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FHWA’s Vision Zero Success Story - CMT’s Safest Driver

The Federal Highway Administration has listed Boston's Safest Driver as a "success story" in Vision Zero
August 14, 2020

While behavioral initiatives don’t typically fall under the Federal Highway Association’s (FHWA) purview, Cambridge Mobile Telematics’ (CMT) Boston’s Safest Driver contest has been recognized as its Vision Zero Success Story. As a partnership between the Vision Zero Task Force, the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), and the Massachusetts  Department of Transportation, the Safest Driver contest has been held twice in Boston (2016, 2019), as well as in five other cities.

The contest positively affects driving behavior by offering incentives to participants who adopt safer practices while behind the wheel. In the spring of 2015, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries from Boston roadways through a Vision Zero initiative. Much of that initiative’s success was thanks in part to a public-private technology partnership between the City of Boston and CMT.

Boston’s Safest Driver 2016 and 2019 competitions drew approximately 7,000 participants in total, and contestants were scored using five metrics: speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and cell phone distraction. 2019 drivers saw dramatic reductions in risky behaviors, including a 48% drop in phone distraction and a 38% drop in speeding. The previous 2016 Safest Driver contest saw similar reductions in risky behaviors: the largest jump being that 57% of drivers reduced their harshness of breaking, compared to 37% in the previous season.

“The City of Boston is committed to ensuring our streets work for everyone, and by investing in programs such as Boston’s Safest Driver, we will continue to emphasize the importance of safe streets, and safe driving habits,” said Mayor Walsh.

Not only do these initiatives combat unsafe driving behaviors, but they also work to reduce congestion, encourage travel by transit, bike and on foot, and ensure safety and equitable access for all users of Boston’s streets.

To learn more about partnering with Cambridge Mobile Telematics to host a Safe Driving Contest, click here