Strategic Highway Safety Plan - Arrive Alive
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The Virginia 2022-2026 Strategic
Highway Safety Plan
Toward Zero Deaths is our goal. Arrive Alive is our Guide.
Zero deaths is not impossible ─ it will take all Virginians to help us to get there. After all, it is the goal we set for ourselves, our families, and friends every day.
Virginia’s 2022-2026 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a data-driven, performance-based document aimed at ushering a Safe System approach in support of the Commonwealth’s goal that everyone should arrive at their destination safely.
The trend in fatalities is going in the wrong direction and reductions in serious injuries are diminishing. Many believed that the COVID-19 stay-in-place measures would result in fewer vehicles on the road and, therefore, fewer fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes. Sadly, this was not the case in Virginia or the nation. Accounting for lower traffic volumes due to the pandemic, the fatality rate increased 23 percent from 2019 to 2020. The number of fatalities in Virginia have continued to increase since 2014—with 847 people killed in 2020 alone—while fatalities nationwide decreased each year from 2016 to 2019 before increasing in 2020, an increase of 29 percent. Motor vehicle crashes are a serious public health problem that takes substantial resources to respond and provide treatment or hospitalization. According to data from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), motor vehicle crashes are one of the top four leading causes of death from 2015 to 2019 for Virginians between the ages of 5 and 34.
The guiding principles underpinning the plan are the six principles of the Safe System approach, founded on the concept that all humans make mistakes and that human bodies have limits in tolerating crash impacts. According to the National Roadway Safety Strategy, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) “recognizes the Safe System Approach as encompassing all the roadway safety interventions required to achieve the goal of zero fatalities, including safety programs focused on infrastructure, human behavior, responsible oversight of the vehicle and transportation industry, and emergency response. Virginia added a seventh principle “actions consider equity,” as the approach is rooted in safety culture and equity. Arrive Alive Virginia covers both behavioral (Safe Road Users) and infrastructure (Safe Vehicles, Safe Roads, Safe Speeds, and Post-Crash Care) Safe System elements through emphasis areas. Virginia identified the following 13 emphasis areas as the most pressing challenges to reaching zero deaths on all public roads:
Recognizing these troubling trends and the impact on Virginians and our economy, this fifth edition of the Arrive Alive SHSP is strongly action focused. Each emphasis area contains about 10 key actions that state and local partners can take to influence reductions in severe crashes.
Virginia also needs your help to make this vision a reality. To learn more about how you can help us reach Zero Deaths and Serious Injuries on all public roads, visit Toward Zero Deaths Virginia. Please read the plan elements and emphasis areas with the “What can you do to support the SHSP” chapter to engage and implement a safe highway system for all of the Commonwealth.
Leadership and Partners
The work of the plan is impossible without the help of our leaders and partners:
- Department of Education
- Department of Fire Programs
- Department of Health
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Department of Transportation
- Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
- Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
- Virginia State Police
- Federal Highway Administration
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- VDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program
- Virginia Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
- VDOT MPO Crash Tool
- VDOT crash mapping
- Virginia crash data
Additional Safety Resources
For more, or to request previous plan documents
Stephen Read, P.E.
HSIP Planning Manager