Vision Zero 

On Sept. 9, 2022, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments joined the Vision Zero movement to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes when its policy board adopted a statement calling for NVCOG and its 19 member communities to reach that goal by 2060. Going forward, safety will be the top priority when roadway projects in the region are developed and designed. At NVCOG, this campaign is called NVision Zero.

Between 2019 and 2021, 177 people died in crashes on roads in the region and 533 suffered serious injuries. Data from the Connecticut Crash Data Repository shows that most of those crashes happened in urban areas like Waterbury, Bristol, and the densely settled parts of the lower Naugatuck Valley. But crashes that caused deaths or serious injuries were reported in all 19 NVCOG communities during that time.

Crash data is sourced from the Connecticut Crash Data Repository. Click on the blue tabs for more information; select map points for details.

Vision Zero is a departure from the traditional approach to transportation planning because it argues that traffic deaths are preventable and that saving lives does not have to be expensive. But Vision Zero is about more than safety. According to the Vision Zero Network, the goal is to have safe, healthy and equitable transportation for everyone. This strategy is a comprehensive program of road safety that includes using the best in modern engineering safety practices that requires a coordinated effort to address engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response.

Sweden implemented Vision Zero in the 1990s. The idea spread to the rest of Europe and now the United States. In Connecticut, Watch for Me CT was established in 2017. This statewide campaign spearheaded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center aims to reduce transportation deaths and injuries through awareness, education, and enforcement.

In 2021, the Connecticut General Assembly established the Vision Zero Council of Connecticut. The council is an interagency work group that is developing statewide policies to eliminate transportation-related deaths and serious injuries.

Federal Safety Planning

Performance Measures and Target Setting

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) integrated performance measures into many federal transportation programs, including highway safety-related measures. These performance measures have continued to be included in the subsequent Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and its reauthorization through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). FHWA implementation requires five data-driven, safety-related performance measures:

  • Total number of serious injuries
  • Rate of serious injuries
  • Total number of fatalities
  • Rate of fatalities
  • Total number of non-motorized serious injuries and fatalities

The CTDOT, in coordination and consultation with NVCOG, per federal regulation, establishes annual targets in each of these safety performance measures. The NVCOG has the authority to either accept the state targets or develop region-specific ones. Because of the interconnected nature of MPOs within Connecticut, the region believes it makes sense to adopt and work toward the statewide targets and adopted the CTDOT’s 2023 statewide targets at the November 4, 2023, CNVMPO meeting and the GBVMPO will address these targets at the January 26, 2023, meeting. 

2021 Target
2022 Target
2023 Target
Number of fatalities
270 fatalities/year
270 fatalities/year
270 fatalities/year
Rate of fatalities
.850 fatalities/100 Million VMT
.850 fatalities/100 Million VMT
.850 fatalities/100 Million VMT
Number of serious injuries
1,360 serious injuries/year
1,300 serious injuries/year
1,300 serious injuries/year
Rate of serious injuries
4.30 serious injuries/100 Million VMT
4.30 serious injuries/100 Million VMT
4.30 serious injuries/100 Million VMT
Number of non-motorized fatalities and non-motorized serious injuries
300 fatalities and serious injuries/year
280 fatalities and serious injuries/year
280 fatalities and serious injuries/year

CTDOT Highway Safety Activity & Planning

Regional Transportation Safety Plan


VN Engineers was selected by the CTDOT to prepare a Regional Transportation Safety Plan for the Naugatuck Valley planning region. Adopted originally in 2020, this plan underwent a mid-cycle update in 2022 to better fit the region’s Vision Zero goals. The purpose of the plan is to provide data driven countermeasures combined with public outreach to identify high risk locations and reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes. This plan will next be updated by or before 2025. 

The Policy Board of NVCOG adopted a resolution adopting the regional safety plan on Sept. 9, 2022.

State Strategic Highway Safety Plan

Connecticut develops a long-term Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) every five years. The newest SHSP was released in September 2020, and will provide guidance for state-assisted highway safety initiatives until the state either becomes compliant with its safety targets or the 2023 HSIP is approved. The NVCOG has been in collaboration with the CTDOT as the next update to the SHSP is prepared. 

CT HSIP Implementation Plan 2023


State Highway Safety Plans & Annual Reports

Connecticut is required to develop an annual Highway Safety Plan identifying highway safety issues for the upcoming year and strategies to improve outcomes, tied with an annual report that analyzes the actual crash data to identify whether the state is on target. A full list of these annual reports is available on the CTDOT website. 

Traffic Records Coordinating Committee

The Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC) was formed in 2015 to review Connecticut’s highway safety data and traffic records system for potential improvements and coordination opportunities. This committee was instrumental in updating the state’s highway safety data into a consistent and federally-recognized standard. The committee consists of representatives from state departments, police departments, research agencies, and other highway safety stakeholders, and meets monthly.

Safety Funding Opportunities

Local Road Accident Reduction Program

The Local Road Accident Reduction Program (LRARP) is a program administered by CTDOT to provide safety-related improvements on municipality-owned roads. At present, the NVCOG may submit two projects per year. Current LRARP-funded transportation projects in the NVCOG region are:

  • Waterbury: Walnut Street at East Farm Street
  • Naugatuck: Rubber Avenue at Hoadley and Melbourne Streets
  • Shelton: Huntington Street at Buddington Road

The NVCOG is responsible for soliciting LRARP applications, conducting initial screening, and identifying two projects to forward to the state. The CTDOT will then look at all submitted projects and determine which provides the greatest benefit for their cost.