Highway Safety Improvement Program
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Meade)
Motor vehicle fatalities in our nation hit an all time low in 2009, a level not seen since 1950. Nevada’s Director of Public Safety attributed the state’s record low number of fatalities to several factors, “Foremost is the partnership of agencies conducting engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response solutions…” Nevada’s experience reflects the collaboration taking place in states across the country. Bringing a variety of agencies and organizations with unique skills to the table helps implement a comprehensive approach to safety, and you too can play a role.
The Role of Safety Stakeholders
Transportation safety is a diverse and complex field. States are implementing and periodically updating Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) in collaboration with a range of partners to ensure “emphasis areas” or countermeasure themes focus on areas with the greatest potential to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Motor vehicle crashes generally involve multiple contributing factors, which means everyone must work together to address the multidisciplinary, multimodal issues. Generally, the 4E’s of safety define the broad stakeholder communities who care about safety and are responsible for making the roads safe for all users.
Each of these disciplines brings a unique perspective to the SHSP. Engineers approach a safety problem from the roadway and vehicle perspectives, law enforcement focuses on road user behavior, education concentrates on prevention, and emergency response personnel concentrate on post collision care. Each approach is required for the SHSP, which is an integrated, comprehensive, data-driven plan that breaks down the traditional safety silos.
But it doesn’t stop there. Other public agencies, membership organizations, private companies, elected and appointed officials, and the public all have a role in transportation safety, including you!
What is the SHSP?
The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a data-driven, comprehensive, multidisciplinary plan integrating the “4E’s” of safety – engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services or emergency response. It establishes statewide goals, objectives, performance measures, and emphasis areas to guide safety programs and investments. The SHSP is developed in consultation with Federal, state, local, and private safety stakeholders.
You and your organization can participate in the SHSP process by assisting with any or all of the following tasks:
Reap the Rewards
The task of saving lives on the nation’s roadways is monumental. Success is only possible when organizations and agencies combine their skills and work together toward a common mission. Teamwork means one organization does not carry all of the financial or technical burdens alone. It fosters camaraderie and trust, so individuals know where to turn with questions, problems, shared strategies, and new ideas.
Involvement in the SHSP brings the potential to leverage resources. For example, high-visibility enforcement combined with low-cost safety improvements where appropriate may improve safety more than either strategy alone. The possibilities for sharing resources through SHSP collaborations are endless.
Collaboration brings about combinations of countermeasures that more effectively improve safety than any single countermeasure approach.
“Coming together is an accomplishment, staying together is progress, working together is a success.” (Henry Ford)
Step UP for Safety
Improving transportation safety is easy – all it takes is everyone! Will you join the journey? Likely candidates are:
If you are interested in becoming involved in your SHSP:
SHSP programs are making a difference. Commit to participate and join this life saving process.
FHWA Division Offices