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FHWA Home / Safety / Proven Safety Countermeasures / Proven Safety Countermeasures


Subject:  ACTION: Promoting and Implementing the Updated Proven Safety Countermeasures Date: September 26, 2017
From:  Elizabeth Alicandri
Associate Administrator for Safety
In Reply Refer To:

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Division Administrators
Director of Field Services
Federal Lands Highway Division Directors

Nearly ten years ago, with your assistance, FHWA began promoting and encouraging widespread implementation of certain safety improvements and strategies based on their proven effectiveness. This effort became known as the Proven Safety Countermeasures initiative (PSCi). Through the PSCi, State, Tribal, and local road authorities have partnered with FHWA to mainstream over a dozen different safety improvements and strategies.

The PSCi started in 2008 with a list of nine countermeasures and strategies, and was updated in 2012 with a list that retained four of the original items and added five new ones. This guidance now updates the PSCi again with a list of six new countermeasures and strategies. This third generation of proven safety countermeasures includes the following:

  1. Reduced Left-Turn Conflict Intersections
  2. Systemic Application of Multiple Low-Cost Countermeasures at Stop-Controlled Intersections
  3. Roadside Design Improvements at Curves
  4. Leading Pedestrian Intervals
  5. Local Road Safety Plans
  6. USLIMITS2 (a tool to aid practitioners in determining appropriate speed limit recommendations).

With the newest additions, there are now 20 different proven safety countermeasures and strategies that road authorities can choose to advance in their jurisdiction. The cumulative list is diverse and broad, and aligns with the three FHWA Safety Focus Areas (intersections, roadway departure and pedestrians/bicycles), but also includes crosscutting strategies. There are countermeasures for rural roads and urban streets alike. Information about all the proven safety countermeasures can be found on our website at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/.

These countermeasures should be considered as part of a data-driven approach, with countermeasure selection based on analytical techniques. Our partners should continue to strengthen their evidence-based decision-making processes, as highlighted in the Highway Safety Manual, and systemic planning approaches to make improved safety investment decisions. We will continue to provide guidance and technical assistance to encourage these practices while also helping you advance these proven safety countermeasure options with your State, Tribal and local safety partners.

As with past iterations of the PSCi, the Office of Safety will track implementation progress nationally. The tracking will be limited to only the six new countermeasures, and will use the familiar Every Day Counts (EDC) process and scale that ranges from “Not Implementing” to “Institutionalized”. This scale should simplify reporting, make the results readily useful and understood, and possibly inform future EDC efforts. Over the course of the last quarter of CY2017, we will work with Safety staff in the field offices to benchmark the implementation status of each of the new countermeasures. We will request implementation progress information in June and December beginning in 2018.

The recent increases in annual highway fatalities in the United States are sobering reminders that we must not relax our efforts to prevent these tragedies. With that in mind, I strongly encourage you to work with your respective State, Tribal and local partners to advance these countermeasures as part of our vital safety mission and move us along the Road to Zero fatalities.

Page last modified on October 15, 2014
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