Wisconsin DOT Joins USDOT’s ‘Allies in Action’ Initiative

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently joined the U.S. Department of Transportation’s month by joining 16 organizations in the national ”Allies in Action” campaign. That effort is part of the USDOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy or NRSS, which seeks to eliminate crash injuries and fatalities.

[Above photo by Wisconsin DOT]

The NRSS – launched by USDOT in January 2022 – represents a series of “concrete steps” for USDOT to address the “alarming rise” in U.S. roadway fatalities via “systemic changes” to prevent tragic and avoidable deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s highways, roads, and streets.

Craig Thompson. Photo by the Wisconsin DOT.

“Too many people are dying on our roads every day across the country and here in Wisconsin,” said Craig Thompson, secretary of the Wisconsin DOT, in a statement. “We must work together to help the nation recognize this is a crisis that must be addressed with urgency.”

Thompson, who also serves as the 2023-2024 president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, added that “safety is the top priority in all we do [at state departments of transportation] and we will continue to work towards zero deaths on Wisconsin roads.”

[Editor’s note: AASHTO, along with two of its members – Washington State Department of Transportation and Missouri Department of Transportation – originally joined a group of “First Movers” in 2023 as part of the “Allies in Action” campaign as part of a concerted transportation industry effort to make roadways safer for communities around the country.]

As part of its participation in the USDOT’s “Allies in Action” campaign, the Wisconsin DOT committed to take a series of specific actions to reduce traffic fatalities in 2024, including expanding the agency’s “Safety-First Initiative,” which it launched in 2023 to enhance the agency’s knowledge of safety-related best practices. That initiative also explores research to leverage new technologies for data gathering and engineering countermeasures.

Photo by AASHTO

[Editor’s note: AASHTO hosted a national Safety Summit in 2023 in Kansas City, MO, to bring together state DOTs, federal agencies, local governments, and safety advocates to map out ways to improve roadway safety – with another such summit being planned for the fall of 2024. Subsequently, AASHTO and its state DOT members approved a “Safety Resolution” by unanimous vote at the organization’s 2023 Annual Meeting in November 2023 in Indianapolis; a resolution that forms the basis of a “Safety Action Plan” now under development.]

Wisconsin DOT said it will also develop new educational opportunities to inform and collaborate with the public to encourage safer habits among all road users, as well as build on ongoing Zero in Wisconsin safety campaign, including “Buckle Up Phone Down,” a safety program originally developed by the Missouri Department of Transportation in 2016; “Control Your Drive;” and its annual “Click It or Ticket” safety enforcement effort.

In addition, Thompson said Wisconsin DOT is expanding the use of centerline rumble strips as a proven safety countermeasure that can significantly reduce fatal and injury crashes on two-lane rural roads.

“These actions are a key part of our vision for a safer Wisconsin,” Thompson added. “We are building on our strong foundation of safety strategies – education, enforcement, and engineering – but we cannot do this alone. We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe on every trip behind the wheel.”

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