An Official Website of the United States Government
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Mission

Mission:

The Department of Transportation's mission is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

info Themes:
Transportation Community and Regional Development Management

Overview

Established in 1967 by Congress, DOT consolidated more than 30 transportation agencies and functions, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Bureau of Public Roads, and Federal Aviation Agency, under the first Secretary of Transportation Alan S. Boyd. Today, over 57,000 DOT employees work in the Offices of the Secretary of Transportation, the Office of the Inspector General, ten Operating Administrations, and the Surface Transportation Board.

The Operating Administrations are listed below.  More information about DOT is available at http://www.dot.gov/about and at the Web sites of each Operating Administration.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Maritime Administration (MARAD)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)

According to the US Census, the U.S. population is projected to increase to 332 million by 2017, a 70 percent increase since 1967.  The national economy is on the rebound and personal travel continues to increase, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than prior to the 2008 recession.  Industries and consumers depend increasingly on the reliable and timely flow of goods and services within and across our Nation’s borders.

Population growth in cities and mega-regions is placing a strain on existing transportation systems and creating demand for more transportation choices.  As people continue to increase their demand for vibrant communities, creating livable communities with safe, reliable, and affordable transportation choices for all users is essential to ensuring economic vitality and growth. The increasing amount and availability of information, as well as more rapid emergence and adoption of new technologies, is transforming all aspects of our daily life including how we travel to work and spend our leisure time. Utilizing emerging technology, maintaining and improving existing transportation infrastructure, and ensuring multimodal options for the movement of goods and people ensures reliable performance of the transportation system; a system critical to attracting the strong workforce that makes a community thrive.

In response to these trends, this second edition of the DOT strategic plan, Transportation for a New Generation, outlines the approach that we are undertaking to achieve our strategic goals and implement the President’s priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2018.  We are acting under the authorities that the Congress and the President have provided the Secretary of Transportation.

 

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Strategic Goals & Objectives

Agencies establish a variety of organizational goals to drive progress toward key outcomes for the American people. Long-term strategic goals articulate clear statements of what the agency wants to achieve to advance its mission and address relevant national problems, needs, challenges and opportunities. Strategic objectives define the outcome or management impact the agency is trying to achieve, and also include the agency's role. Each strategic objective is tracked through a suite of performance goals, indicators and other evidence. Click here for more information on stakeholder engagement during goal development.

Strategic Goal:

Safety

Improve public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries for all users, working toward no fatalities across all modes of travel.

Strategic Objectives

Improve the safety of the transportation system across all modes of travel by addressing behavioral, vehicular, and infrastructure safety issues through prevention, mitigation, data sharing and analysis, and response using innovative and effective partnerships, programs, and resources.

In 2011, 34,414 people died and more than 2.2 million people were injured in transportation-related crashes and accidents, according to U.S. DOT national Transportation Statistics.  Motor vehicle crashes caused 32,367 fatalities, or 94 percent of the total, even though the rate of fatalities per hundred million miles of travel was the lowest ever recorded in the United States.  Distracted driving was a contributing factor in at least 3,331 fatal crashes.  Another 1, 213 people died in rail, air, and transit accidents.  We will use our safety programs and regulations for automobiles, airplanes, railroads, trucks, motorcoaches, pipelines, and hazardous materials as effectively as possible to reduce crashes, fatalities, and injuries, and will expand safety oversight to public transit.  We will continue to direct federal resources to address the most serious safety risks and implement program reforms that will advance our safety mission. Between 2001 and 2010, an average of 13 people in the United States died every year in incidents related to the transportation of hazardous material—a rate of one death for every 21 billion ton-miles of hazardous material moved.  In addition to causing deaths and injuries, hazardous material transportation incidents disrupt communities when people are evacuated from their homes, business activity is curtailed, and transportation services are interrupted.  We will continue to develop and encourage the use of safety tools - such as improved data collection, risk management practices, and incident response planning - to prevent, mitigate, and respond to hazardous material transportation accidents.

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Priority Goal: Reduce the rate of aviation accidents

Reduce aviation fatalities by addressing risk factors both on the ground and in the air. Commercial aviation (i.e. U.S. Carriers): Reduce fatalities to no more than 6.9 per 100 million people on board through FY 2015. General aviation (i.e. private planes): Reduce fatal accident rate per 100,000 flight hours to no more than 1.04 through FY 2015.  Reduce category A&B runway incursions in all airports to a rate of no more than 0.395 per million operations in FY15.

Aviation fatality rates are at historic lows and continue to drop over time.  However, FAA recognizes the need to continue addressing precursors to accidents in order to continue to improve the current level of safety in the national airspace.

In the past, the FAA focused on actual incidents and accidents to identify risk within the aviation system.  The number of accidents has now dropped to a level in which this is a more difficult activity, and FAA is developing alternate methods to identify and address risk and accident precursors to reduce the likelihood of such events.

Learn More

Priority Goal: Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities

Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities from 1.26 in 2008 to 1.03 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by December 31, 2018.

Background:

Reducing roadway fatalities continues to be a top priority at the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Roadway crashes are among the leading causes of death in the United States, especially among young people.  Approximately 32,850 people died on the Nation’s roadways in 2013 (based on reported data in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)) and action must be taken to address this serious public health and safety problem.  The financial impact of roadway crashes also puts a significant burden on the Nation: approximately $277 billion per year in direct economic looses and $594 billion per year in harm from loss of life and decreased quality of life due to injuries.  This underscores the magnitude of the problem.  Roadway crashes are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries as well as permanent spinal cord injuries, putting a heavy burden on our medical systems.

The importance of improving transportation safety is reflected in DOT’s Strategic Plan.  The Department strives to make the U.S.  transportation system the safest in the world.  DOT will work with all of its stakeholders — transportation agencies, elected officials, law  enforcement, industry, safety advocates, novice drivers, the disability and older adult communities, and the public — to reduce transportation-related fatalities and injuries and make our roadway system safe for  all users.

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to address roadway safety challenges and issues. The Department developed a Roadway Safety Plan (RSP) in 2012 to better coordinate safety initiatives in this area.  (http://www.dot.gov/policy/transportation-policy/dot-roadway-safety-pl an) It was initiated with the recognition that addressing the challenges of roadway safety requires the collective efforts of many people and organizations working together to significantly reduce crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries on the Nation’s roadways.  The RSP is built upon the following six principles that define key priorities intended to enhance roadway safety:

Collaboration for  Roadway Safety
Safer Behaviors
Safer Vehicles
Safer Roadways
Empower Communities
Accountability and Managing for Results
Within DOT, many operating administrations share the responsibility for improving roadway safety.  These efforts are actively supported by external stakeholders. The RSP combines the efforts of multiple partners in a single, integrated plan that provides a framework to harness the collective strengths, creativity, and resources of DOT.

Collaboration for Roadway Safety is the first principle of the RSP, as it is the foundation on which the other principles are built. Multiple interacting factors from across the transportation industry impact roadway safety.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  Within DOT, the relevant operating administrations can leverage the respective resources and expertise to more effectively achieve a safer transportation environment. These organizations include the following:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides Federal, State, and local partners the tools, resources, and information necessary to make sound safety investment decisions and coordinates with States to develop Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and implement programs that improve the safety of roadway infrastructure on all public roads.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) promotes safe commercial motor vehicle (CMV) (large truck and bus) operations through education, innovation, regulation, enforcement, financial assistance, partnerships, and full accountability to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our Nation's roadways involving CMVs.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) develops, publishes, and enforces industry standards that improve the safety of passenger vehicles, and conducts research on developing behavior safety programs, and implements national campaigns to increase and improve the safe driving habits of the Nation’s drivers.
 

In 2013, there were an estimated 32,850 motor vehicle fatalities.  This represents a 2.1% decrease from 2012, and a rate of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT.  This rate nearly matches the lowest rate of fatalities ever achieved of 1.10 in 2011.  Still,  roadway fatalities continue to remain a serious safety problem.  Even one fatality is one too many and currently one life is lost on the Nation’s roadways every 16 minutes, equating to an average of 90 people each day.

Roadway fatalities impact all road users, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, commercial vehicle operators, and those who work to build and maintain the Nation’s four million miles of roadways. The  Federal government is the only entity that has the authority to establish national safety standards for  vehicles, regulate interstate motor carriers, and mandate roadway safety features.

Stakeholders:

FHWA, FMCSA, and NHTSA have formed strategic alliances with partners from a wide array of backgrounds to enhance and forward the Nation’s roadway safety agenda through guidance, technical assistance, and development of resource materials. Many stakeholders currently address transportation safety issues independently, through individual goals, plans, and activities. Some have implemented substantial safety initiatives, and these contributions are vital to maintaining and improving roadway safety. As described in the RSP, involvement by multiple stakeholders provides opportunities for broader public outreach and for the development and implementation of cross-cutting roadway safety strategies reflecting the common interests of many parties.

Each partner offers unique strengths and abilities to assist each mode to deliver its programs and leverage resources in protecting the public on the Nation’s roadways.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  The agencies within DOT work with a network of partner organizations, such as State Highway Safety Offices, State transportation departments, Tribal governments, local and county traffic engineers, law enforcement agencies, public health associations, safety advocacy groups, the motorcoach industry, hazardous shipping businesses, interstate trucking operations and the auto industry on the development of evidence-based roadway safety programs, projects, and safety standards.  Such collaboration will help to integrate a broad range of factors affecting roadway safety and create more efficient and effective problem-solving synergies across the transportation industry.

Challenges:

A number of challenges could slow down or even reverse positive trends.  Many States continue to face budget shortfalls and are under tremendous pressure to reduce services, resulting in cut backs to roadway safety programs.  Cutbacks in State, Tribal and local law enforcement agency budgets could weaken national enforcement campaigns and local traffic safety enforcement efforts.  States, Tribes, and local governments must be willing to use data-driven analytical processes to make the best and most effective safety investments.

Distracted driving has emerged as a new threat over the past few years as the rise of portable electronic devices has swiftly expanded.   Moreover, as in-vehicle electronic systems become ever more sophisticated and complex, distracted driving could become an even greater threat if it is not addressed in a manner keeping pace with technological advancements.  In fact, a new report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites 50 percent of the US adult population now owning smartphones and the wireless industry reports a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent (^1).  Also, as the economy continues to gain momentum, more recreational travel and driving may lead to higher crash rates.   Finally, the repeal of proven life-saving traffic safety laws at the State level, such as universal motorcycle helmet or primary seat belt laws, could also result in higher injuries and fatalities.  Nevertheless, significant opportunities remain for continued progress in reducing roadway fatalities.  The Department will seek new and innovative ways to serve the American people and keep our roadways safe.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, P.L 112-141), was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 provides an increase in safety funds available for the Highway Safety Improvement Program along with a focus on performance-based programming.  Implementation of MAP-21 will rely heavily on increased partnership across State agencies with DOT.  Additionally, the shift to performance-based programming may require additional effort on the part of some States.  There are also challenges associated with improving safety with local roads and local agencies with Federal-aid program funds.

^1 - 2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States, See http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/survey/distraction 2013.html

Learn More

Priority Goals

Reduce aviation fatalities by addressing risk factors both on the ground and in the air. Commercial aviation (i.e. U.S. Carriers): Reduce fatalities to no more than 6.9 per 100 million people on board through FY 2015. General aviation (i.e. private planes): Reduce fatal accident rate per 100,000 flight hours to no more than 1.04 through FY 2015.  Reduce category A&B runway incursions in all airports to a rate of no more than 0.395 per million operations in FY15.

Aviation fatality rates are at historic lows and continue to drop over time.  However, FAA recognizes the need to continue addressing precursors to accidents in order to continue to improve the current level of safety in the national airspace.

In the past, the FAA focused on actual incidents and accidents to identify risk within the aviation system.  The number of accidents has now dropped to a level in which this is a more difficult activity, and FAA is developing alternate methods to identify and address risk and accident precursors to reduce the likelihood of such events.

Learn More

Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities from 1.26 in 2008 to 1.03 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by December 31, 2018.

Background:

Reducing roadway fatalities continues to be a top priority at the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Roadway crashes are among the leading causes of death in the United States, especially among young people.  Approximately 32,850 people died on the Nation’s roadways in 2013 (based on reported data in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)) and action must be taken to address this serious public health and safety problem.  The financial impact of roadway crashes also puts a significant burden on the Nation: approximately $277 billion per year in direct economic looses and $594 billion per year in harm from loss of life and decreased quality of life due to injuries.  This underscores the magnitude of the problem.  Roadway crashes are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries as well as permanent spinal cord injuries, putting a heavy burden on our medical systems.

The importance of improving transportation safety is reflected in DOT’s Strategic Plan.  The Department strives to make the U.S.  transportation system the safest in the world.  DOT will work with all of its stakeholders — transportation agencies, elected officials, law  enforcement, industry, safety advocates, novice drivers, the disability and older adult communities, and the public — to reduce transportation-related fatalities and injuries and make our roadway system safe for  all users.

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to address roadway safety challenges and issues. The Department developed a Roadway Safety Plan (RSP) in 2012 to better coordinate safety initiatives in this area.  (http://www.dot.gov/policy/transportation-policy/dot-roadway-safety-pl an) It was initiated with the recognition that addressing the challenges of roadway safety requires the collective efforts of many people and organizations working together to significantly reduce crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries on the Nation’s roadways.  The RSP is built upon the following six principles that define key priorities intended to enhance roadway safety:

Collaboration for  Roadway Safety
Safer Behaviors
Safer Vehicles
Safer Roadways
Empower Communities
Accountability and Managing for Results
Within DOT, many operating administrations share the responsibility for improving roadway safety.  These efforts are actively supported by external stakeholders. The RSP combines the efforts of multiple partners in a single, integrated plan that provides a framework to harness the collective strengths, creativity, and resources of DOT.

Collaboration for Roadway Safety is the first principle of the RSP, as it is the foundation on which the other principles are built. Multiple interacting factors from across the transportation industry impact roadway safety.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  Within DOT, the relevant operating administrations can leverage the respective resources and expertise to more effectively achieve a safer transportation environment. These organizations include the following:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides Federal, State, and local partners the tools, resources, and information necessary to make sound safety investment decisions and coordinates with States to develop Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and implement programs that improve the safety of roadway infrastructure on all public roads.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) promotes safe commercial motor vehicle (CMV) (large truck and bus) operations through education, innovation, regulation, enforcement, financial assistance, partnerships, and full accountability to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our Nation's roadways involving CMVs.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) develops, publishes, and enforces industry standards that improve the safety of passenger vehicles, and conducts research on developing behavior safety programs, and implements national campaigns to increase and improve the safe driving habits of the Nation’s drivers.
 

In 2013, there were an estimated 32,850 motor vehicle fatalities.  This represents a 2.1% decrease from 2012, and a rate of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT.  This rate nearly matches the lowest rate of fatalities ever achieved of 1.10 in 2011.  Still,  roadway fatalities continue to remain a serious safety problem.  Even one fatality is one too many and currently one life is lost on the Nation’s roadways every 16 minutes, equating to an average of 90 people each day.

Roadway fatalities impact all road users, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, commercial vehicle operators, and those who work to build and maintain the Nation’s four million miles of roadways. The  Federal government is the only entity that has the authority to establish national safety standards for  vehicles, regulate interstate motor carriers, and mandate roadway safety features.

Stakeholders:

FHWA, FMCSA, and NHTSA have formed strategic alliances with partners from a wide array of backgrounds to enhance and forward the Nation’s roadway safety agenda through guidance, technical assistance, and development of resource materials. Many stakeholders currently address transportation safety issues independently, through individual goals, plans, and activities. Some have implemented substantial safety initiatives, and these contributions are vital to maintaining and improving roadway safety. As described in the RSP, involvement by multiple stakeholders provides opportunities for broader public outreach and for the development and implementation of cross-cutting roadway safety strategies reflecting the common interests of many parties.

Each partner offers unique strengths and abilities to assist each mode to deliver its programs and leverage resources in protecting the public on the Nation’s roadways.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  The agencies within DOT work with a network of partner organizations, such as State Highway Safety Offices, State transportation departments, Tribal governments, local and county traffic engineers, law enforcement agencies, public health associations, safety advocacy groups, the motorcoach industry, hazardous shipping businesses, interstate trucking operations and the auto industry on the development of evidence-based roadway safety programs, projects, and safety standards.  Such collaboration will help to integrate a broad range of factors affecting roadway safety and create more efficient and effective problem-solving synergies across the transportation industry.

Challenges:

A number of challenges could slow down or even reverse positive trends.  Many States continue to face budget shortfalls and are under tremendous pressure to reduce services, resulting in cut backs to roadway safety programs.  Cutbacks in State, Tribal and local law enforcement agency budgets could weaken national enforcement campaigns and local traffic safety enforcement efforts.  States, Tribes, and local governments must be willing to use data-driven analytical processes to make the best and most effective safety investments.

Distracted driving has emerged as a new threat over the past few years as the rise of portable electronic devices has swiftly expanded.   Moreover, as in-vehicle electronic systems become ever more sophisticated and complex, distracted driving could become an even greater threat if it is not addressed in a manner keeping pace with technological advancements.  In fact, a new report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites 50 percent of the US adult population now owning smartphones and the wireless industry reports a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent (^1).  Also, as the economy continues to gain momentum, more recreational travel and driving may lead to higher crash rates.   Finally, the repeal of proven life-saving traffic safety laws at the State level, such as universal motorcycle helmet or primary seat belt laws, could also result in higher injuries and fatalities.  Nevertheless, significant opportunities remain for continued progress in reducing roadway fatalities.  The Department will seek new and innovative ways to serve the American people and keep our roadways safe.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, P.L 112-141), was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 provides an increase in safety funds available for the Highway Safety Improvement Program along with a focus on performance-based programming.  Implementation of MAP-21 will rely heavily on increased partnership across State agencies with DOT.  Additionally, the shift to performance-based programming may require additional effort on the part of some States.  There are also challenges associated with improving safety with local roads and local agencies with Federal-aid program funds.

^1 - 2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States, See http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/survey/distraction 2013.html

Learn More

Strategic Goal:

State of Good Repair

Ensure the U.S. proactively maintains critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair.

Strategic Objectives

Maintain or improve the availability, reliability, and performance of the Nation’s transportation infrastructure, equipment, and facilities by ensuring that they are functioning as designed within their useful lives.

Recent reports on the condition of our roadways, bridges, transit assets, and passenger rail facilities reveal that many fall short of state of good repair.  As a result, they compromise the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the U.S. transportation network. As a Nation, we have not adequately maintained our major roadway, transit, and rail systems. However, the federal role in achieving state of good repair varies from mode to mode.  We influence the condition of Federally-funded roadway, transit and airport infrastructure through program guidance and technical assistance provided to State departments of transportation, transit agencies, and airport authorities; through research and development we produce the knowledge, guidance and innovations needed to more effectively address the Nation’s infrastructure challenges. Public transportation systems provide service to tens of millions of Americans daily, especially in our Nation’s largest metropolitan areas.   These major transit systems, some of which are over one hundred years old, suffer from chronic under-investment and less than optimal application of asset management practices.  As a Nation, we need to meet an increasing demand for public transportation and bring transit infrastructure into a state of good repair. We will work in partnership with State departments of transportation, local transit agencies, and other grant recipients to administer Federal transit programs. We will provide financial assistance, policy direction, technical expertise, and grant compliance oversight aimed at improving transit and rail assets. We will work with Amtrak to eliminate the backlog of projects in the U.S. Northeast corridor.

Reduce the costs of sustaining the Nation’s transportation infrastructure, equipment, facilities, and technology by instilling proven asset management practices through partnerships with other governmental agencies and infrastructure owners.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act requires States to develop and implement asset management plans and performance plans specifically for highways and bridge infrastructure. MAP-21 also establishes a new National Transit Asset Management System, requiring a strategic approach to asset management by grantees.  We will encourage our partners to adopt and use asset management practices through training and technical assistance, research and demonstration projects, and by adopting common performance measures and reporting systems.

Strategic Goal:

Economic Competitiveness

Promote transportation policies and investments that bring lasting and equitable economic benefits to the Nation and its citizens.

Strategic Objectives

Improve the contribution of the transportation system to the Nation’s productivity and economic growth by supporting strategic, multi-modal investment decisions and policies that reduce costs, increase reliability and competition, satisfy consumer preferences more efficiently, and advance U.S. transportation interests worldwide.

Based on current economic and demographic forecasts, it is likely that the movement of people and goods within the U.S. and abroad will continue to increase and the transportation sector will continue to enable economic growth and job creation.  The transportation sector contributed approximately $1.466 trillion, or 9.7 percent, to GDP in 2011.  Our Nation must make strategic investments that enable the movement of people and goods more efficiently with full utilization of the existing capacity across all transportation modes. The cornerstones of this strategy are investments in high-performance passenger rail, the development of a national freight strategy, investments in public transportation, mitigating traffic congestion on our highways, and implementing NextGen to improve operations and alleviate airport congestion.

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Priority Goal: Improve the efficiency of the National airspace system at Air Route Traffic Control Centers - ERAM Deployment

Air traffic control systems can improve the efficiency of airspace. By December, 2014, ERAM will achieve Initial Operation Readiness at all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers.  By March 2015, all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers will have Operational Readiness Dates for ERAM.

The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System replaces the 40-year-old En Route HOST Computer System and backup system used at 20 FAA air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) around the country.  ERAM is the main computer system air traffic controllers use to guide airplanes flying at high altitudes.  Air traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control facilities, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center, flight service stations, and other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, all connect to and use the information managed by the En Route HOST Computer System.  The original HOST computer software architecture was developed in the late 1960s and was implemented as National Airspace System (NAS) Stage A in the early 1970s.

For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays.  Trajectory modeling is more accurate than in HOST, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection, and improved decision making.  ERAM will substantially increase the number of flights that can be tracked and displayed to controllers from 1,100 to 1,900.  The ERAM system also provides two functionally identical channels with dual redundancy, providing a more robust back-up capability than today's environment.  Coverage will also extend beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle additional traffic more efficiently because ERAM is designed to process data from up to 64 radars instead of the current 24.  The ERAM system is needed to replace the current HOST system and allow the FAA to continue to provide the high level of safe, reliable air traffic control services that the nation has come to expect; and also put in place the infrastructure necessary to transition the NAS to NextGen.

 

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Priority Goal: Advance the development of passenger rail in the United States

Initiate construction on 65 construction projects and substantially complete 74 planning, preliminary engineering/environmental analysis for passenger rail by September 30, 2015.

High-speed and intercity passenger rail represents an innovative approach to addressing the complex 21st century transportation challenges facing the United States. By 2050, the U.S. population will likely increase by more than 100 million people. Highway and airport congestion are increasing, with related severe economic and environmental impacts. To address these challenges and strengthen the country’s competitive position in an increasingly global economy, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a comprehensive program to develop high-speed and intercity passenger rail. FRA manages an approximately $20 billion grant and loan portfolio focused on:

  • Building new high-speed rail corridors that expand and fundamentally improve passenger transportation in the geographic regions they serve;
  • Upgrading existing intercity passenger rail corridors to improve reliability, speed, and frequency of existing services; and
  • Laying the groundwork, through corridor and state planning, for future high-speed rail services.

For the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA selected 153 projects across the country, with nearly 85 percent of rail investments concentrated in 6 corridors (San Francisco-Los Angeles, Boston-New York City-Washington, D.C., Seattle-Portland-Eugene, Charlotte-Washington, D.C., Chicago-St. Louis, and Chicago-Detroit). These corridors are in five mega-regions, in which about 65 percent of the U.S. population resides and which will likely absorb the bulk of future population growth.

FRA has developed a sophisticated grants management apparatus, laid the foundation for sustainable long-term passenger rail improvements, and strengthened industry capacity to deliver rail projects through technical assistance and strategic initiatives. FRA is strongly committed to robust stakeholder outreach, communication, and collaboration as central components of program management, allowing FRA to identify program improvements, engage in project planning and development, and provide the support necessary for grantees to carry out projects successfully.

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Priority Goal: Reduce the rate of aviation accidents

Reduce aviation fatalities by addressing risk factors both on the ground and in the air. Commercial aviation (i.e. U.S. Carriers): Reduce fatalities to no more than 6.9 per 100 million people on board through FY 2015. General aviation (i.e. private planes): Reduce fatal accident rate per 100,000 flight hours to no more than 1.04 through FY 2015.  Reduce category A&B runway incursions in all airports to a rate of no more than 0.395 per million operations in FY15.

Aviation fatality rates are at historic lows and continue to drop over time.  However, FAA recognizes the need to continue addressing precursors to accidents in order to continue to improve the current level of safety in the national airspace.

In the past, the FAA focused on actual incidents and accidents to identify risk within the aviation system.  The number of accidents has now dropped to a level in which this is a more difficult activity, and FAA is developing alternate methods to identify and address risk and accident precursors to reduce the likelihood of such events.

Learn More

Priority Goal: Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities

Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities from 1.26 in 2008 to 1.03 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by December 31, 2018.

Background:

Reducing roadway fatalities continues to be a top priority at the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Roadway crashes are among the leading causes of death in the United States, especially among young people.  Approximately 32,850 people died on the Nation’s roadways in 2013 (based on reported data in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)) and action must be taken to address this serious public health and safety problem.  The financial impact of roadway crashes also puts a significant burden on the Nation: approximately $277 billion per year in direct economic looses and $594 billion per year in harm from loss of life and decreased quality of life due to injuries.  This underscores the magnitude of the problem.  Roadway crashes are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries as well as permanent spinal cord injuries, putting a heavy burden on our medical systems.

The importance of improving transportation safety is reflected in DOT’s Strategic Plan.  The Department strives to make the U.S.  transportation system the safest in the world.  DOT will work with all of its stakeholders — transportation agencies, elected officials, law  enforcement, industry, safety advocates, novice drivers, the disability and older adult communities, and the public — to reduce transportation-related fatalities and injuries and make our roadway system safe for  all users.

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to address roadway safety challenges and issues. The Department developed a Roadway Safety Plan (RSP) in 2012 to better coordinate safety initiatives in this area.  (http://www.dot.gov/policy/transportation-policy/dot-roadway-safety-pl an) It was initiated with the recognition that addressing the challenges of roadway safety requires the collective efforts of many people and organizations working together to significantly reduce crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries on the Nation’s roadways.  The RSP is built upon the following six principles that define key priorities intended to enhance roadway safety:

Collaboration for  Roadway Safety
Safer Behaviors
Safer Vehicles
Safer Roadways
Empower Communities
Accountability and Managing for Results
Within DOT, many operating administrations share the responsibility for improving roadway safety.  These efforts are actively supported by external stakeholders. The RSP combines the efforts of multiple partners in a single, integrated plan that provides a framework to harness the collective strengths, creativity, and resources of DOT.

Collaboration for Roadway Safety is the first principle of the RSP, as it is the foundation on which the other principles are built. Multiple interacting factors from across the transportation industry impact roadway safety.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  Within DOT, the relevant operating administrations can leverage the respective resources and expertise to more effectively achieve a safer transportation environment. These organizations include the following:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides Federal, State, and local partners the tools, resources, and information necessary to make sound safety investment decisions and coordinates with States to develop Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and implement programs that improve the safety of roadway infrastructure on all public roads.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) promotes safe commercial motor vehicle (CMV) (large truck and bus) operations through education, innovation, regulation, enforcement, financial assistance, partnerships, and full accountability to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our Nation's roadways involving CMVs.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) develops, publishes, and enforces industry standards that improve the safety of passenger vehicles, and conducts research on developing behavior safety programs, and implements national campaigns to increase and improve the safe driving habits of the Nation’s drivers.
 

In 2013, there were an estimated 32,850 motor vehicle fatalities.  This represents a 2.1% decrease from 2012, and a rate of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT.  This rate nearly matches the lowest rate of fatalities ever achieved of 1.10 in 2011.  Still,  roadway fatalities continue to remain a serious safety problem.  Even one fatality is one too many and currently one life is lost on the Nation’s roadways every 16 minutes, equating to an average of 90 people each day.

Roadway fatalities impact all road users, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, commercial vehicle operators, and those who work to build and maintain the Nation’s four million miles of roadways. The  Federal government is the only entity that has the authority to establish national safety standards for  vehicles, regulate interstate motor carriers, and mandate roadway safety features.

Stakeholders:

FHWA, FMCSA, and NHTSA have formed strategic alliances with partners from a wide array of backgrounds to enhance and forward the Nation’s roadway safety agenda through guidance, technical assistance, and development of resource materials. Many stakeholders currently address transportation safety issues independently, through individual goals, plans, and activities. Some have implemented substantial safety initiatives, and these contributions are vital to maintaining and improving roadway safety. As described in the RSP, involvement by multiple stakeholders provides opportunities for broader public outreach and for the development and implementation of cross-cutting roadway safety strategies reflecting the common interests of many parties.

Each partner offers unique strengths and abilities to assist each mode to deliver its programs and leverage resources in protecting the public on the Nation’s roadways.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  The agencies within DOT work with a network of partner organizations, such as State Highway Safety Offices, State transportation departments, Tribal governments, local and county traffic engineers, law enforcement agencies, public health associations, safety advocacy groups, the motorcoach industry, hazardous shipping businesses, interstate trucking operations and the auto industry on the development of evidence-based roadway safety programs, projects, and safety standards.  Such collaboration will help to integrate a broad range of factors affecting roadway safety and create more efficient and effective problem-solving synergies across the transportation industry.

Challenges:

A number of challenges could slow down or even reverse positive trends.  Many States continue to face budget shortfalls and are under tremendous pressure to reduce services, resulting in cut backs to roadway safety programs.  Cutbacks in State, Tribal and local law enforcement agency budgets could weaken national enforcement campaigns and local traffic safety enforcement efforts.  States, Tribes, and local governments must be willing to use data-driven analytical processes to make the best and most effective safety investments.

Distracted driving has emerged as a new threat over the past few years as the rise of portable electronic devices has swiftly expanded.   Moreover, as in-vehicle electronic systems become ever more sophisticated and complex, distracted driving could become an even greater threat if it is not addressed in a manner keeping pace with technological advancements.  In fact, a new report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites 50 percent of the US adult population now owning smartphones and the wireless industry reports a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent (^1).  Also, as the economy continues to gain momentum, more recreational travel and driving may lead to higher crash rates.   Finally, the repeal of proven life-saving traffic safety laws at the State level, such as universal motorcycle helmet or primary seat belt laws, could also result in higher injuries and fatalities.  Nevertheless, significant opportunities remain for continued progress in reducing roadway fatalities.  The Department will seek new and innovative ways to serve the American people and keep our roadways safe.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, P.L 112-141), was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 provides an increase in safety funds available for the Highway Safety Improvement Program along with a focus on performance-based programming.  Implementation of MAP-21 will rely heavily on increased partnership across State agencies with DOT.  Additionally, the shift to performance-based programming may require additional effort on the part of some States.  There are also challenges associated with improving safety with local roads and local agencies with Federal-aid program funds.

^1 - 2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States, See http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/survey/distraction 2013.html

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Improve the efficiency of the Nation’s transportation system through transportation-related research, knowledge sharing, and technology transfer.

Transportation research has little value if its technological outcomes are not transferred to those that might apply them.  We will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technologies by streamlining processes for partnership agreements and increasing awareness of commercialization and technology transfer opportunities. We will also pursue additional innovations through international dialogues, cooperation agreements with global partners, and international research initiatives.

Foster the development of a dynamic and diverse transportation workforce through partnerships with the public sector, private industry, and educational institutions.

The operation of the Nation’s transportation system depends on a highly skilled and qualified workforce, now and for the foreseeable future.  To be successful in addressing unmet infrastructure needs, we will need a broad spectrum of skilled workers.  As demand for transportation services increase, both public and private sector transportation organizations face the ever increasing difficulty of finding qualified workers and managers to fill priority occupations.  We will collaborate with our partners in government agencies, private and public employers, educational institutions, and workforce and labor organizations to identify and advance career and technical education pathways to transportation jobs, support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and transportation-related academic and certification programs for K-12 students, and improve pathways into various levels of transportation occupations for all segments of the population.

Priority Goals

Air traffic control systems can improve the efficiency of airspace. By December, 2014, ERAM will achieve Initial Operation Readiness at all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers.  By March 2015, all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers will have Operational Readiness Dates for ERAM.

The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System replaces the 40-year-old En Route HOST Computer System and backup system used at 20 FAA air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) around the country.  ERAM is the main computer system air traffic controllers use to guide airplanes flying at high altitudes.  Air traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control facilities, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center, flight service stations, and other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, all connect to and use the information managed by the En Route HOST Computer System.  The original HOST computer software architecture was developed in the late 1960s and was implemented as National Airspace System (NAS) Stage A in the early 1970s.

For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays.  Trajectory modeling is more accurate than in HOST, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection, and improved decision making.  ERAM will substantially increase the number of flights that can be tracked and displayed to controllers from 1,100 to 1,900.  The ERAM system also provides two functionally identical channels with dual redundancy, providing a more robust back-up capability than today's environment.  Coverage will also extend beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle additional traffic more efficiently because ERAM is designed to process data from up to 64 radars instead of the current 24.  The ERAM system is needed to replace the current HOST system and allow the FAA to continue to provide the high level of safe, reliable air traffic control services that the nation has come to expect; and also put in place the infrastructure necessary to transition the NAS to NextGen.

 

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Initiate construction on 65 construction projects and substantially complete 74 planning, preliminary engineering/environmental analysis for passenger rail by September 30, 2015.

High-speed and intercity passenger rail represents an innovative approach to addressing the complex 21st century transportation challenges facing the United States. By 2050, the U.S. population will likely increase by more than 100 million people. Highway and airport congestion are increasing, with related severe economic and environmental impacts. To address these challenges and strengthen the country’s competitive position in an increasingly global economy, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a comprehensive program to develop high-speed and intercity passenger rail. FRA manages an approximately $20 billion grant and loan portfolio focused on:

  • Building new high-speed rail corridors that expand and fundamentally improve passenger transportation in the geographic regions they serve;
  • Upgrading existing intercity passenger rail corridors to improve reliability, speed, and frequency of existing services; and
  • Laying the groundwork, through corridor and state planning, for future high-speed rail services.

For the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA selected 153 projects across the country, with nearly 85 percent of rail investments concentrated in 6 corridors (San Francisco-Los Angeles, Boston-New York City-Washington, D.C., Seattle-Portland-Eugene, Charlotte-Washington, D.C., Chicago-St. Louis, and Chicago-Detroit). These corridors are in five mega-regions, in which about 65 percent of the U.S. population resides and which will likely absorb the bulk of future population growth.

FRA has developed a sophisticated grants management apparatus, laid the foundation for sustainable long-term passenger rail improvements, and strengthened industry capacity to deliver rail projects through technical assistance and strategic initiatives. FRA is strongly committed to robust stakeholder outreach, communication, and collaboration as central components of program management, allowing FRA to identify program improvements, engage in project planning and development, and provide the support necessary for grantees to carry out projects successfully.

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Strategic Goal:

Quality of Life in Communities

Foster quality of life in communities by integrating transportation policies, plans, and investments with coordinated housing and economic development policies to increase transportation choices and access to transportation services for all.

Strategic Objectives

Enhance quality of life in all communities by directing federal investments in infrastructure improvements towards integrated planning approaches that more efficiently meet transportation, land use, and economic development needs.

U.S. transportation investments over the last 50 years have often been poorly coordinated with other investments such as housing and commercial development.  These development patterns have provided many American families of all income levels with unprecedented choices in where they can live, and the ability to own a single-family home.  However, the reliance on car-dependent, dispersed development is not without costs. For example, the average American adult between the ages of 25 and 54 drives over 12,700 miles per year and the average American household has to spend $7,658 annually to buy, maintain, and operate personal automobiles. Alternatives to auto travel are lacking in many communities. Fewer than one in 20 households are located within a half-mile of rail transit and only 53 percent of Americans have access to any form of public transportation service.  We will enhance the economic and social well-being of all Americans by creating and maintaining a reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation network that enhances choices for transportation users, provides easy access to employment opportunities and other destinations, and promotes positive effects on the surrounding community.

Expand convenient, safe, and affordable transportation choices for all by emphasizing greater public engagement, fairness, equity, and accessibility in transportation investment plans, policy guidance, and programs.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, and applies to all entities, i.e., public or private regardless of funding source. Title II of the ADA applies to the entire operations of all stations in transit systems, airports facilities, intercity rail transportation systems, and roadway facilities including sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks.  While many entities have developed ADA transition plans, implementation has been slowed by competing priorities for limited funds. We will provide guidance and assistance (and funding in a limited number of cases) to encourage ADA compliance in existing facilities.  Also, we will integrate environmental justice principles into all Department planning and programming, rulemaking, and policy formulation.

Strategic Goal:

Environmental Sustainability

Advance environmentally sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation sources.

Strategic Goal:

Organizational Excellence

Develop an innovative, world-class organization to advance the U.S. transportation system and serve the Nation’s long-term safety, social, economic, security, and environmental needs.

Strategic Goal:

Security, Preparedness, and Other Supporting Objectives

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Agency Priority Goals

An Agency Priority Goal is a near-term result or achievement that agency leadership wants to accomplish within approximately 24 months that relies predominantly on agency implementation as opposed to budget or legislative accomplishments. Click below to see this agency's Priority Goals.

Air traffic control systems can improve the efficiency of airspace. By December, 2014, ERAM will achieve Initial Operation Readiness at all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers.  By March 2015, all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers will have Operational Readiness Dates for ERAM.

The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System replaces the 40-year-old En Route HOST Computer System and backup system used at 20 FAA air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) around the country.  ERAM is the main computer system air traffic controllers use to guide airplanes flying at high altitudes.  Air traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control facilities, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center, flight service stations, and other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, all connect to and use the information managed by the En Route HOST Computer System.  The original HOST computer software architecture was developed in the late 1960s and was implemented as National Airspace System (NAS) Stage A in the early 1970s.

For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays.  Trajectory modeling is more accurate than in HOST, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection, and improved decision making.  ERAM will substantially increase the number of flights that can be tracked and displayed to controllers from 1,100 to 1,900.  The ERAM system also provides two functionally identical channels with dual redundancy, providing a more robust back-up capability than today's environment.  Coverage will also extend beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle additional traffic more efficiently because ERAM is designed to process data from up to 64 radars instead of the current 24.  The ERAM system is needed to replace the current HOST system and allow the FAA to continue to provide the high level of safe, reliable air traffic control services that the nation has come to expect; and also put in place the infrastructure necessary to transition the NAS to NextGen.

 

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Initiate construction on 65 construction projects and substantially complete 74 planning, preliminary engineering/environmental analysis for passenger rail by September 30, 2015.

High-speed and intercity passenger rail represents an innovative approach to addressing the complex 21st century transportation challenges facing the United States. By 2050, the U.S. population will likely increase by more than 100 million people. Highway and airport congestion are increasing, with related severe economic and environmental impacts. To address these challenges and strengthen the country’s competitive position in an increasingly global economy, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a comprehensive program to develop high-speed and intercity passenger rail. FRA manages an approximately $20 billion grant and loan portfolio focused on:

  • Building new high-speed rail corridors that expand and fundamentally improve passenger transportation in the geographic regions they serve;
  • Upgrading existing intercity passenger rail corridors to improve reliability, speed, and frequency of existing services; and
  • Laying the groundwork, through corridor and state planning, for future high-speed rail services.

For the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA selected 153 projects across the country, with nearly 85 percent of rail investments concentrated in 6 corridors (San Francisco-Los Angeles, Boston-New York City-Washington, D.C., Seattle-Portland-Eugene, Charlotte-Washington, D.C., Chicago-St. Louis, and Chicago-Detroit). These corridors are in five mega-regions, in which about 65 percent of the U.S. population resides and which will likely absorb the bulk of future population growth.

FRA has developed a sophisticated grants management apparatus, laid the foundation for sustainable long-term passenger rail improvements, and strengthened industry capacity to deliver rail projects through technical assistance and strategic initiatives. FRA is strongly committed to robust stakeholder outreach, communication, and collaboration as central components of program management, allowing FRA to identify program improvements, engage in project planning and development, and provide the support necessary for grantees to carry out projects successfully.

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Reduce aviation fatalities by addressing risk factors both on the ground and in the air. Commercial aviation (i.e. U.S. Carriers): Reduce fatalities to no more than 6.9 per 100 million people on board through FY 2015. General aviation (i.e. private planes): Reduce fatal accident rate per 100,000 flight hours to no more than 1.04 through FY 2015.  Reduce category A&B runway incursions in all airports to a rate of no more than 0.395 per million operations in FY15.

Aviation fatality rates are at historic lows and continue to drop over time.  However, FAA recognizes the need to continue addressing precursors to accidents in order to continue to improve the current level of safety in the national airspace.

In the past, the FAA focused on actual incidents and accidents to identify risk within the aviation system.  The number of accidents has now dropped to a level in which this is a more difficult activity, and FAA is developing alternate methods to identify and address risk and accident precursors to reduce the likelihood of such events.

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Reduce the rate of roadway fatalities from 1.26 in 2008 to 1.03 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by December 31, 2018.

Background:

Reducing roadway fatalities continues to be a top priority at the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Roadway crashes are among the leading causes of death in the United States, especially among young people.  Approximately 32,850 people died on the Nation’s roadways in 2013 (based on reported data in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)) and action must be taken to address this serious public health and safety problem.  The financial impact of roadway crashes also puts a significant burden on the Nation: approximately $277 billion per year in direct economic looses and $594 billion per year in harm from loss of life and decreased quality of life due to injuries.  This underscores the magnitude of the problem.  Roadway crashes are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries as well as permanent spinal cord injuries, putting a heavy burden on our medical systems.

The importance of improving transportation safety is reflected in DOT’s Strategic Plan.  The Department strives to make the U.S.  transportation system the safest in the world.  DOT will work with all of its stakeholders — transportation agencies, elected officials, law  enforcement, industry, safety advocates, novice drivers, the disability and older adult communities, and the public — to reduce transportation-related fatalities and injuries and make our roadway system safe for  all users.

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to address roadway safety challenges and issues. The Department developed a Roadway Safety Plan (RSP) in 2012 to better coordinate safety initiatives in this area.  (http://www.dot.gov/policy/transportation-policy/dot-roadway-safety-pl an) It was initiated with the recognition that addressing the challenges of roadway safety requires the collective efforts of many people and organizations working together to significantly reduce crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries on the Nation’s roadways.  The RSP is built upon the following six principles that define key priorities intended to enhance roadway safety:

Collaboration for  Roadway Safety
Safer Behaviors
Safer Vehicles
Safer Roadways
Empower Communities
Accountability and Managing for Results
Within DOT, many operating administrations share the responsibility for improving roadway safety.  These efforts are actively supported by external stakeholders. The RSP combines the efforts of multiple partners in a single, integrated plan that provides a framework to harness the collective strengths, creativity, and resources of DOT.

Collaboration for Roadway Safety is the first principle of the RSP, as it is the foundation on which the other principles are built. Multiple interacting factors from across the transportation industry impact roadway safety.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  Within DOT, the relevant operating administrations can leverage the respective resources and expertise to more effectively achieve a safer transportation environment. These organizations include the following:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides Federal, State, and local partners the tools, resources, and information necessary to make sound safety investment decisions and coordinates with States to develop Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and implement programs that improve the safety of roadway infrastructure on all public roads.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) promotes safe commercial motor vehicle (CMV) (large truck and bus) operations through education, innovation, regulation, enforcement, financial assistance, partnerships, and full accountability to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our Nation's roadways involving CMVs.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) develops, publishes, and enforces industry standards that improve the safety of passenger vehicles, and conducts research on developing behavior safety programs, and implements national campaigns to increase and improve the safe driving habits of the Nation’s drivers.
 

In 2013, there were an estimated 32,850 motor vehicle fatalities.  This represents a 2.1% decrease from 2012, and a rate of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT.  This rate nearly matches the lowest rate of fatalities ever achieved of 1.10 in 2011.  Still,  roadway fatalities continue to remain a serious safety problem.  Even one fatality is one too many and currently one life is lost on the Nation’s roadways every 16 minutes, equating to an average of 90 people each day.

Roadway fatalities impact all road users, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, commercial vehicle operators, and those who work to build and maintain the Nation’s four million miles of roadways. The  Federal government is the only entity that has the authority to establish national safety standards for  vehicles, regulate interstate motor carriers, and mandate roadway safety features.

Stakeholders:

FHWA, FMCSA, and NHTSA have formed strategic alliances with partners from a wide array of backgrounds to enhance and forward the Nation’s roadway safety agenda through guidance, technical assistance, and development of resource materials. Many stakeholders currently address transportation safety issues independently, through individual goals, plans, and activities. Some have implemented substantial safety initiatives, and these contributions are vital to maintaining and improving roadway safety. As described in the RSP, involvement by multiple stakeholders provides opportunities for broader public outreach and for the development and implementation of cross-cutting roadway safety strategies reflecting the common interests of many parties.

Each partner offers unique strengths and abilities to assist each mode to deliver its programs and leverage resources in protecting the public on the Nation’s roadways.  Progress toward a national roadway safety goal requires collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners across a range of disciplines.  The agencies within DOT work with a network of partner organizations, such as State Highway Safety Offices, State transportation departments, Tribal governments, local and county traffic engineers, law enforcement agencies, public health associations, safety advocacy groups, the motorcoach industry, hazardous shipping businesses, interstate trucking operations and the auto industry on the development of evidence-based roadway safety programs, projects, and safety standards.  Such collaboration will help to integrate a broad range of factors affecting roadway safety and create more efficient and effective problem-solving synergies across the transportation industry.

Challenges:

A number of challenges could slow down or even reverse positive trends.  Many States continue to face budget shortfalls and are under tremendous pressure to reduce services, resulting in cut backs to roadway safety programs.  Cutbacks in State, Tribal and local law enforcement agency budgets could weaken national enforcement campaigns and local traffic safety enforcement efforts.  States, Tribes, and local governments must be willing to use data-driven analytical processes to make the best and most effective safety investments.

Distracted driving has emerged as a new threat over the past few years as the rise of portable electronic devices has swiftly expanded.   Moreover, as in-vehicle electronic systems become ever more sophisticated and complex, distracted driving could become an even greater threat if it is not addressed in a manner keeping pace with technological advancements.  In fact, a new report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites 50 percent of the US adult population now owning smartphones and the wireless industry reports a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent (^1).  Also, as the economy continues to gain momentum, more recreational travel and driving may lead to higher crash rates.   Finally, the repeal of proven life-saving traffic safety laws at the State level, such as universal motorcycle helmet or primary seat belt laws, could also result in higher injuries and fatalities.  Nevertheless, significant opportunities remain for continued progress in reducing roadway fatalities.  The Department will seek new and innovative ways to serve the American people and keep our roadways safe.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, P.L 112-141), was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 provides an increase in safety funds available for the Highway Safety Improvement Program along with a focus on performance-based programming.  Implementation of MAP-21 will rely heavily on increased partnership across State agencies with DOT.  Additionally, the shift to performance-based programming may require additional effort on the part of some States.  There are also challenges associated with improving safety with local roads and local agencies with Federal-aid program funds.

^1 - 2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States, See http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/survey/distraction 2013.html

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