By Jackson Revere
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today urged Virginians to help drive change in the Commonwealth’s traffic safety culture by joining the Toward Zero Deaths Virginia movement. Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is a national strategy on highway safety that uses a unified approach to change driver behavior and improve highway safety with a goal of ultimately reducing the number of traffic-related serious injuries or deaths to zero.
To launch the TZD initiative in the Commonwealth and mobilize Virginians to take action, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia Department of Transportation, with help from safety partners, created a new website at TZDVA.org.
“While Virginia recorded 843 traffic deaths last year, the good news is that 23 cities and counties experienced zero roadway fatalities,” said Governor Northam. “Still, there are too many preventable roadway tragedies—that’s why I’m encouraging Virginians take advantage of the tools available at TZDVA.org to equip themselves with the resources and data they need to make responsible decisions while driving. Together, we can improve highway safety across the Commonwealth and drive the number of roadway deaths to zero.”
TZD is a comprehensive, collaborative effort of the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, Health, Emergency Medical Services, and Virginia State Police, along with local law enforcement, federal partners, nonprofit organizations, universities, and traffic safety advocacy groups. The TZD strategy employs “the five Es”—education, enforcement, engineering, emergency response, and everyone.
“The members of these organizations work together to educate drivers, make roadways safer, and enforce the laws. The goal is to change driver behavior to create safer actions and habits by people behind the wheel,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “If it were your loved one who had died in today’s crash, that would be unacceptable—so when you think of it that way, even one death is too many. We all must move the safe-driving message forward to bring the number of annual deaths to zero.”
TZDVA.org is a centralized, digital hub for traffic safety-related online content, providing information on healthy driving habits, traffic safety laws, and traffic safety data in easily consumable segments using graphics and videos. The site features links to more detailed safe driving information, such as the Virginia Department of Health’s child safety seat guidelines and the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services’ GrandDriver program for mature drivers.
“Every Virginian deserves a transportation network that is safe, reliable, and efficient,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Each year we see advancements in technology and education to improve safe driving. If we take advantage of the information and tools available to us, we can all work together to create safer roadways across the Commonwealth.”
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