The Road to Zero

By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 05-01-2018 04:02 PM

This is taken from the Director's Message in the May 2018 issue of ITE Journal. 

ITE is a founding member and serves on the Steering Committee of the Road to Zero Coalition, which has grown to more than 650 organizational members since the U.S. Department of Transportation established it in 2016 in conjunction with the National Safety Council. One of the Coalition’s primary goals has been to help imagine the “road” to zero fatalities. Over the past year experts from the member organizations have worked with the RAND Corporation to produce a new report, “The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050.” I encourage you to read it through the link on ITE’s website. ITE is contributing to each of the following three key strategies the report identifies.

Doubling Down on What Works – This strategy recognizes that in the near term the only way were are going to reduce fatalities is to employ strategies that have been proven to work but are not widely used. We have many tools at our disposal such as the Highway Safety Manual, Crash Modifications Clearinghouse, and the ITE Safety Resources Toolbox, an ITE’s Vision Zero Initiative product that has been recently enhanced and is available at

Accelerating Advanced Technology – The report’s vision is centered on the potential for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CV/AV) to revolutionize transportation and save
thousands of lives. In support of this vision, ITE released a position statement on CV/AV that offers key tenets for the development of CV/AV that seek to balance between the desire to advance innovation and protect public safety. We hope that this position statement and key tenants stimulate discussion and help build consensus; read more on page 11 of this issue.

Prioritizing Safety – This strategy recognizes that a shift in culture will be required to get to zero, both in our society and within our profession. We must embrace the idea
that zero is possible and begin to adopt practices that move us in that direction. The ITE Vision Zero Task Force has identified speed as a key priority area, with a 2017 National
Transportation Safety Board report identifying speed as key contributor to more than 30 percent of all traffic fatalities. ITE, in partnership with the Vision Zero Network, was
awarded a Road to Zero grant to support the development of new approaches and a new mindset with regard to speed management in urban areas.

The Transportation Professional Certification Board, Inc. (TPCB) has also prioritized safety through the development of its new Road Safety Professional (RSP) Certification with the goals of recognizing road safety as a profession, establishing a recognized level of practice and knowledge, and incentivizing safety education. For information about the inaugural RSP Level 1 certification exams to be given in October 2018, visit

With nearly 40,000 fatalities annually in the United States alone and 1.25 million worldwide, I know it is hard to imagine a world where no one dies traveling. I think the core of the Road to Zero work is the idea that we do not have to accept fatalities as inevitable, and there are near- and long-term actions that will move us to our goal. ITE and TPCB are working hard to help make zero a reality. As always, I welcome your feedback at, through ITE Community, and on Twitter at @JeffPaniatiITE.