Caltrans and California Statewide Traffic Safety Plan Selected for National Roadway Safety Award


District: Headquarters
Contact: Will Arnold
Phone: (916) 956-0633


The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation today announced they have selected the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for their 2021 National Roadway Safety Award in recognition of California’s 2020-2024 Strategic Highway Safety Plan.


“This recognition is a testament to everything California is doing to make our transportation system safer for everyone on the road. From Caltrans and our other state departments to federal, tribal, local and community-based safety partners, our collective focus is on tackling this issue with urgency and taking a bolder, more innovative approach to implementing strategies that will save lives.”  

David S. Kim, California State Transportation Agency Secretary 

“Caltrans is irrevocably committed to achieving zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2050, and seeing deep, quantifiable and consistent reductions in those numbers in the years going forward. We welcome the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation’s award because it attests to our commitment in working to combat the tragic, decade-long rise in fatal and injurious incidents on California’s roadways.”

Toks Omishakin, Caltrans Director

The 2020-24 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is anchored by the underlying goal of making zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries a reality. In summer 2020, state transportation leaders from a wide range of organizations recognized a bolder and more focused approach was necessary to combat troubling trends in traffic safety. This important change ― referred to as “The Pivot” ― led to focusing on high-priority areas, expanding SHSP membership, and adopting four guiding principles in the updated statewide data-driven traffic safety plan:

  • Integrating equity into all aspects of the plan.
  • Implementing a Safe System Approach.
  • Doubling down on what works.
  • Accelerating advanced technology.

Based on these principles, the 2020-2024 plan places renewed emphasis on addressing historical, systemic and present-day biases and improving safety for all groups, particularly in vulnerable and underserved communities.

“Future travelers in California, whose lives and limbs will be spared, will owe an unknowing debt of gratitude to the state's traffic safety planners. We urge DOTs across the nation to look at Caltrans, the entire California team, and other awardees’ innovations and replicate them wherever possible.”

Gregory M. Cohen, Roadway Safety Foundation Executive Director

“Congratulations to today’s seven honorees for the remarkable work they’ve done to protect the traveling public. They are proof that we have no shortage of willpower or good ideas for improving roadway safety.”

Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary

The biennial National Roadway Safety Awards rely on an expert panel of judges from a variety of disciplines to evaluate projects that involve infrastructure, operational, or program-related innovations, and to select winners using three criteria ― effectiveness, innovation, and the efficient use of resources. Visit the National Roadway Safety Awards page for more information on the program.