Strategic Highway Safety Plan - Arrive Alive

Safety SummitVirginia’s third annual Highway Safety Summit has been scheduled for 2019. The first day will offer training for law enforcement. The second day and half of day three will comprise general and breakout sessions covering:

  • The Four Ds (Drunk, Drugged, Distracted, Drowsy)
  • Crash Response
  • Fatality and Injury Prevention
  • Engineering and Infrastructure

Information on registration and lodging reservations will follow in February.


A transportation system that safely moves people and goods is essential to Virginia. Traffic-related fatalities have risen lately after falling 37 percent between 2007 and 2014.

Crashes take more lives than heart disease, cancer, homicide, accidental drug overdose, or diabetes. Other sobering statistics from 2011 – 2015 include:

  • Every day at least two people die on Virginia's highways.
  • A traffic-related serious injury happened nearly every 12 minutes.

Committing to transportation safety saves the lives of friends and loved ones every day. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) identifies effective strategies and actions to reach zero deaths and serious injuries on Virginia’s roads and highways. Reaching a goal of zero deaths and serious injuries is not as impossible as it may sound. It is the same goal we set for ourselves, our families, and our friends every day.

SHSP Mandate

Read the plan (PDF, 7MB)

Federal transportation legislation initiated in 2006 required every state to develop a SHSP outlining a comprehensive framework for reducing fatalities and serious injuries on public roads. There are many safety initiatives in Virginia, but the SHSP is an umbrella document that links and coordinates all planning and implementation efforts.

Virginia takes this requirement seriously and is on the third iteration of its SHSP. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in coordination with transportation and safety stakeholders, updates the plan every five years. The plan does not address every safety issue in Virginia, but utilizes the most recent crash data to identify critical needs, or emphasize areas of concern, and develop strategies and actions to address them.

Every crash on Virginia’s roadways results from multiple factors. To ensure safety is addressed through a wide lens, the plan is available for implementation across the commonwealth by hundreds of safety stakeholders from the 4Es of safety – engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response and medical services. Implementation is supported specifically by VDOT's Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Highway Safety Plan (HSP).

The plan is needed more than ever to deliver data-driven solutions to address safety needs head on and ultimately achieve the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) vision on the transportation network. The SHSP's sole purpose is to provide a comprehensive framework to significantly reduce deaths and severe injuries on all public roads.

Toward Zero Deaths VirginiaStakeholder collaboration and coordination with continued societal change towards a safe driving, biking and walking culture, decisions and actions will further the TZD vision on the road to reality. To engage the TZD culture and actions at a personal, local or regional level continue reading below and visit     

2030 MISSION: SHSP's mission is to “save lives and reduce motor-vehicle crashes and injuries through a data-driven strategic approach that uses enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency response after strategies.”

2030 GOAL: SHSP's goal is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 50 percent between 2010 and 2030.

Percentage reductions2021 OBJECTIVES:  Interim objectives help Virginia evaluate the extent to which progress is being made toward Virginia’s safety vision, mission, and goal. Success will not come overnight, but through steady implementation of effective programs, projects, and policies. Progress in meeting these objectives will be tracked annually to demonstrate successes and identify challenges to overcome.

SHSP Agency Leadership

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Fire Programs
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Department of Transportation
  • Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Virginia State Police
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Federal Motor Carrier Administration
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

SHSP LEADERSHIP: Several Virginia agencies participate on a SHSP Committee, lending their expertise, resources, and time toward lowering fatalities and serious injuries. Leadership and oversight for the SHSP come from the Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and Emphasis Area Teams.

Executive Committee: Virginia’s executive leaders support the SHSP by overseeing its development and implementation; encouraging collaboration; aligning agency goals to support safety; communicating safety information; and sharing progress on safety initiatives. Each agency head signed the SHSP charter, committing to these responsibilities.

Steering Committee: Virginia’s leaders manage the SHSP update process, report back to their executive leaders, and meet quarterly to ensure the plan’s strategies and actions are executed and evaluated.

Emphasis Area Teams: Highway safety and transportation-related staff at Virginia’s agencies and stakeholders regularly implement the strategies and action in the SHSP and meet quarterly to discuss progress and challenges.

Emphasis areasEIGHT EMPHASIS AREAS: The 2017-2021 SHSP provides a framework, or guide, for transportation and safety stakeholders. The emphasis areas in the plan, and supporting strategies and actions, can be implemented by any agency or organization to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Learn more about the emphasis areas with the associated implementable actions by reading the Plan linked above.

Special areasSPECIAL AREAS:
 A wide variety of expertise, experience, and resources are needed to reduce severe crashes. Engineering, enforcement, and education are only part of the effort. The SHSP also identifies three special areas, which are essential to meet the goals and objectives in the plan.



Bar chartVirginia is committed to tracking progress. View the status of safety performance and implementation activities.



VDOT Resources

Additional Resources


Stephen Read, P.E.
HSIP Planning Manager



Page last modified: Dec. 26, 2019