Strategic Highway Safety Plan - Arrive Alive

Read the current plan (PDF, 7MB)

Virginia’s SHSP Update is underway ... 

Virginia is updating our five-year Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), Arrive Alive! Your ideas on actions to reduce severe crashes on our roadways are needed chart our course towards zero.

Please click here to register for a virtual SHSP update meeting in one of the five regional (see map) areas (note that the full three hours may not be needed):

  • Southwestern - Sept.14, 2-5 p,m.
  • Northwestern - Sept.15, 2-5 p,m.
  • Central - Sept. 20,  9 a.m- noon
  • Northern - Sept. 21, a.m- noon
  • Eastern – Sept. 28 2-5 p,m.

Register for a meeting in your region to learn about the SHSP for the 2022 - 26 period, highway safety issues in your region and to review and provide input on strategies and actions that will be implemented to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Virginia’s roadways.

shsp map

Draft updated actions for each of the SHSP Emphasis Areas are provided in the links below (PDFs) for your review and comments.

If you have any changes, new ideas or questions about the SHSP update you would like to submit, send your comments to with the words “2026 SHSP” in the subject line.

Virginia’s transportation network connects people, goods, and services. To provide a network that operates efficiently and effectively, it must be safe.

That is why the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Motor Vehicles (DMV), Health (VDH), Education (VDOE), the Virginia State Police and other partners, are reaching out throughout the commonwealth seeking the best ways to improve traffic safety.  

In the past five years, traffic related fatalities increased 11.4 percent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of fatalities increased 2.4 percent from 2019 to 2020, while serious injuries declined 5.3 percent and annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 11 percent.

The result are much higher fatality and serious injury rates than in recent years (increased from 0.90 fatalities per 100 million VMT to 1.12 fatalities per 100 million VMT in last four years).

These outcomes in 2020 are consistent with national trends.

While Americans drove less in 2020 due to the pandemic, early estimates show an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes—the largest projected number of fatalities in our nation and in Virginia since 2007.  

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analysis shows that the main behaviors that drove this increase include impaired driving, speeding and failure to wear a safety belt.

Fatalities chart

Source: NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) (2016-2019) and VDOT Traffic Safety Data (2020)

Virginia is currently updating the document that guides traffic safety initiatives - the Arrive Alive, Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), for the next five years, from 2022-2026.

To keep this effort current, Virginia is adopting the principles and elements of a Safe System,” a philosophy that proactively focuses on roadways, users, vehicles, speeds, and emergency care”.

Each of those elements, working together, ensure that regardless of whether you drive, walk, or ride, you as a user are to follow the rules of the road, including not speeding.

The road and vehicles are designed in such a way to lessen the severity of crashes when they happen, and emergency medical services quickly provides post-crash care when an incident occurs. 

VDOT, DMV, and VSP will be finalizing the plan in December with associated state agencies' and governor’s approvals.

Toward Zero Deaths

Toward Zero Deaths Virginia

The plan is needed to deliver data-driven solutions that address safety needs and ultimately achieve the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) vision on the transportation network.

Reaching a goal of zero deaths and serious injuries is not as impossible as it may sound. It's the goal we set for ourselves, our families and friends every day.

To engage the TZD culture and actions at a personal, local or regional level, visit

Plan Overview

The Arrive Alive SHSP has been Virginia’s document guiding us Toward Zero Deaths since 2006.

The plan is:

  • A multi-agency, comprehensive, data-driven approach to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on public roads.
  • A coordinated framework for addressing the most serious traffic safety problems.
  • An approach that includes statewide goals and critical emphasis areas developed in consultation with federal, state, regional, and local stakeholders who represent the 4 Es of safety – engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical services.

Virginia’s Critical Safety Problems

The SHSP identifies and supports behaviors and attitudes that promote a positive safety culture and provide solutions for Virginia’s most serious traffic safety problems.

It identifies eight areas:

Emphasis areas

In addition, the plan also identifies three special areas, which are essential to meet our goals and objectives:

Special areas

Agency Leadership


Several agencies participate on a SHSP committee, lending their expertise, resources and time toward lowering fatalities and serious injuries.

Leadership and oversight for the plan comes from the Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and Emphasis Area Teams. 

Executive Committee: Virginia’s executive leaders support the SHSP by:

  • Overseeing its development and implementation
  • Encouraging collaboration
  • Aligning agency goals to support safety
  • Communicating safety information
  • Sharing progress on safety initiatives

Each agency head signed the plan charter, committing to these responsibilities.

Steering Committee: Virginia’s leaders:

  • Manage the SHSP update process
  • Report back to their executive leaders
  • Meet quarterly to ensure the plan’s strategies and actions are executed and evaluated

Emphasis Area Teams: Highway safety and transportation-related staff at Virginia’s agencies and stakeholders regularly implement the strategies and action in the SHSP and meet quarterly to discuss progress and challenges.



Virginia is committed to tracking progress. View the status of safety performance and implementation activities at our Dashboard. Further, an annual summary report of progress is available.

VDOT Resources

Additional Resources

For More

Stephen Read, P.E.
HSIP Planning Manager

Page last modified: Nov. 29, 2021