. SJTPO has been heavily involved with Share the Keys, a high school program that works to educate parents and encourages active involvement with their new teen drivers. Belts on Bones is a fun program, designed for early elementary school students, that teaches the importance of proper seat belt use. This same program has been modified to incorporate school bus safety, known as Belts, Bones, and Buses. In addition, SJTPO has developed its own safety programs, one such program is Most Dangerous Places, a high school initiative that presents the real risks of unsafe driving practices and occupant protections, the safety features of their vehicles, and touches on defensive driving tactics. Another SJTPO-developed program, Car Crashes, It’s Just Physics, teaches students about the crash dynamics and the physical impact of crashes on the body.
Safety Infrastructure Improvement Program
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For the infrastructure component, work has been done to develop a robust, yet intuitive, project application process. SJTPO’s Local Safety Program will generate safety infrastructure projects by guiding applicants through a five-step process: selecting a location; identifying the problem; determining an appropriate safety improvement; measuring its effectiveness, and checking for barriers to implementation. The Local Safety Program leverages federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding, which was continued as a core Federal-aid program in the current transportation reauthorization bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Its purpose is to achieve a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. This includes roadways not on the federal aid system, regardless of ownership. The HSIP emphasizes a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety.