A new video highlights the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials upcoming 2023 Safety Summit in Kansas City October 17-19.
[Above image by AASHTO]
The video features Roger Millar – secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation and AASHTO president – describing some of the sessions planned for the meeting.
Millar explains in the video that the 2023 Safety Summit aims to instill a more comprehensive approach to safety by incorporating it more deeply into every phase of a transportation project, from planning and design through construction and maintenance.
“Crash fatality and injury numbers are going the wrong way; they are going up – particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians,” Millar explained during a recent presentation to AASHTO’s staff. “That’s why we are having this safety summit in October, so we can undergo a complete reset where safety is concerned.”
Millar has also pointed to a major economic toll due to roadway fatalities and injuries. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study in January showing that when quality-of-life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2019 was nearly $1.4 trillion.
That report – “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2019” – examined the costs of one year of crashes that killed an estimated 36,500 people, injured 4.5 million, and damaged 23 million vehicles.
To that end, the summit’s goal is to produce a comprehensive safety action plan that “institutionalizes” leading highway safety principles into state DOT policies, processes, and activities
The Safety Summit is being held in conjunction with a joint meeting of AASHTO’s Committee on Safety, Council on Active Transportation, and Committee on Planning, which will meet after the Safety Summit concludes to craft a “safety action plan” designed to advance safety consistently throughout the transportation project development lifecycle and across the functions and services of state DOTs.