MDOT continues moving Toward Zero Deaths

Each year MDOT joins the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and other state DOTs in recognizing the second week of April as Work Zone Awareness Week.

However, work zone and general highway safety should be at the forefront of every driver’s mind throughout the entire year.

To keep this vision alive, MDOT urges all Mississippians to adopt the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative into their everyday lives.

In 2016, MDOT adopted the national TZD strategy as a part of the Mississippi Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

The purpose of this initiative is simple; to end all traffic fatalities.

TZD provides a platform of consistency for state agencies, private industry, law enforcement, non- profit organizations and others to develop safety plans that prioritize traffic safety culture and promote a common vision.

MDOT’s goal is to recognize and develop new opportunities that change the culture of roadway safety.

Over the past five years in Mississippi, traffic deaths have risen steadily. In 2016 alone, 690 Mississippians lost their lives in traffic crashes. Nationally, there was only a one percent decreases in highway traffic fatalities from 2016 to 2017.

The ugly truth is: one death is one too many.

Driving distracted is a death sentence for many, even those who are non-occupants such as pedestrians, bicyclists and highway workers. The lives lost each year on roadways are someone’s father, mother, husband, wife and friend. At some point, everyone will be affected by the consequences of road incidents.

“Work Zone Safety Week is recognized and promoted in April, but we should really focus on highway safety all year,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District. “This is why everyone should do their part and join MDOT in driving toward zero deaths.”

To reach the goal of zero deaths it will take everyone working together, but it is possible. Here are the first steps to driving with a TZD attitude.

  • Make a habit of fastening your seat-belt as soon as you get into a vehicle.
  • Slow down, especially when approaching and traveling through highway work zones.
  • Avoid ALL distractions. Texting while driving is so dangerous because it takes your eyes, hands and focus off of the road.
  • If you drink, find a designated driver.
  • Watch out for cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife.

For more information on how you can join MDOT with their mission on driving toward zero deaths, click here.