Last Updated: August 2022
Author: Injury Prevention Program Team, Vermont Department of Health
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury in the US and in Vermont. In 2012, leaders in the pursuit of safer Vermont highways and local roads launched an initiative to formalize a statewide integrated safety program. This initiative led to the formation of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance (VHSA), whose members include a broad cross section of public and private organizations that represent all users of the State’s highway system and encompass the 4 E’s of highway safety - Education, Enforcement, Engineering, and Emergency Services. The VHSA is comprised of a Board of Directors and five Focus Groups, which include Enforcement, Data, Education, Infrastructure, and Outreach and Marketing. The VHSA partners are committed to working as a team to accomplish common goals that promote the safety of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and all users traveling on Vermont highways.
In 2015, our nation lost over 30,000 lives on our roadways; 57 of those were in Vermont. Impairment by alcohol, drugs or both were a contributing factor in almost half of last year’s fatal crashes in Vermont. Approximately 30% of the reported fatalities failed to use or were improperly using seatbelts.
Major crashes have the most severe impact on the State as their effects are far reaching and include the loss of human life. The VHSA has targeted the reduction of major crashes in the State of Vermont as the primary goal of the SHSP. The plan is intended to follow the objectives of FHWA’s national effort to improve highway safety known as Toward Zero Deaths. Similar to the Toward Zero Deaths initiative, the SHSP is a data-driven effort focusing on identifying and creating opportunities for changing Vermont’s culture as it relates to highway safety. The success of the SHSP will rely on a team of champions working together on a myriad of factors surrounding highway safety.
The Vermont Department of Health partners with the Highway Safety Alliance and the Governor's Highway Safety program to target efforts towards Vermont's youngest road users, children under the age of 18. The Department of Health runs the state child passenger safety program which aims to increase and sustain safety seat and seat belt use for children 0–18 and reduce child injury and fatality rates.