New Program Aims to Eliminate NH Highway Fatalities
Jun 28, 2012
Officials say zero highway fatalities in New Hampshire is realistic, and on Thursday they announced how they plan to get there.
"I think it's a goal, and I think it's going to take us time to get there. I think through engineering, enforcement and education, we'll get there," said New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement.
The project identified several ways they hope to cut down and ultimately eliminate traffic deaths.
"We're studying these crashes," said New Hampshire State Police Col. Robert Quinn. "We're looking at a data-driven approach to where these accidents happen and why and what can we do to prevent it. It may be working with the department of transportation on a road design or an intersection."
State officials said the numbers are moving in the right direction. According to the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency, 1971 was the deadliest on state roads, with 214 fatalities.
Last year, there were 90 deaths, the lowest number in 50 years. And halfway through 2012, there have been just 40.
"Eighty percent that were killed were not wearing seat belts. That's an area right there where the public can help us," said New Hampshire Department of Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes.
Officials said they will continue to focus on drunken and impaired driving and hope the public shares their vision of decreasing and hopefully eliminating highway tragedies.
"We have to commit to not texting while driving. We need to commit to driving at a proper speed and a proper manner of operation," said Chris Pope, from New Hampshire Emergency Management.
Officials did not give a date they hope to achieve zero highway fatalities, but they hope to cut the current numbers in half by 2030.
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