Virginia has over 70,000 miles of roadways.

There are about 1,110 miles of interstates, 8,000 miles of Primary highways, 49,300 miles of Secondary (county) roadways, and 11,700 miles maintained and operated by local agencies.

Federal Lands (parks, forests, etc.) roadways add to the roadway miles.

Planning and Engineering towards zero starts with national standards to provide consistency for all users and with best practices for implementing improvements. Local, regional, and state agencies and entities plan, design, deliver, and operate enhancements for safety.

However, all these stakeholders continue to look for new and innovative ways to make our transportation system safer and more effective for all users.

There are many ideas for constructing, maintaining & operating our transportation system that will improve the safety of the traveling public:

Keep vehicles in their lane or reduce the consequences if they depart.

Construct geometric intersection improvements, particularly those that reduce conflict.

Increase pedestrian safety by constructing sidewalks, refuge islands, and upgrading signals.

Implement access management programs.

Increase intersection and interchange awareness with traffic control devices.

Provide for traffic signal and freeway traffic management upgrades and improvements.

Promoting and encouraging local and regional agencies and entities to incorporate these safe system ideas into their practices and project planning priorities will improve safety for our families and future generations.

Funding opportunities for infrastructure and operations improvements are available through:

Proven Safety Countermeasures

In 2008, the Federal Highway Administration began promoting certain infrastructure-oriented safety treatments and strategies – chosen based on proven effectiveness and benefits – to encourage widespread implementation by State, tribal, and local transportation agencies to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on American highways. This became known as the Proven Safety Countermeasures initiative. The list was updated in 2012 and again in 2017.

This list of Proven Safety Countermeasures has now reached a total of 20 treatments and strategies that practitioners can implement to successfully address roadway departure, intersection, and pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Among the 20 Proven Safety Countermeasures are several crosscutting strategies that address multiple safety focus areas.

Transportation agencies are strongly encouraged to consider these research-proven safety countermeasures. Widespread implementation of the Proven Safety Countermeasures can serve to accelerate the achievement of local, State, and National safety goals.

Emergency Response and Medical Services

Several state agencies work on the multiple faceted efforts with local agencies to improve response and the necessary medical services to traffic incidents.  The Virginia Statewide Traffic Incident Management Committee  promotes initiatives so that state and local agencies are being safe, operating efficiently, and coordinating their efforts when dealing with traffic incidents on Virginia’s roadways.

The Virginia Department of Transportation Operations Program provides incident management personnel, area headquarters, residencies and Safety Service Patrols that are on the front lines of monitoring traffic and responding to incidents. 

The Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services focuses on the areas of standards, education, systems, workforce, and trauma & critical care for incident response.

Virignia’s Department of Fire Programs financial assistance, research and development with operational support and technical assistance to local agencies and communities for fire department’s responses to incidents.

Connected and Automated Vehicles

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies and solutions are expected to bring transformative change to the safety and efficiency of surface transportation.  The Virginia DOT, with stakeholders at DMV and other agencies, are leading the way forward on deployment with private partners. Learn more information about Virginia’s CAV  program and national efforts to implement the future of transportation.

An interesting TED presentation on the future of CAV called The Automated-Vehicle (R)evolution gives perspectives on the next steps into the future.  

Drivers should be learning and understandings the new vehicle technology that is presently available and planned for the future so that everyone, the Fifth E, can be part of the TZD cultural change. Learn about vehicle enhancements from the following resources:

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