The United States Department of Transportation issued a Call to Action urging both public and private organizations from around the country to adopt its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS). The Call to Action implores all agencies at all levels to do their part to implement the Safe System Approach (SSA) to make our streets safer.

What is a Safe System Approach?

The Safe System Approach is a five-part approach to mitigate the risks inherent in our transportation system. It is a holistic and comprehensive approach that provides a guiding framework to make places safer for people.

SSA differs from previous l safety approaches because it incorporates and considers human vulnerability and human mistakes. SSA intends to create a system with enough redundancies to protect everyone. Acknowledging that accidents are inevitable, SSA looks to design a roadway system that can mitigate those mistakes and avoid deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Simply put, this means rather than trying to eliminate all types of accidents, emphasis should focus on the reduction of the severity of accidents. 

The Safe System Approach breaks down into five complementary objectives to be implemented by the National Roadway Safety Strategy.

  • Safer People – Encourage safe, responsible driving and behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads – Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most vulnerable users.
  • Safer Vehicles – Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds – Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, equitable, context-appropriate roadway design, appropriate speed-limit setting, targeted education, outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care – Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

Back to the Call to Action – How Can You Commit to Action?

Successful implementation of the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) is dependent on broad participation and action from both the private and public sectors, advocacy and community groups, researchers, and beyond.

USDOT wants to know what you are doing, or planning to do, to mitigate serious crashes. They have developed a form where you can describe your activities and those activities will then be shared with others as a source of inspiration, motivation, and collaboration.

Using the form found on this page, please join the NRSS Call to Action and tell us what specific actions you’re taking in 2024—including both new initiatives and expansions of longstanding commitments—to reduce serious injuries and deaths on our roadways. When preparing your submission, please share any links, including press releases and infographics about your efforts, which USDOT can use in its outreach efforts.

Learn About Your Allies in Action

Allies in the public and private sectors, advocacy and community groups, researchers, and more are committed to specific actions in 2023 to reduce serious injuries and deaths on our roadways. USDOT has shared their First Movers list and the important commitments being made by them all. Perhaps you’ll discover a new practice or idea to implement in your own agency.

What Can You Do in New Jersey?

Numerous entities across New Jersey are now embracing the Safe System Approach, spanning government agencies to the private sector, in an effort to adopt USDOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy. The initial stages of successful implementation hinge on strong leadership and sustained commitment. The cities of Hoboken and Jersey City stand out for their recognized efforts in reducing fatalities. Notably, these initiatives were set in motion through the issuance of Executive Orders, aligning various agencies, officials, and members of the public who impact issues related to roadway safety.

Utilizing traffic data and robust resources stands out as two of the most powerful tools in our efforts to curtail traffic-related injuries and fatalities. The wealth of crash data collected across our state not only pinpoints where accidents occur but, equally crucial, sheds light on the underlying reasons behind these incidents. Explore the information offered below to begin implementing a Safe System Approach in your agency or community.

The New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition has compiled a variety of resources to help you and your agency get started on a Safey System Approach. This includes action plans, case studies from other communities, and links to federal and state resources and funding programs.

The Vision Zero Alliance of New Jersey maintains a list of various databases covering traffic fatalities statistics, network screening lists, media and Vision Zero plans, and offers other important resources on implementing a Vision Zero strategy.

You may also Explore the NRSS dashboard and read the 2023 NRSS Progress Report to follow the progress of key Departmental actions to advance the National Roadway Safety Strategy.

Join the Call to Action and make our streets safer for everyone today!