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FHWA Home / Safety / HSIP / Highway Safety Improvement Program National Scan Tour

Highway Safety Improvement Program National Scan Tour

Chapter 4–Understanding the Relationship between the SHSP and HSIP

One of the basic foundations of the HSIP is the direct linkage between the data-driven priorities established in the State's SHSP and the identification, development and implementation of HSIP projects. Understanding the contribution of HSIP projects towards achieving the goals and objectives of the SHSP can help guide program decisions and project selections. Every Scan Tour State considered an important part of the overall safety program to be the use of the SHSP as a tool for defining HSIP initiatives and areas of emphasis.

Aligning HSIP Projects with the SHSP

SPOTLIGHT ON SAFETY:

Coordinating HSIP with the SHSP in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's SHSP addresses nine critical emphasis areas (CEA) – adolescent drivers, comprehensive safety data improvement, crash locations, distracted driving, impaired driving, motorcycles and vulnerable roadway users, older drivers, speeding, and vehicle occupant protection. Each CEA includes strategies for addressing the emphasis area challenges. Data-driven projects that target strategies identified in the State SHSP are the only types of projects eligible for HSIP funding in New Hampshire. The crash locations CEA includes lane departure crashes and intersection crashes as crash types of special interest and therefore NHDOT targets HSIP projects that include these types of crashes. The HSIP Committee makes final decisions on project selection in the context of the nine SHSP emphasis areas, prioritizing b/c ratio and examining net benefit from reduction of all crashes. NHDOT works to revise the SHSP emphasis areas annually, with an overall revision of the document occurring every four years. This helps align priorities with emerging trends and encourages internal assessment of strategy and direction.

In Oregon, the goal is for HSIP projects to align with the SHSP implementation plan and the strategic initiatives identified in the plan. This has long been done in Oregon with regard to bicycle and pedestrian safety projects. In particular, the Oregon Toward Zero Deaths initiative recognizes the importance of high-visibility safety corridors, further complementing the SHSP emphasis on correcting behavioral issues.

The Oregon SHSP emphasizes correcting behavioral issues.

In Utah, coordination of the HSIP and SHSP is accomplished by tailoring HSIP projects to one of three areas identified in the SHSP. The Utah SHSP framework is built around Emphasis Safety Areas, Continuing Safety Areas, and Special Safety Areas. Emphasis areas include behaviors such as Roadway Departures and Impaired Driving, while Continuing Safety Areas address Work Zones, Bicycle Safety, and Rural Local Road Safety. The Special Safety Areas are Traffic Data, Judicial System, and Emergency Services. For each of the Emphasis Safety Areas, a Challenge and Direction is identified and Priority Strategies are identified for each of the safety areas in accordance with each of the UDOT "5E's," which include the fifth "E" of "EVERYONE."

In Utah, HSIP projects are tailored to the three areas of the Utah SHSP framework.

In Alaska, the DOT&PF develops the SHSP and the Alaska Highway Safety Office (AHSO) develops the Highway Safety Plan (HSP) and participates in the development of the SHSP which informs future implementation of the HSP. The SHSP identifies target user groups, behavioral and infrastructure-related strategies. The HSP identifies safety strategies, as well as educational, behavior, and data-related grants which complement HSP strategies; NHTSA funding constraints; and SHSP strategies. The SHSP incorporates educational, behavioral, and engineering strategies, and is implemented through HSIP and other initiatives by the DOT&PF. All nominated HSIP projects are developed in order to align with one or more of the long-term goals in the SHSP. The long-term goals include strategies for improving highway safety, including Strategy 5, which specifically addresses improving roadway safety through HSIP-qualified activities and projects.

The Alaska SHSP includes a strategy that specifically addresses improving roadway safety through HSIP-qualified activities and projects.

The Massachusetts SHSP addresses a broad range of countermeasures across 15 emphasis areas, divided into three groups. The first is "strategic," for issues identified as mature and correctable with validated measures. The second group, "proactive," addresses issues where trends indicate an increase in crashes and fatalities. The third group of emphasis areas is "emerging," where data may be insufficient to quantify the breadth of the problem at the current time. The current emerging areas include driver inattention and data systems, both becoming an area of increased focus for MassDOT. Each HSIP project must address a SHSP emphasis area and each SHSP emphasis area provides strategies for addressing common safety problems. For each emphasis area, the Emphasis Area Teams can identify projects. In general, these are considered to be improvements to data analysis and access, and often they can be addressed using existing MassDOT staff.

In Massachusetts, each HSIP project must address a SHSP emphasis area and each SHSP emphasis area provides strategies for addressing common safety problems. 

Illinois recently prioritized the emphasis areas within its SHSP based on the percentage of fatalities and serious injuries. They learned of this approach from Washington Department of Transportation. The outcome of this analysis, depicted in Figure 4, divides the SHSP emphasis areas into the three priority levels, allowing for focus of efforts on those emphasis areas with greatest opportunity for reduction in fatalities and serious injuries.

Illinois divides their SHSP emphasis areas into the three priority levels, allowing for focus of efforts on those emphasis areas with greatest opportunity for reduction in fatalities and serious injuries.

Graph. Illinois SHSP emphasis area priority levels. Bar graph titled, "Percentage of Severity Group by Emphasis Area: Fatalities and A-Injuries, 2003-2012." The y-axis is "Percentage" and the x-axis is "Emphasis Area." For each emphasis area, there are three severity groups: Fatalities, A-Injuries, and Fatalities + A-Injuries. The emphasis areas are organized from highest to lowest percentage, and grouped into three priority levels. Priority Level One, in which any severity group is greater than or equal to 30 percent, includes roadway departure, unrestrained, impaired, and intersection. Priority Level Two, in which any severity group is greater than or equal to ten percent, includes speeding/aggressive driving, younger driver, older driver, heavy vehicle, pedestrian, and motorcycle. Priority Level Three, in which all severity groups are less than ten percent, includes work zone, distracted/drowsy/fatigued driver, pedalcyclist, and train.

Figure 4. Illinois SHSP emphasis area priority levels.

Using County SHSPs for Network Screening

IDOT funded the development of county SHSPs that address all public roads within a specific county with a consultant contract. This effort was specific for the top 35 counties with the most fatalities and serious injuries and those additional counties within MPOs. The county SHSPs identify opportunities for focus of multi-discipline safety efforts, and in particular HSIP implementation, and support performance targets for the MPOs and local agencies as well as the IDOT districts. The local SHSP include comparison of safety performance of State and local roadways within emphasis areas, heat maps, and data trees to aid local agencies in the network screening processes. These align with the statewide SHSP.

Summary

In every Host State, the use of the SHSP as a tool for defining HSIP initiatives and areas of emphasis was considered an important part of the overall safety program. New Hampshire evaluates updates to its SHSP on an annual basis and the use of SHSP emphasis areas has helped build public support for NHDOT safety programs. Alaska has a specific initiative related to the HSIP in their SHSP, by addressing improving roadway safety through HSIP-qualified activities and projects.

In Utah, Illinois, and Massachusetts, safety emphasis areas are identified in the SHSP. In Utah, emphasis area working groups are tasked with identifying strategies and targets, providing investment from throughout the organization and from partners. Utah's strong SHSP coalition, which includes dozens of non-UDOT partners, ensures that the SHSP is not only inclusive of community and coalition needs, but also widely publicized and supported by invested partners.

In locations not on the State roadway system, Illinois allows the use of county SHSPs for network screening processes and the identification of emphasis areas and focus areas, just as in the statewide SHSP.

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Page last modified on June 21, 2016
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