U.S. transportation officials set goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2040s

Road to Zero

ARLINGTON, Va. (UPI) — After the deadliest year in nearly a decade, PresidentBarack Obama‘s administration set a goal Wednesday to make sure not even a single person dies on American roads by the mid 2040s.

Several government agencies committed to the goal on Wednesday, which will rely on adequate federal funding and continuing technological advancements in the automobile industry — particularly self-driving vehicles.

The initiative is called Road to Zero.

“Our vision is simple — zero fatalities on our roads,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety — from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels.”

“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind said. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal.”

According to statistics, 2015 was the deadliest year for U.S. traffic fatalities since 2008. Also, American traffic deaths jumped by more than 10 percent the first half of this year over the same period in 2015. That’s 17,775 people killed on the road between January and June.