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FHWA Home / Safety / Proven Safety Countermeasures / Local Road Safety Plans

Local Road Safety Plans

A local road safety plan (LRSP) provides a framework for identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing roadway safety improvements on local roads. The LRSP development process and content are tailored to local issues and needs. The process results in a prioritized list of issues, risks, actions, and improvements that can be used to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on local roads. FHWA has developed several resources including an LRSP Do-It-Yourself website which further explains the process and includes resources local agencies and their partners need to create and implement an LRSP.1

Illustration: This highway-themed infographic describes the Local Road Safety Plan process. Each step of the Local Road Safety Plan process. The first step is to identify stakeholders, such as law enforcement, public health professionals, EMS personnel, and elected officials. The second step is to use safety data, such as crash data, maintenance logs, safety audits, and traffic violation data to inform decisions. The third step is to choose proven solutions, such as chevrons, roundabouts, targeted enforcement, and crosswalks. The fourth and final step is to implement those solutions through education and enforcement, capital projects, and maintenance work.

Infographic showing the LRSP process. Source: FHWA

Approximately 75 percent of rural roads are owned by local agencies.2 While local roads are less traveled than State highways, they have a much higher rate of fatal and serious injury crashes.2 Developing an LRSP is an effective strategy to improve local road safety for all road users and support the goals of a State’s overall Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).

Although the development process and resulting plan can vary depending on the local agency’s needs, available resources, and targeted crash types, aspects common to LRSPs include:

  • Stakeholder engagement representing the 4E’s: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical services.
  • Collaboration among municipal, county, Tribal, State, and/or Federal entities to leverage expertise and resources.
  • Identification of target crash types and crash risk with corresponding recommended proven safety countermeasures.
  • Timeline and goals for implementation and evaluation.

Local road agencies should consider developing an LRSP to be used as a tool for reducing roadway fatalities, injuries, and crashes.3 LRSPs can help agencies create a prioritized list of improvements. LRSPs are also a proactive risk management technique to demonstrate an agency’s responsiveness. The plan should be viewed as a living document that can be updated to reflect changing local needs and priorities.

Sources

1. /LRSPDIY/

2. Anderson et al. Noteworthy Practices: Addressing Safety on Locally-Owned and Maintained Roads A Domestic Scan, FHWA-SA-09-019, (2010).

3. Developing Safety Plans: A Manual for Local Rural Road Owners, FHWA-SA-12-017, provides guidance on developing an LRSP.

Safety Benefits:

Agencies have experienced the following benefits after LRSP implementation:

25%

reduction in county road fatalities in Minnesota.

17%

reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes on county-owned roads in Washington State.

35%

reduction in severe curve crashes in Thurston County, WA.

 


Guidance Memos NEW

Read the Guidance Memoranda on Promoting the Implementation of Proven Safety Countermeasures.

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Page last modified on October 28, 2021
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