Tolling industry group kicks off first Global Road Safety Week

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Tolling industry group kicks off first Global Road Safety Week
The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association launched Global Road Safety Week on June 24.

WASHINGTON, D.C — The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them, launched its first Global Road Safety Week yesterday to promote safe driving behaviors on toll roads and reduce vehicle crashes worldwide.

“One road death is one too many when distraction, speeding and impaired driving can be eliminated through the little choices we make,” said IBTTA CEO and Executive Director Pat Jones. “During Global Road Safety Week, we are proud to launch Be Safe Together and highlight how tolling organizations around the world are implementing safe system approaches to dramatically reduce crashes and fatalities while encouraging drivers to slow down, focus on the road, and make the road safer for everyone.”

The week, June 24-28, includes a global messaging campaign, local events and activations, as well as online content featuring interviews and remarks from U.S. government speakers, U.S. and European road safety advocates, and IBTTA member organizations and global partners.

Global Road Safety Week punctuates IBTTA’s “Be Safe Together” global road safety campaign, which educates drivers about the actions they can take to make our roads safer for all users and highlights the importance of empathy on the roadway. The Be Safe Together campaign seeks to overcome the tragic impact of traffic accidents.

Globally, road incidents are the leading cause of death for 5- to 29-year-olds, the IBTA says, and last year there were 1.19 million road vehicle fatalities. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic deaths have fallen by 5% since 2010, yet road crashes remain a persistent global health crisis.

The campaign is supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt and NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman will deliver remarks during Global Road Safety Week, commending IBTTA and Be Safe Together for advancing the goals of the National Roadway Safety Strategy to eliminate roadway fatalities. Through the campaign, IBTTA has been recognized as an official Ally in Action for its commitment to encouraging safe driving practices on roads around the world.

“At FHWA, safety is our top priority and our goal is to have zero deaths and zero serious injuries on the nation’s roads, whether they are publicly funded or privately owned,” Bhatt said. “Our work is only one part of the solution and with the safety commitments from partners in the tolling industry, we are one step closer towards a safer future for all road users.”

Each day of Global Road Safety Week will showcase the tolling industry’s commitment to safety and work to build, operate, and maintain safe roads, while emphasizing to drivers that the little choices they make at each step of their journey can make a real difference in others’ lives.

“As president of IBTTA, I am proud of the progress we are making to create a safer environment on the roads across the globe. I am very happy for this global reach, especially when I see that my past tenure as president of ASECAP, IRF and HELLASTRON contributed to bringing together all of these associations, resulting in today’s global alliance,” said IBTTA President Bill Halkias. “Real change in road safety cannot and will not happen without global participation and cooperation. IBTTA’s Global Road Safety Week aims to build that bridge worldwide.”

As part of the worldwide kick-off of Global Road Safety Week, during a virtual media event, IBTTA released “How Toll Facility Operators Are Advancing Roadway Safety: Six Case Studies,” featuring the safety investments, innovations, and initiatives of tolling organizations from around the world. Among them, ASFINAG in Austria has reduced fatalities by 50% from 2010 to 2020 through its safe system strategy; the Attica Tollway in Greece features rapid response from safety patrols averaging six minutes; and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has seen a decline of more than 30% in work zone crashes.

In addition to FHWA and NHTSA, the campaign is supported by leading road safety advocates in the U.S. and Europe, including former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and four transportation advocacy organizations: European Association of Tolled Motorway, Bridge and Tunnel Concessionaires (ASECAP), International Road Federation (IRF), World Road Association (PIARC) and Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death).

“Countless lives have been tragically cut short due to reckless behavior on our nation’s roads,” said Stacey Stewart, CEO of MADD. “Impaired driving fatalities are on the rise, up 33% since 2019. This deadly public health crisis demands a transformative solution. Passive, lifesaving auto technology, required by The HALT Act, will ultimately end drunk driving. But until this technology is in all cars, we must collectively work toward making our roads safer. MADD is proud to support IBTTA, and its Be Safe Together campaign. Thank you for helping make road safety and driving with empathy a priority.”

Dana Guthrie

Dana Guthrie is an award-winning journalist who has been featured in multiple newspapers, books and magazines across the globe. She is currently based in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.

Avatar for Dana Guthrie
Dana Guthrie is an award-winning journalist who has been featured in multiple newspapers, books and magazines across the globe. She is currently based in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.
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