Transportation Safety Planning Fact Sheet

What is Transportation Safety Planning?

Transportation Safety Planning (TSP) is a comprehensive, system-wide, multimodal, proactive process that better integrates safety into surface transportation decision-making.

It is comprehensive because it considers all aspects of transportation safety—engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical response.

It is system-wide because it encompasses corridors and entire transportation networks at the local, regional, and State levels, as well as specific sites.

It is multimodal because it includes surface transportation, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian safety improvements.

It is proactive because it addresses current and future transportation safety issues. TSP focuses on how to assist the transportation community to prevent crashes related to transportation infrastructure as well as behavior issues.

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Why is it needed?

Federal law requires that the State and Metropolitan transportation planning process be consistent with Strategic Highway Safety Plans. It is important for the process to consider projects and strategies to increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 41,059 people who died in traffic-related crashes in 2007. This is a decrease from 2006, when 42,642 died on our Nation’s roads.

The estimated societal costs are $230.6 billion per year or $829 per person. This is about 80% of the total 2004 to 2009, 6-year transportation budget.

To continue to reverse the trend, we need more resources to implement high pay-off safety strategies that will save the most lives. The planning process can play a key role in providing resources to address State and community highway safety needs.

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Who Are the Key Players in TSP?

State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) play the leading roles in transportation safety planning. However, to make the greatest impact, it is importation to look beyond the traditional stakeholders. Other stakeholders who should be at the table should include:

  • Transit Agencies
  • Highway Safety Community—Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, Operation Lifesaver, AAA, etc.
  • State Agencies responsible for:
    • safety data collection & management
    • law enforcement
    • motor vehicle departments
  • Federal Agencies—FHWA, NHTSA, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Local Transportation Agencies
  • Emergency Medical Responders
  • Local Law Enforcement
  • Trade Associations—Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, National Association of Regional Councils, AASHTO, American Public Transit Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers

Visit the Office of Environment and Planning TSP Website, for more detailed information about ongoing activities, the new TSP training course, forums, good practices, peer contacts, and tools to assist in safety conscious planning.

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Program Contact

Jennifer Warren


What's New

Web-based HSIP Courses
Five new web-based courses related to the HSIP are available from the National Highway Institute

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Primer for Safety and Environmental Professionals:
    • Brochure
    • Report

New Manual for Selecting Safety Treatments on High Risk Rural Roads

NEW Saving Lives Together: The Highway Safety and EMS Connection

NEW Strategic Highway Safety Plans: A Champion's Guidebook to Saving Lives, Second Edition

HSIP Self Assessment Tool

Highway Safety Improvement Program – Project Eligibility

Strategic Highway Safety Plan – Leadership that Saves Lives

Strategic Highway Safety Plan – Get Involved!

HSIP Noteworthy Practice Series

P2P – Integrating Local Planning Organizations into a State HSIP

SHSP Implementation Process Model Interactive CD

HSIP Manual

HSIP Assessment Toolbox

SHSP IPM – The Essential Eight – Fundamental Elements and Effective Steps for SHSP Implementation

SHSP IPM Supplement Number 1 – Case Studies

A Primer on Safety Performance Measures for the Transportation Planning Process

Data and Safety Analysis Tools Brochure