FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Public Affairs
David Broughton, 410-865-1029
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
Maryland to Join National Roadway Safety Strategy, Calls for Local, State Partnership
HANOVER, MD (June 14, 2023) –Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld today reaffirmed the state's commitment to the goal of Vision Zero – elimination of all traffic fatalities and severe injuries on Maryland roadways – and announced bold steps for the Maryland Department of Transportation to achieve that objective by 2030.
Speaking at this year's Washington Area Bicyclist Association's Vision Zero Summit, Secretary Wiedefeld noted that 563 people died on Maryland roadways last year – including 135 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists – and the state has already seen 238 highway fatalities this year. He said the Moore-Miller Administration is committed to action, collaboration, education and enforcement to deliver the goal of zero roadway deaths while increasing safe, convenient and equitable mobility.
“The people who die on our roadways are not numbers. They are our neighbors, family members, spouses and children," Secretary Wiedefeld said. “My message is clear: We will change how the MDOT does business with the goal of rapidly reducing road fatalities and serious injuries to zero."
The secretary announced the department has signed up as an Ally in Action with the National Roadway Safety Strategy, a U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to bring agencies and stakeholders across the country together to share ideas and best practices to save lives on the nation's roadways. The initiative sets a national vision for safety and identifies courses of action based on core objectives of safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and the highest standards in post-crash care.
Secretary Wiedefeld also noted that the Biden Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents state and local governments with unprecedented access to funding for safety programs for highways, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Details on the Maryland Department of Transportation's efforts to help local jurisdictions apply for federal grants is available here.
Secretary Wiedefeld said he has further charged the entire department to take a fresh look at regulations, policies and capital investments to create a safer transportation network.
“When Governor Moore says we're leaving no one behind, he means no one – including those who walk, bike or roll within our transportation system," Secretary Wiedefeld said. “Our team will reimagine Maryland's roadway network to prioritize the most vulnerable users."
MARYLAND LEADING THE WAY TOWARD VISION ZERO
Maryland's approach to Vision Zero has been led by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration and the Motor Vehicle Administration's Highway Safety Office, and includes extensive community engagement, including work with local jurisdictions to create community-based Strategic Highway Safety Plans. Under the Moore-Miller Administration and Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld, the department is moving to implement additional initiatives aimed at accelerating the pace to achieve zero deaths and serious injuries on Maryland's roadways:
For more information on Maryland's Vision Zero strategy, go to zerodeathsmd.gov.