Creating a structure that communities can adopt provides a collaborative way to move forward
In our world, we talk a lot about partnerships—with businesses, other government agencies, law enforcement and each other. A key partnership we can develop is with our highway safety offices as we all strive to reach the goal of zero fatalities on our roadways. The recently announced National Roadway Safety Strategy provides a great framework, including many ways the AAMVA community can contribute to making our roads safer.
Each state in the U.S. is required to have a highway safety office. Those offices look different throughout our jurisdictions; some are small, some are more robust. Some are on their own, some within a state highway department. Here in Maryland, our Highway Safety Office is located within the Motor Vehicle Administration and partners with our State Highway Administration, law enforcement, federal, local and municipal governments, and many other safety-related organizations. The organizational structure can differ, but the important thing is to ensure the right people are talking to one another and coordinating efforts.
Along with our statewide Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), we’ve built a network of local jurisdiction plans—each one implementing the fundamental pieces of the SHSP, but with its own emphasis depending on the critical issues and needs of its communities. Creating a structure that each jurisdiction’s neighborhoods and communities can adopt and personalize to reflect their goals—and partner with you on—provides a collaborative way for all of us to move forward together.
We also have so much to learn from our Canadian jurisdictions in the area of highway safety, as we are all interconnected and share many of the same challenges. While we may have different approaches, we are all striving for that same goal: zero roadway fatalities.
It is a really interesting time in highway safety as technology continues to develop and we look beyond the highway to the vehicle itself. With the continued evolution of vehicles, greater fuel efficiency and ever-emerging safety features comes a responsibility to find new, creative ways to fund infrastructure and ensure we continue to invest in our roadways.
I am excited that AAMVA will be central to that discussion and look forward to continuing to hear your innovative ideas and thoughts.