RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina’s “Vision Zero” initiative aims to reach zero traffic-related fatalities across the state in the next 15 years.
Gov. Pat McCrory wants agencies to work together to reduce risky driving behaviors in an effort to change traffic culture.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program helped kickoff the initiative Monday morning at N.C. State University.
North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Nick Tennyson was surrounded by highway workers, emergency responders and law enforcement to get his point across that there needs to be fewer fatalities on North Carolina roads.
“We’ve had distracted driving a lot longer than we’ve had cell phones. And the parents need to make sure they’re modeling the right behavior for their children with always being buckled up, no trip is too short, and make sure you’re obeying the traffic laws,” Tennyson said.
Speakers at the event said every life taken in a car crash is one life too many.
Darryl Rodgers hit that point home when he spoke of how he lost his college-aged son in an accident when a friend got behind the wheel.
“She lost control of Chase’s car. They were traveling at about approximately 70 miles per hour. They left the road, they spun out and they hit a tree at about 60 miles per hour,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said to save lives, everyone has to make a change.
“Remember to use these four powers – the power of choice, the power of association, the power of love and the power to intervene to shape your own future and to make this world a better place to live,” he said.
The program will be similar to other awareness programs like “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It and Lose It.”
There were no specific details on how exactly the initiative will work within communities to change the diving culture, but officials said fatalities are on the decline even while North Carolina’s population continues to grow.