Imagine a world without fatal car crashes. Vision Zero aims to do just that in North Dakota.

In 2021, a total of 101 people died in fatal crashes in North Dakota. So far this year, there have been 18 fatal car crashes in North Dakota.

Although it isn’t zero, the numbers have been on a steady decline since 2018 when Vision Zero was launched.

“Vision Zero is North Dakota’s traffic safety initiative to end motor vehicle moralities on our roads here in North Dakota,” explained Lauren Bjork, NDDOT safety public information program manager. “People always think that zero seems like such an impossible number, but when it comes to your family and friends, zero really is the only acceptable number.”

Wednesday and Thursday, Vision Zero is hosting an annual partner conference where they meet with their 4-E partners: education, enforcement, engineering and emergency services.

The conference is designed to advance Vision Zero’s goals and help educate others, from keynote speakers to an awards ceremony that recognizes the work done by law enforcement.

“I was selected for the award for D.R.E. of the year, or D.R.E. officer of the year,” Matt Woodley, West Fargo police officer said.

“The D.R.E. is a Drug Recognition Expert with some specialized training in identifying drivers that are under the influence of substances other than alcohol,” explained Woodley.

Making sure you aren’t distracted or impaired while driving is an important step we all need to take.

Hopefully, in the future, that vision of zero deaths becomes a reality.