LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Traffic Safety Advisory Commission approved the final version of the 2023-2026 Michigan Strategic Highway Safety Plan, or SHSP, Tuesday.
The data-driven, four-year plan aims to improve safety for all Michiganders, regardless of their mode of transportation, according to the governor's office.
A new change to the SHSP is the Safe System Approach, or SSA, officials said.
The approach identifies key safety needs, guides investment decisions to eradicate death and serious injuries on state roads, allows statewide highway safety programs to work together to place and support resources, and addresses the state's safety challenges, according to the governor's office.
“Implementing the Safe System Approach is a start, along with changing MDOT’s safety culture so that we practice what we ask of others,” Acting State Transportation Director Brad Wieferich said. “Last year, approximately 1,120 people lost their lives and 5,780 were seriously injured on Michigan roads. We all have a role in creating a safe transportation network and all road users, whether they walk, bike, ride or drive, deserve to arrive at their destinations safely.”
The Safe System Approach is based on six core principles:
It shares the responsibility of a crash between five elements, including: safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads, and post-crash care, according to the governor's office.
It also requires all parts of the transportation system be strengthened in order for all other aspects to still protect Michiganders if one part fails, and promotes shared responsibility between stakeholders with the goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries, officials said.
In addition, the SSA introduces equity in order to ensure equitable investment in underserved communities, officials said.
“With traffic safety partners and programs utilizing the Safe System Approach, we will be able to improve our outcomes in keeping Michigan’s roadway users safe, especially the most vulnerable,” Katie Bower, Director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said. “This approach is an impactful step as we work together on our shared goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.”
Michigan aims to have zero road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050, according to the governor's office.
A full version of the 2023-2026 Michigan Strategic Highway Safety Plan can be found below: