Due to this plan, safety has been elevated, many lives have been saved and injuries have been prevented on Alabama’s roadways.
In 2009, there were 848 fatalities on highways in Alabama, a 30 percent reduction and the lowest number since 1975. Additionally, the number of interstate fatalities recorded in 2009 was 88, the first time since 1975 there were less than 100 fatalities.
Safety in Alabama has been a priority for Alabama Gov. Bob Riley. During his two terms in office, Gov. Riley continually stressed to his Cabinet members that each agency must “Maintain Safety as a Top Priority”.
“The commitment by the Alabama Department of Transportation and other state agencies to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from highway crashes has been proven by the decreased numbers of lives lost on Alabama roadways,” said Gov. Riley. “That significant accomplishment in itself makes this a well-deserved award.”
Alabama initiated the development of its SHSP in February 2004 with a goal to “Decrease the fatal mileage rate in Alabama from 1.8 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled by the year 2008.” To achieve this goal, the plan identified strategies addressing five Emphasis Areas including emergency medical services, older/at-risk drivers, safety legislation, risky driving, and run-off-road crashes.
As part of continuing efforts to heighten awareness to safety issues, each year the Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety recognizes member States that have demonstrated themselves as safety champions through actions that resulted in reduced serious injuries and fatalities. The AASHTO Safety Leadership Award honors a state that has made a significant improvement in safety by showing at least a three-year decrease in numbers and rates of serious injuries and fatalities by demonstrating leadership in safety, developing strong safety partnerships and strategic planning, and being innovative. Two states received this year’s award, Alabama and Illinois.