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Vision Zero celebrates five years

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It’s been five years since North Dakota announced Vision Zero as the state’s primary traffic safety initiative. Lauren Wahlman, Safety Public Information Program Manager for the ND DOT, says their strategies working towards zero motor vehicle fatalities on North Dakota roads have been working.

"We have seen a lower fatality number. We had in 2020 and 2021, a total of 100 and 101 motor vehicle fatalities and that is the lowest number in 15 years. Preliminary numbers for 2022 also show that we are at 100 fatalities, so down one from last year, which is still that lowest number in about 15 years."

Wahlman says they still have work to do. Of 2022’s preliminary fatalities, nearly 65 percent were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle.

"Our future plans involve continuing our education pieces, we are always coming up with new campaigns and how to reach our target audience, ways to educate them. Our Vision Zero coordinators are getting into more schools with our Vision Zero Schools program, which has been a fantastic way to reach our youth. We also have our ND Sober Rides Program which provided about 159 rides over the holiday season and even more than that over its launch. We've got new programs coming out all the time, and of course, continuing to work with our partners like law enforcement and businesses as well."