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Revisiting SHSP Emphasis Areas

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About the HSIP Noteworthy Practice Series

The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a core Federal-aid highway program with the primary purpose of achieving a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Many states and local agencies are successfully implementing innovative approaches to HSIP planning, implementation, and evaluation. The HSIP Noteworthy Practices Series presents case studies of these successful practices organized by specific HSIP topics. The individual case studies provide summaries of each practice, key accomplishments, results, and contact information for those interested in learning more.

Safety Data Collection, Analysis, and Sharing

The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) provides a data-driven framework for highway safety stakeholders to identify key safety needs, guide investment decisions, and align and leverage collective resources. The purpose of a data-driven process is to direct resources to projects and programs with the greatest potential for reducing fatalities and serious injuries. The strength of the SHSP and other safety plans lies in a state’s ability to collect, analyze, and share safety data as appropriate.

A variety of strategies can be employed to collect quality data, perform analysis, and ensure safety stakeholders can access the data and the analysis. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) section 408 grants provide funding to improve timeliness, accuracy, uniformity, completeness, integration, and accessibility of safety data. Projects to improve data collection and analysis may also be eligible for Federal HSIP funding. In some states, multiple agencies provide funding for data collection and management through interagency agreements.

Data are analyzed to identify and prioritize safety problems, establish goals and objectives, select strategies and countermeasures, and develop action plans. They are also analyzed to monitor and evaluate results, and provide feedback into the planning process. Analysis can involve simple statistical investigations of crash trends, types, and contributing factors, or sophisticated tools such as SafetyAnalyst and the Highway Safety Manual.

In many cases, safety data are unavailable or unknown. Information in police crash reports may vary among localities. Medical records, insurance records, and licensing information may not be available or linked to the crash data; and roadway inventory information may be limited and difficult to link to the crash data system. These and other data quality problems inhibit the effectiveness of efforts to improve transportation safety. However, access to timely and accurate safety data is critical for successful SHSP implementation.

A variety of programs and departments receive safety data from the state agency or department maintaining the data. Local governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), advocacy groups, and private consultants generally request crash data to conduct various planning activities and projects. The agency maintaining the data may provide raw or filtered datasets that can be readily used by local agencies. Access to reliable data for all stakeholders enables them to more effectively address safety in their transportation and safety plans, and helps foster collaboration among stakeholders.

Noteworthy Practices

The following cases demonstrate noteworthy practices several states are using to share SHSP data with stakeholders:

To access these full case studies, click on the individual links above or visit the FHWA Office of Safety on-line at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/.

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Page last modified on June 17, 2011
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