STRATEGIC HIGHWAY SAFETY PLAN
Nevada’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, or SHSP, is a statewide, comprehensive safety plan that provides a coordinated framework for reducing fatalities and serious injuries on all Nevada public roads. The SHSP strategically establishes statewide goals and critical emphasis areas developed in consultation with Federal, state, local and private sector safety stakeholders.
Nevada, under the leadership of the Nevada Department of Transportation, completed development of the first SHSP in 2006. The plan was updated in 2011, 2015 and 2016. A broad range of state agencies and other organizations actively participated in the process through the Nevada Executive Committee on Traffic Safety (NECTS) and the Technical Working Group (TWG). The process involved a careful review of the data that resulted in strategies and action steps for the six key emphasis areas including the following:
The road to zero
Always Buckle Up
Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective means of saving lives and reducing injuries in crashes (NHTSA, 2014). Nevada is a secondary seat belt law state, which means a law enforcement officer must observe the driver breaking another law before they can stop the car and cite for failure to wear a safety belt. Despite this, seat belt usage surveys show that more than 90 percent of Nevadans buckle up. Keep it up Nevada, and make sure everyone in your car is always belted. Not only could it endanger your life, but not wearing your seat belt could lead to approximately $70 in traffic fines.
Don’t Drive Impaired
In 2014, nearly 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 53 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On Nevada roadways between 2009 and 2013, 341 people died and 780 people were seriously injured due to someone drinking and driving. Between 2011 and 2015, 369 lives were lost in Nevada in alcohol-related crashes. A first time offense penalty includes: an education course on the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances within a specified time frame, a jail sentence ranging from 2 days to 6 months or 48-96 hours of community service and a fine ranging from $400-$1,000. Even what seems like a small buzz can have deadly consequences if you drive. And remember, alcohol is not the only thing that can impair your driving. Illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and lack of sleep can impair your ability to drive safely.
Focus on the Road
Over 500 vehicle occupants died in lane departure–or non-intersection–crashes between 2011 and 2015 in Nevada. Lane departure incidents are caused by a variety of factors, including illegal, loss-of control reasons like distracted driving or drowsy driving. Stay alert when you’re operating a vehicle, especially in less-than-ideal conditions–and don’t drive when you’re not able to give it your full attention.
Stop on Red
Intersections are shared by a variety of users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and vehicles, and a potential point of conflict. Many intersections have traffic controls to allow for safe and regulated use of this space. However, too often intersection users disregard signals or fail to yield. Vehicles still run red lights, pedestrians do not cross streets at cross walks and there is a lack of signage which can lead to confusion. To stay safe, know the laws and know when they apply to you.
Be Pedestrian Safe
In Nevada, 336 pedestrians lost their lives from 2011 through 2015 due to actions of drivers, pedestrians or both. So, not only do auto drivers need to watch for pedestrians and yield to them when walkers have the right-of-way in a crosswalk, but pedestrians also need to pay attention to vehicles on the roadway and obey rules for walking on and crossing streets.
Between 2011 and 2015, 968 motorcyclists were seriously injured in Nevada and 238 riders lost their lives on our roadways. In order to make the road safer for all motorcyclist, there are a few things riders can do to reduce traffic fatalities. First, slow down and avoid aggressive riding. Second, always ride sober. Third, wear full protective riding gear. Fourth, stay alert and be visible to drivers. Most importantly, improve your skills by taking a motorcycle class. Visit www.NevadaRider.com for more information.