Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

Connecting great policies with actualized outcomes

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AAMVA’s vision of Safe drivers, Safe vehicles, Secure identities, Saving lives, does not rest on a single solution. Instead, it is a continuous effort built upon strategies and resources developed and implemented over time by a community of stakeholders. When it comes to reducing highway fatalities and serious injury crashes it takes all of us, using new ideas and resources to achieve tangible results in lives saved.

Recently, AAMVA’s Board of Directors took action to leverage new tools and resources in furtherance of reaching that vision. Through strengthened partnerships and the use of new driver history capability to help identify unsafe drivers sooner, AAMVA is working to close the gaps between great policies and actualized outcomes.

First, the Board is recom­mending to all AAMVA jurisdictions the approval of a new safety policy that calls on members to establish strong connections with their jurisdiction’s Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) or equivalent provincial highway safety initiative. In their furtherance of jurisdictional safety goals, the specific strategies outlined in the policy will help DMVs and traffic enforcement leaders realize their involvement in developing and implementing effective highway safety behavioral countermeasures. Steps include:

  1. Assign a senior representative or liaison to the highway safety office.
  2. Sit on the executive committee tasked with developing the jurisdiction’s strategic safety resources, including development of the State Highway Safety Plan or equivalent.
  3. Participate in the Traffic Records Coordinating Council.
  4. Identify ways GHSOs, MVAs, and law enforcement can work together to achieve their highway safety goals.

In addition, the Board and the State-to-State (S2S) Governance Committee approved moving ahead with steps that will pave the way to operationalize the interstate Driver License Compact through state use of the S2S Driver History Record (S2S DHR) capability. State DMVs that are implementing S2S DHR commit to electronic exchange of driver histories, suspensions and withdrawals for non-commercial drivers. In effect, this capability operationalizes a commitment states made decades ago in the Driver License Compact to achieve one driver, one license, one driver history record. While it will take time to implement, its effect will enable DMVs, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and employers to gain timely, accurate information on high-risk drivers at the time of their encounter. It is a significant improvement over the paper process.

These two strategies are among the many that are needed to approach the visionary goal of zero deaths. I encourage you to take a first step toward strengthening your own involvement with your jurisdiction’s highway safety efforts by looking at the countermeasures compiled and analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control on behalf of NHTSA. It analyzes where countermeasures like ignition interlocks, graduated licensing, camera enforcement, automated driver systems and license convictions/withdrawals can or are making a difference. These are programs you directly influence and control, making the report a great place to start your conversation with your jurisdiction’s safety counterparts: Countermeasures That Work.

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