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Strategic Highway Safety Plans: A Champion's Guide to Saving Lives

[Superseded by: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/legislationandpolicy/fast/ shsp_guidance.cfm ]

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Guidance to Supplement SAFETEA-LU Requirements

April 5, 2006

Prepared by:
Federal Highway Administration
in cooperation with
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Federal Transit Administration and
Federal Railroad Administration

Buckle Up America


A Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) developed by the State Department of Transportation (DOT) is a new Federal requirement of SAFETEA-LU, 23 U.S.C. § 148, and is a major part of the core Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). This document has three purposes:



Purpose of a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)

The purpose of an SHSP is to identify the State's key safety needs and guide investment decisions to achieve significant reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. A public road is defined in section 101 (a) of title 23 United States Code as "any road or street under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel." The SHSP allows all highway safety programs in the State to work together in an effort to align and leverage its resources and positions the State and its safety partners to collectively address the State's safety challenges on all public roads.

An SHSP is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework, and specific goals and objectives, for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. This statewide document, developed by the State DOT in a collaborative process, includes input from public and private safety stakeholders. The SHSP is a data-driven, four to five year comprehensive plan that integrates the 4Es "” engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS). The SHSP strategically establishes statewide goals, objectives, and key emphasis areas developed in consultation with Federal, State, local, and private sector safety stakeholders.

Benefits of an SHSP

Highway fatalities and serious injuries are at unacceptably high levels in the United States. An important benefit of an SHSP is better coordination of statewide goals and safety programs that most effectively reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads through a comprehensive approach. The collaborative process of developing and implementing a State SHSP brings together and draws on the strengths and resources of all safety partners. The SHSP will allow the scheduling and implementation of safety improvement programs, comprehensive initiatives, and projects to be coordinated throughout the State. Other benefits of an SHSP include:

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Provided below are suggested activities that will help create a process and identify milestones for the development of the SHSP. These are based on the requirements in SAFETEA-LU and best practices developed by States. All States have different needs and resources and have the flexibility to establish a process that best fits those needs and resources. Activities that should be considered in the development of an SHSP may include:

A more detailed explanation of each activity is provided below. These activities are not necessarily listed in a sequential order that all States will or should follow and some activities may be iterative in nature. SAFETEA-LU requirements are in bold text. Additional information and explanation, including best practices, are in regular font. A legislative compilation outlining all of the SHSP related SAFETEA-LU requirements is included in this guidance in Appendix A.

Gain Leadership Support and Initiative

Leadership of the State DOT Chief Executive Officer (CEO), State Commissioners, or other upper level positions, is crucial throughout the SHSP development and implementation process. Leadership influences the policy direction, sets priorities for their agencies, and defines performance expectations for their staff. Leaders should persuade safety partners to take an aggressive, focused and comprehensive approach to addressing safety. To expand leadership support, start with the safety partners who are committed to the concept of an SHSP. Encourage the leadership of those partners to contact their peers regarding the significance of this effort to marshal their support. Their endorsement of the SHSP should include encouraging staff to stay engaged and to build relationships across organizational boundaries and traditional areas of responsibility. Leadership support affects agencies or organizations internally by granting permission to dedicate time and resources for the effort, and holding those responsible for the development and implementation accountable.

Leadership support should be sustained even after the plan is developed to ensure implementation and continued evaluation. Leadership must recognize that this is a long-term on-going process. This change in how safety partners conduct business, how they interact with each other, and how they manage their own safety programs should be institutionalized for the SHSP to be effective over the long-term. Leadership must continue to support the SHSP as a priority and continue to allow for the use of time and resources throughout implementation.

Identify a Champion

Successful SHSP efforts call for at least one "champion," an individual or a unit, to ensure all critical safety partners are integrated into a collaborative group. In order for successful SHSP development and implementation the safety champion must be actively and demonstrably committed. A safety champion helps to secure the necessary leadership, resources, visibility, buy-in, commitment, and shared goals of all partners. A safety champion can reside at any level within the organizational structure. One example of a high-level champion is an individual such as the State Secretary of Transportation who can coordinate with high-level leadership of other agencies and organizations. The role of this champion would be an indication of high-level agency support and interest in safety. Another example could be a middle management champion. The role of this champion would be coordinating working group activities and other details related to development and implementation. Sometimes the champion may be appointed by the DOT leadership or the leadership of the primary sponsoring agency just to initiate the activities. The safety champion would lead the working group that develops the SHSP and would be responsible for maintaining the group's cohesion, focus and effectiveness. The champion may either take on a part time/full time permanent role or transfer responsibilities to a new champion or small group of champions once the SHSP process is underway. The safety champion should sustain the group's interest and momentum and clearly demonstrate the need for communication and coordination. Where relationships have not fully developed, the champion may need to make additional efforts to ensure commitment and participation from the full range of safety partners.

A champion should be someone who can provide enthusiasm and support to accomplish the development of an SHSP. This person should have excellent interpersonal skills, be an expediter and have good organizational skills. This person should be credible and accountable.

Initiate the Development Process

Starting the development of an SHSP is not an overwhelming or arduous task. There are several approaches to initiate the process. A logical place to start is to identify and evaluate the State's current safety activities. One way to do this is to use AASHTO's "Self-Assessment Tool". It is available at www.safety.transportation.org . Asking the following kinds of questions will help initiate the process: "What is the status of transportation safety in the State? What are the existing State safety trends? What should be the vision of safety in the State five, ten, and twenty years from now?" These are some of the questions that, when answered, will help frame the discussion for all safety partners. Visioning and long term thinking will help a State determine what it wants to accomplish and move toward defining a strategic goal.

Other ways to start the development process are to:

Gather Data

Data is a critical element in the development of an effective SHSP. The strength of the SHSP is in the State's ability to identify, analyze, prioritize, and evaluate reliable data. SAFETEA-LU requires that as part of the SHSP the States shall have in place a crash data system with the ability to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis. SAFETEA-LU also requires that as part of the SHSP the States shall advance the capabilities of the State for traffic records data collection, analysis, and integration with other sources of safety data (e.g. State traffic record systems, input from police such as citations, input from emergency service providers and highway maintenance workers, motor carrier data, transit data, the FRA inventory of highway-railroad grade crossings, medical records, crash data research, road inventories, driver records, etc.). States should strive to improve the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of the safety data needed to identify priorities for Federal, State, regional and local highway and traffic safety programs. States should not stop the SHSP development process to wait for better data systems. States should use the best information available to determine the statewide safety priorities. Availability of complete and accurate crash data for all public roads is a very important foundation to the success of an SHSP and may be a critical highway safety issue for many States. Some States may identify the need to upgrade, improve, and standardize their traffic records information system as one of their key emphasis areas to ensure that future updates and changes to the SHSP are based on data that is complete and accurate. In the future the States will be able to use the improved data systems for data gathering and analysis and make revisions to the SHSP accordingly, as it is updated.

To advance the States' data gathering capabilities, each State should develop an active partnership with an existing Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC). If the State does not currently have a TRCC, one should be established. TRCCs are responsible for identifying data system enhancement strategies that can affect access to data, as well as its accuracy and timeliness. As part of 23 U.S.C. § 408, NHTSA provides grants to States with a TRCC and a strategic data improvement plan. Another opportunity available for States to assess their current data capabilities includes a Traffic Records Assessment conducted by NHTSA.

Analyze Data

SAFETEA-LU requires the States to develop an SHSP that analyzes and makes effective use of State, regional, or local crash data. States should carefully analyze the best available data to identify the critical highway safety problems and safety improvement opportunities for all public roads. Data may include, but should not be limited to, vehicle, driver and pedestrian crash data, roadway and travel data, citation data, observational and opinion surveys, behavioral risk factor surveys, medical data including hospital discharge summaries, and other statewide databases. Through the data analysis process, each State should identify its highest priority safety program areas (e.g., pedestrians, intersections, rural roads, roadway departure, occupant protection, impaired driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving). The SHSP should identify and document all safety priorities whether behavioral, enforcement, infrastructure, or EMS related, and outline emphasis areas with strategies and countermeasures to address these needs. This comprehensive approach may require a more extensive and coordinated data analysis. Previously, individual agencies analyzed only the data that was related to their own specific program needs. Individual agencies initiated safety projects independent of multi-partner data input, problem analysis, and solution implementation. Now agencies should make decisions using a wider variety of data and work to solve problems collectively.

The AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan outlines 22 key emphasis areas organized into six plan elements: drivers, special users, vehicles, highways, EMS, and management. These key emphasis areas can serve as a starting point to evaluate State data. States should also consider key emphasis areas unique to their specific highway safety challenges, such as demographics (older and younger driver fatality trends), weather, rail, and work zones.

Establish a Working Group

To facilitate a consultative and comprehensive approach to safety, States have found it beneficial to establish a working group to guide the development of the SHSP. The working group consists of representatives from various agencies across the engineering, education, enforcement and EMS disciplines. SAFETEA-LU requires the State DOTs to develop an SHSP after consultation with:

This SHSP Guidance defines consultation as: "Consultation means that one party confers with another identified party in accordance with an established process and, prior to taking action(s), considers that party's views." This definition is the same as the FHWA regulations applicable to Planning Assistance and Standards at 23 CFR § 450.104. According to this definition, there is a need to establish collaboration between the State transportation department and those safety partners described in SAFETEA-LU. It is up to each State to establish what the "consultation process" looks like. While the State DOT has responsibility for the development of the SHSP, consultation in good faith should be done with all major safety partners and stakeholders. The essence of an SHSP is communication and shared responsibility for implementation. All of those partners should be included in the development and implementation of the plan. The US DOT recommends the use of an expanded list of other safety partners or stakeholders. Appendix D identifies potential safety partners and stakeholders that could be asked to participate.

The working group may build on existing coalitions and include safety advocates from State, regional, local and Federal government, academia, and the private sector. Members of this group should be identified for their level of expertise and commitment to highway safety. At a minimum, stakeholders described in 23 U.S.C. § 148(a)(6)(A) shall be included. Participants may be appointed by leadership or invited to participate by the champion. Although State DOT transportation planners were not specifically mentioned in Section 148 of SAFETEA-LU, they should be involved along with the metropolitan and regional transportation planners. Likewise, given the high number of highway fatalities and serious injuries that occur on non-State roads, local and regional agencies should be invited and encouraged to participate.

Some working groups demonstrate their commitment to improving highway safety by developing a charter \to facilitate communication between transportation professionals within each participating organization. The charter briefly describes the common goal of improved highway safety and emphasizes the commitment to work as a team to achieve a shared vision. A charter reminds members of their mission and goals, emphasizes the importance of each participant's contribution, helps the group remain focused, can increase understanding and trust between agencies and organizations, and facilitates a change in paradigms of traditional working relationships.

Bring Safety Partners Together

The organizational structure of a State's agency and inter-agency working relationships are an important factor to consider when bringing safety partners together. Rather than create entirely new committees, the States should build upon existing relationships, interagency working groups, and committees. Many States currently have functioning transportation safety committees such as Standing Committees on Highway Traffic Safety, TRCCs, and Transportation Safety Planning (TSP) Committees. If a transportation safety committee does not exist, start with a core group consisting of the State's Department of Transportation (DOT), Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Office, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Regional Office. From there it may expand on the membership. At a minimum, the safety coalition should include those partners outlined in 23 U.S.C. § 148(a)(6)(A). Regardless of how safety partners are initially gathered to create an organizational structure for the development and implementation of the SHSP, States should look for ways to expand on the membership to include non-traditional partners with the intent of creating an integrated committee.

States may convene a safety summit (or similar opportunity) to bring partners together. This could be a large initial meeting to kick off the development process, or it could be the initial convening of the working group. This is an opportunity to learn about each of the safety partner's priorities, what they can contribute, and recognize common goals. Participants may be given the opportunity to describe their current safety programs and safety interests. This may advance into a discussion of critical safety issues and identification of leveraging opportunities. Further, the summit could be a forum to initiate the development of the SHSP and may help forge an agreement on how to proceed.

Safety Conscious Planning (SCP), now known as Transportation Safety Planning (TSP), was originally implemented to address the safety factor required in the transportation planning process. SCP forums integrate safety into the transportation planning process by elevating the emphasis on safety and creating dialogue on realistic action planning and problem solving strategies. If the State has previously conducted SCP Forums, the participants from these forums could serve as a foundation in building an SHSP working group.

Adopt a Strategic Goal

SAFETEA-LU requires that as part of an SHSP a State shall adopt strategic and performance goals that address traffic safety, including behavioral and infrastructure problems and opportunities, on all public roads. The goals should focus resources on areas of greatest need and should be coordinated with other State highway safety programs. A strategic goal is necessary because it is what the plan is intended to accomplish. The goal is something to strive for and compare progress to. It is the overall goal that all of the activities within the plan and for which the implementation plans contribute. Because SAFETEA-LU requires the SHSP to consider the results of State, regional, or local transportation and highway safety planning processes, the goals should be compatible and support one another. During the development process the State may find that some existing safety plans do not complement one another. The SHSP will help multiple agencies work toward the same safety goal and the first step may be recognizing where and how existing goals are incompatible. The coalition responsible for developing and implementing the SHSP should take this disconnect into consideration as individual agency plans are updated. The compatibility differences between goals and priorities can be reconciled at this time. The SHSP is a venue for the safety partners to dialogue, coordinate, and unify in a complementary manner.

A strategic goal can be developed by comparing the safety goals of participating agencies and agreeing on mutually acceptable goals. Another way is to review safety trends and forecast performance to identify a goal. Some State goals are linked to national goals, such as the joint AASHTO-DOT-GHSA-AAMVA safety goal to reduce the traffic fatality rate to 1.0 fatalities/HMVMT by 2008. A best practice in identifying reasonable and attainable goals is to calculate reductions in fatalities using crash reduction factors. However this method is most accurate after the State fully analyzes the safety data and the appropriate emphasis areas and strategies are determined. The effectiveness of various countermeasures can be predicted and the sum of lives saved based on these countermeasures can be translated into an overall goal. Strategic goals are longer-term goals that usually span an extended time period. The strategic goal in a State's SHSP should align with the strategic goals in the State's other safety plans. Strategic goals often include a fatality rate in combination with a timeframe such as the joint safety goal. Some States may prefer to adopt a goal expressed with a total number or percentage reduction in highway fatalities and serious injuries in combination with a time frame. An example would be "reduce statewide roadway fatalities by 10% by 2008" or "lower highway fatalities to no more than 400 fatalities per year by 2010". Performance Goals are shorter term goals that contribute toward achieving the strategic goal. More detail about performance goals is provided in the "Identify Key Emphasis Area Performance Based Goals" section on page 9 of this guidance.

After the SHSP has been approved and implemented in the State, the strategic goals and objectives identified in the SHSP should be carried forward into the Statewide long-range transportation plan, should be used in the Statewide STIP project selection process in evaluating transportation project funding, and should inform the safety goals in the metropolitan transportation planning and programming decisions.

Identify Key Emphasis Areas

Based on the data analysis completed earlier in the process, each State should identify its key emphasis areas (e.g., occupant protection, pedestrians, intersections, roadway departure, impaired driving, data systems management process, distracted driving, aggressive driving, commercial motor vehicles, EMS, motorcycles). Input from the representatives of the 4Es should reflect those areas that offer the greatest potential for reducing fatalities and injuries. The 4Es are defined as:

While each of the 4Es is equally important, highway safety professionals have long utilized engineering, education, and enforcement approaches. EMS is the most recent addition and is often underutilized when identifying safety partners, emphasis areas, and strategies. One possible reason for this is lack of understanding of the EMS role and the contribution EMS can make in a comprehensive and integrated approach to safety. To help safety professionals better understand the benefits of EMS, this section expands on EMS roles and activities.

EMS is a complex system with both soft side and hard side features and has the demonstrated ability to reduce injury-related morbidity and mortality. Once a crash occurs despite engineering, enforcement, and educational efforts, emergency medical services offer the best prospects for improved patient outcome.

Many State EMS systems have developed well-organized subsystems of trauma care in an effort to reduce injury-related morbidity and mortality. The planning and deployment of these systems are soft side approaches in themselves. They contain other vital soft side components such as training and credentialing of prehospital and hospital staff; trauma facility designation; medevac helicopter and ground ambulance command and control; patient assessment and treatment protocols; and performance information review and action processes for system improvement. The trauma subsystem has hard side components that include, for example, helicopters, trauma facilities, ambulances and specialized rescue equipment, automatic crash notification systems, and data systems.

The SHSP is intended to unify the collective efforts of all organizations by describing safety goals, directions, problems and solutions. The SHSP is an umbrella document and may not have the level of detail that describes all safety activities. Emphasis areas and strategies in the SHSP are data driven needs. The number of key emphasis areas selected should represent a balance of resources and priorities. Typically States identify between four and eight key emphasis areas.

Form Task Groups

Many States form task groups for each emphasis area, conduct further analyses of State safety data, and develop action plans for each emphasis area that include detailed strategies, countermeasures and performance based goals. States may use and build upon existing task groups that may already be addressing various emphasis areas. For example, if a State has identified seat belts as an emphasis area in the SHSP, a good place to start in forming a task group could be the State's "Safety Belt Coalition". Keep in mind that reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads is contingent upon a multi-agency collaborative effort so sometimes existing groups may have to expand their membership. The task groups are usually comprised of representatives from various agencies and each of the 4Es. The benefits of participating in the task groups are that representatives can influence what strategies are given the highest priority and how resources are allocated. Task group members should include technical specialists knowledgeable in the group's emphasis area and those whose safety program plans would be directly affected by the recommendations made by the task group.

Identify Key Emphasis Area Performance Based Goals

The task groups set specific performance based goals for the key emphasis areas. Performance based goals are shorter-term goals that contribute toward achieving the strategic goal. These goals are important in evaluating the attainability of the State's strategic goal. They are needed to evaluate strategy/countermeasure effectiveness thus providing milestones and progress indicators throughout the implementation process. Performance based goals should be established with a specific time period. Current practice for many States is to set their performance based goals at yearly intervals measured over the life of the plan. Task groups should establish performance based goals related to current safety measures, conditions and activities to assess progress over the period of the SHSP. An example of a performance based goal would be "attain a 2% increase in seatbelt usage in the State each year to attain a 98% usage rate by 2008" or "reduce roadway departure fatalities each year and an overall reduction of 10% by 2010". All emphasis areas should have goals and it is desirable to have performance measures for each emphasis area strategy. Some emphasis areas such as data improvement may not be conducive to a goal that directly ties it to a number or rate. However, all emphasis areas, as well as strategies can have some type of goal to be achieved within a time period.

Identify Strategies and Countermeasures

SAFETEA-LU requires the State to develop an SHSP that describes a program of projects or strategies to reduce or eliminate safety hazards. It is acceptable for a State's SHSP to not be project specific, but instead describe strategies for addressing safety hazards. The description of the program of projects will be provided in the State's HSP, MCSAP, HSIP and other State and local plans. This program of projects or strategies should also be reflected in the programs and plans of other local and State agencies.

It is also important to point out that SAFETEA-LU requires that as part of the SHSP the State shall identify opportunities for preventing the development of such hazardous conditions. An example of an opportunity could be implementation of a preventative measure such as including safety upgrades on existing projects that will reduce the potential for crashes. Another example could be a system wide improvement addressing a data supported emphasis area. The SHSP should have a balance of both corrective and preventative strategies based on the data analysis specific to that State. The data will also help determine to what extent strategies should be system wide versus location specific. As strategies and countermeasures are identified to address key emphasis areas, the following questions should be addressed:

SAFETEA-LU requires the State to develop an SHSP that addresses engineering, management, operation, education, enforcement, and emergency services elements (including integrated, interoperable emergency communications) of highway safety as key factors in evaluating highway projects. This is consistent with identifying key emphasis areas and developing strategies and countermeasures with input from representatives from the 4Es. However, some emphasis areas may not have all of these factors overtly represented in the strategies and countermeasures. This will depend on the specific emphasis area and what the data has revealed as the problem causation. However, all 4Es should be thoughtfully considered. If the safety partners involved in the decision making process represent the 4Es then the resulting strategies and countermeasures will have been determined with an integrated approach. Since all 4E safety partners are crucial to the success of the SHSP, a good cross section of representatives should be involved in developing the emphasis area strategies and countermeasures.

High priority should be given to those strategies that could significantly reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries in the key emphasis areas. Low-cost and proven countermeasures should also be given a high priority. For information on countermeasures and strategies, consult the NCHRP 500 Series Guidance Documents, available at www.safety.transportation.org . Another valuable resource is a new guidebook developed by GHSA for NHTSA titled "Countermeasures that Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices," available at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/airbags/Countermeasures/ . This guidebook offers countermeasures for NHTSA's priority areas. There are also a variety of other publications that provide detailed countermeasure recommendations aimed at very specific safety problems. One example that targets specific types of road users would be "Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older Drivers and Pedestrians," available at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/humanfac/01051/ . Reducing the number of highway fatalities and serious injuries often requires continuing and/or strengthening current programs, as well as, implementing new strategies. States are encouraged to develop their own measures of effectiveness in evaluating which strategies and countermeasures are best suited for their needs. Both strategies and countermeasures should be measured and monitored for effectiveness and may continue to be fine-tuned as the implementation process unfolds.

Just as the key emphasis areas have performance goals, the SHSP strategies should also be tied to performance measures and indicators that will allow the State to monitor the effectiveness of the strategies. Interim targets or milestones are useful tools in complying with the HSIP reporting requirements in SAFETEA-LU. Interim targets are specific to a particular strategy or strategies so that crash reductions can be tracked to the successful completion of the strategy. An example of this is a target of 20% reduction of cross median fatalities and serious injuries within 4 years. This performance target supports a broader goal of reducing roadway departure fatalities and serious injuries. The resulting reduction of cross median crashes can be correlated with a strategy such as the installation of a median barrier system. The task groups also monitor short and long-term successes to see that target goals are being achieved.

Determine Priorities for Implementation

SAFETEA-LU requires that as part of the SHSP the States shall determine priorities for the correction of hazardous road locations, sections, and elements (including railway-highway crossing improvements) as identified through crash data analysis. States should look at the crash data and determine where the fatalities and serious injuries are occurring and why. States should find out where trends exist and look for where the crash happened; why and how the crash occurred; and who was involved. The purpose of a data driven process is to direct resources where they are most needed and have the greatest potential for impact. While SAFETEA-LU places much emphasis on hazardous locations it is important to recognize that the State may identify safety priorities that are system-wide or programmatic in nature. A close look at the data could reveal an over representation of fatalities and serious injuries relating to things such as:

A variety of strategies and countermeasures for each key emphasis area should be considered when identifying priorities for implementation. This prioritization should include the behavioral, infrastructure, and other safety strategies and countermeasures identified in the process of developing emphasis area performance goals and targets. The priorities should consider proactive, as well as, reactive measures to address current and potential hazards on all public roads. SAFETEA-LU requires the State to develop an SHSP that considers the safety needs of, and high fatality segments of, public roads. SAFETEA-LU requires the State, as part of the crash data analysis, to identify hazardous locations, sections, and elements (including roadside obstacles, railway-highway crossing needs, and unmarked or poorly marked roads) that constitute a danger to motorists (including motorcyclists), bicyclists, pedestrians, and other highway users. SAFETEA-LU requires the State to, based on the analysis from the crash data system, establish the relative severity of those locations, in terms of accidents, injuries, deaths, traffic volume levels, and other relevant data. At a minimum, factors/criteria to consider in setting program and project priorities should be based on: the potential reduction in the number highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads; the costs of projects and programs and the resources available; and other criteria as determined by the working group.

Write the SHSP

The structure of the plan and the nature of its content will start to emerge during the SHSP development process. While the State DOT is ultimately accountable for the development and implementation of the SHSP, all safety partners are expected to implement the plan. Multi-agency implementation should be considered as the strategies are developed and the plan is written. Consultation with all safety partners will make the written plan more comprehensive and will also increase the ability for statewide and multi-agency implementation. Overall, the SHSP should clearly and concisely describe the State's safety problem and describe a program of priorities or strategies to prevent, reduce or eliminate hazardous conditions. The SHSP is intended to describe the safety priorities in the State and offer strategic solutions. A State does not have to include a list of projects in the actual SHSP. The SHSP should describe how the strategies will be implemented through other plans and how the projects will be programmed.

The SHSP development process, implementation, and evaluation are the driving forces behind the State successfully meeting its safety goals. Documentation of the SHSP development, implementation, and evaluation process is recommended. It is important for States to think through how the plan will be implemented and evaluated as the plan is being developed. For this reason, it is recommended that some documentation or explanation of the process be included in the SHSP. The SHSP is a living document and is expected to evolve over time. Turnover with team members is inevitable and many who were not directly involved in the development process will read and use the SHSP. An explanation of the development process will document the process and inform those who were not as closely involved, and new team members.

A number of States have included the following information in their SHSP: a listing of safety partners; mission, vision and goal statements; key emphasis areas and background information on challenges and past or on-going efforts; performance goals and measures; implementation strategies and processes; and evaluation processes and analyses. SHSPs should be considered dynamic documents and the goals, strategies and countermeasures may be adjusted based on monitoring the achievement of performance goals. Because of its dynamic nature, the SHSP should be written in a format that will allow it to be updated easily. An SHSP template is provided in Appendix E as an example of how these elements could be incorporated into an SHSP. Many strategic and/or comprehensive highway safety plans were developed prior to the new SAFETEA-LU requirements. Example plans that currently exist are available on-line. Links to these plans can be found in the Links to Resources section of this guidance in Appendix C and on the web at www.safety.transportation.org .

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SAFETEA-LU requires that the SHSP be approved by the Governor of the State or a responsible State agency. Approval at the Governor's level is appropriate in most States, as this highlights the comprehensive nature of the SHSP and high level commitment to implementation.

As part of FHWA's oversight and stewardship responsibilities, FHWA Division Administrators will ensure that the State has followed a process that is consistent with the requirements outlined in 23 U.S.C. § 148. This guidance document has incorporated all of these requirements as well as best practices to assist in this compliance.

To facilitate a State's transition to the new core Highway Safety Improvement Program, States should keep the FHWA Division Office fully involved and informed during the development and implementation of the SHSP. Upon receipt of a State-approved SHSP, the FHWA Division Office will determine if SAFETEA-LU requirements have been fulfilled through evaluating the process used to develop the plan. This evaluation will include consulting with and considering the views of the other Federal DOT field offices (NHTSA, FMCSA, FTA, and FRA). Ultimately, FHWA Division Administrators will make a formal declaration to the State as to whether the process the State used to develop an SHSP is in compliance with SAFETEA-LU. FHWA acceptance of the process used to develop and implement an SHSP is required in order to be eligible to obligate funds in accordance with 23 U.S.C. § 148 (HSIP) eligible activities and in order to exercise new flexibility options.

States with an existing SHSP should work with their respective Division Office to evaluate the SHSP and the development process to ensure that both meet the intent of the requirements listed in SAFETEA-LU. If the State's SHSP process does not fully meet the requirements, a State should revise the SHSP and/or process accordingly to fulfill the intent of and comply with SAFETEA-LU. States that are currently developing an SHSP may need to make modifications to their SHSP development process to comply with SAFETEA-LU requirements.

SAFETEA-LU requires States to develop and implement an SHSP by October 1, 2006 in order to obligate funds for Section 148 (HSIP) eligible activities. States that have SHSPs that meet the requirements of SAFETEA-LU may obligate funds for Section 148 eligible activities.

SAFETEA-LU requires that until a State develops and implements an SHSP, the State may only obligate Section 148 funds for projects that were previously eligible under Sections 130 and 152. Thus in the absence of an approved SHSP, the provisions of Sections 130 and 152, as well as 23 CFR 924 still apply in obligations of Section 148 funds.

If a State has not developed an approved SHSP by October 1, 2007 (fiscal year 2008), the State's HSIP apportionments will be held at the fiscal year 2007 amounts for all subsequent years until an SHSP is developed and approved. In addition, a State will not be eligible to use up to 10% of its HSIP funds for other safety projects that would be allowed under Section 148.

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After developing and approving the SHSP, the real work begins: implementation. As essential as the collaborative process is in developing an SHSP, it is critical for the collaborative process to be sustained and expanded in the implementation phase. The SHSP is intended to provide a guiding direction for all of the State's safety partners in addressing key highway safety issues and aligning highway safety efforts. Attention to the SHSP should not end after the initial development phase. Follow through in implementing the SHSP will make the real difference and impact in the State's fatality rates and whether the state will meet its safety goals.

Implementing the SHSP Through Existing Safety Plans

A multitude of funding sources should be used to implement both the infrastructure and behavioral strategies and programs agreed upon in the SHSP, including funding sources associated with FMSCA, NHTSA, and FHWA. Safety projects are eligible for NHS, STP, and IM funding. The strategies and projects included in the annual Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan (CVSP) (per 49 CFR 350); the State Section 402 Highway Safety Plan and Annual Performance Plan (HSP) (per 23 CFR 1200); and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) (per 23 CFR 924); and metropolitan and statewide long range transportation plans should be considered and appropriately included or referenced in implementing a State's SHSP.

As the implementation process of the SHSP evolves and the collaborative efforts of the working group become institutionalized, the recommendations from the SHSP should influence the priorities in the above mentioned plans. The SHSP is not intended to replace these plans. The benefit of the over-arching nature of the SHSP is that it is the result of a collaborative effort. Current safety plans and processes like those mentioned in this section will remain stand-alone planning documents for existing safety programs.

Implementation of the SHSP goes beyond Federal grant programs and planning processes. Each safety partner involved agrees that the emphasis areas and strategies outlined in the SHSP are the best way that they can collectively reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Each agency whether it is the DOT, the GHSO, or a private organization should have a plan for safety or a plan that includes safety elements. Safety partners should implement the SHSP to the extent of their institutional capabilities. The priorities set forth in the SHSP and detailed in the emphasis area action plans should guide the safety related activities in individual safety partners' plans.

As the safety partners move forward with the implementation process and in determining funding priorities the following should be considered:

Implementing the SHSP Through Action Plans

A best practice for implementing the SHSP is through action plans. Many States have developed action plans based on the emphasis areas outlined in their SHSP by expanding on the supporting data and strategies. Details in action plans describe the why, what, how, when, where, and who. Action plans also provide specifics such as performance measures, funding, and may also contain some project level detail. The plans also include evaluation criteria for assessing the success of the implemented safety strategies. Ideally each emphasis area in the SHSP could be supplemented with an action plan.

Action plans should be developed with multi-agency involvement. One particular agency may take a lead. For instance, if the GHSO or OHS prepares the annual Highway Safety Plan for the State they would take the lead on emphasis areas such as alcohol or occupant protection. The Highway Safety Plan can sometimes serve as an implementation plan for these areas. The DOT may take the lead on the roadway departure action plan, and should seek input from other safety partners to develop integrated projects and strategies.

SAFETEA-LU requires that as part of an SHSP a State shall establish and implement a schedule of highway safety improvement projects for hazard correction and hazard prevention. This schedule of projects should be derived from the emphasis areas or strategies in the SHSP and funded under Section 148. As a minimum, the State's schedule should include all projects to be funded under Section 148; States may wish to include safety projects from other funding sources and other resource commitments as well. Other safety projects may be eligible under separate plans such as the HSP and MCSAP.

As the SHSP and action plans are being implemented it is important to recognize the need for agencies and organizations to coordinate efforts and provide reinforcements to each other's efforts. For example, if the SHSP identifies a need for statewide training related to intersection safety and roadway departure countermeasures, State and local agencies should coordinate with programs such as the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) to ensure this type of safety training is made available. In addition to training, LTAP's information clearinghouse, technology updates, and technical assistance on safety related programs may be customized to address the State's specific safety priorities.

Linking the SHSP with the Transportation Planning Process

An SHSP shares similar goals with the transportation planning process: to increase State and local decision makers' awareness of safety needs, to improve the effectiveness of planning and programming through the use of accurate and timely data, and to expand the participation of major State and local stakeholders. State DOTs and MPOs should consider safety as a factor in the transportation planning process. Both SHSP and TSP take a comprehensive approach to safety that includes engineering, education, enforcement and EMS. Both need a broad coalition of safety and planning partners to succeed. Incorporating the appropriate elements of the SHSP throughout the stages of the transportation planning process should give the SHSPs higher visibility and greater understanding among stakeholders, elected and appointed officials, and the public. It ensures that the appropriate SHSP initiatives are incorporated into the planning and policy documents of State DOTs and MPOs (i.e. transportation plans and corridor plans), into the program of projects in the Transportation Improvement Programs/Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs/STIPs), and are eligible for Federal-aid transportation funding.

SAFETEA-LU requires that the State develop a SHSP that is consistent with the requirements of Section 135(g). A program of infrastructure projects, or specific infrastructure projects, that directly support and implement the SHSP shall be included in the STIP for Federal-aid transportation funding eligibility. The projects that are intended to be included in the STIP should meet all requirements of 23 U.S.C. 135 (g) Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The STIP should include a specific description of how the contents of the STIP reflect the priorities and goals in the SHSP. By the time these projects (or program of projects) are included in the STIP, the following requirements shall be met:

  1. Includes all federally funded projects, including all capital and non-capital projects, and all regionally significant transportation projects requiring Federal approval or permits
  2. Developed in consultation with affected non-metropolitan local officials and with Indian tribal governments
  3. Provides interested parties with a reasonable opportunity for comment
  4. Consistent with the Statewide Transportation Plan
  5. Fiscal constraint

MPOs will continue to develop strategies to incorporate safety in their transportation planning process and TIP development. The MPO's safety goals should address regional safety issues, but the results of the MPO safety planning process should, as appropriate, be consistent with and reflect the goals and objectives of the State's SHSP process.

It is important to note, however, that the transportation planning process (i.e. transportation plan, TIP, and STIP) applies only to Federal-aid highway and transit programs. Other plans such as the CVSP and the HSP remain stand-alone planning documents. As previously mentioned, SHSPs should be coordinated with these plans as well. For a more detailed description of the relationship between the SHSP and existing planning and programming processes refer to Appendix B.

The SHSP can be implemented through existing safety plans, action plans, and through the transportation planning process. All safety partners should implement the SHSP to the extent that each agency or organization is capable. Implementation can occur at all levels of government from state to local to tribal. Consider how safety partners can include SHSP strategies as they integrate safety activities into their own organizational plans. Implementation by all safety partners will make attaining the SHSP goals a reality.

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To facilitate better decision-making regarding allocation of resources and to track progress and determine the impacts of various strategies over time, it is important for States to establish an evaluation process and to plan to revisit their Strategic Highway Safety Plan on a regular basis. The working group should meet periodically to review the SHSP, examine progress toward goals, and suggest changes or modifications if needed. The leadership of participating safety partners should be briefed periodically on the activities of the working group, effectiveness of the plan, and recommendations for modifications.

SAFETEA-LU requires States to evaluate the plan on a regular basis to ensure the accuracy of the data and priority of proposed improvements. According to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) reporting requirements (23 U.S.C. § 148(g)), each State shall submit an HSIP report to the FHWA Division Administrator on an annual basis. Because of this yearly reporting requirement, it is expected that after an initial implementation period States will evaluate the SHSP on an annual basis to ensure the accuracy of the data, priority of proposed improvements and effectiveness of the projects and plan. This evaluation should not be limited to just HSIP related projects and strategies, but as a best practice should include all projects and strategies regardless of the funding source or agency responsible for the implementation.

SAFETEA-LU requires States to use the evaluation information in setting priorities for highway safety improvement projects. The performance-based elements in the SHSP should help States determine the effectiveness of highway safety improvement projects in reducing the number of highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The findings resulting from the evaluation process shall be incorporated as basic source data when revisiting priorities included in the SHSP. This will help determine how emphasis areas and strategies will be revised.

SAFETEA-LU requires each State to establish an evaluation process to analyze and assess results achieved by highway safety improvement projects carried out in accordance with procedures and criteria established in 23 U.S.C. § 148. Evaluation of the SHSP should include a process for determining the effect that highway safety improvement projects have in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries, including:

As the State regularly re-examines data, evaluates the effectiveness of countermeasures and strategies, and monitors progress in accomplishing goals, the State will need to determine if any elements of the SHSP should be updated or revised. The SHSP should be revised periodically, perhaps every four to five years, so that the plan reflects updated safety goals and priorities in the State. An update of an SHSP is also a way to renew the momentum, coordination and cooperation needed to continue to achieve reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. When an SHSP is revised, it should follow a process consistent with the requirements outlined in this SHSP Guidance, consistent with SAFETEA-LU.

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APPENDIX A: SHSP Legislative Compilation

23 U.S.C. § 148 Requirements

The purpose of this legislative compilation is to offer an easy quick reference. The major safety features of the bill as it relates to the State Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) are as follows:

SECTION 148(a) Definition

SAFETEA-LU requires State DOTs to develop and implement a strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) after consultation with:

By definition an SHSP:

SECTION 148(c) Eligibility

To obligate funds apportioned under Section 104(b)(5) [Highway Safety Improvement Program] a State shall have in effect a State Highway Safety Improvement Program under which the State:

A State shall evaluate the plan on a regular basis to ensure the accuracy of the data and priority of proposed improvements.

SECTION 148(e) Flexible funding for States with a Strategic Highway Safety Plan

To further the implementation of a State strategic highway safety plan, a State may use up to 10 percent of the amount of funds apportioned under the Highway Safety Improvement Program for a fiscal year to carry out safety projects under any other Section as provided in the SHSP if the State certifies that:

Nothing in the requirements for the SHSP requires a State to revise any State process, plan, or program in effect on the date of enactment of this Section.

SAFETEA-LU Section 1401(e) Requirements

Interim Period:

An approved plan is to be completed by October 1, 2006. Until a State develops and implements an SHSP, States may obligate funds under Section 148 for projects that were eligible for funding under Sections 130 and 152 of that title.

If a State has not developed a strategic highway safety plan by October 1, 2007, the State shall receive for the highway safety improvement program for each subsequent fiscal year until the date of development of such plan an amount that equals the amount apportioned to the State for that program for fiscal year 2007.

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APPENDIX B: The Relationship Between Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and Existing Planning and Programming Processes

Developing an SHSP calls for a comprehensive, collaborative, and data driven approach to highway safety that brings together all appropriate safety stakeholders in the State to work together towards a common highway safety goal. To effectively develop and implement the strategies outlined in an SHSP, it is important to understand this new SHSP requirement and its link to the transportation planning and programming processes. Statewide Transportation Plans, metropolitan transportation plans, Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP), Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIP), as well as the highway safety improvement program (HSIP), motor carrier safety assistance program (MCSAP) commercial vehicle safety plans (CVSP) and highway safety plans (HSP) and other State and local plans are all critical to the success of an SHSP and vice-versa, as is the developmental process involved in preparing them. The links between these programs and plans are necessary to the success of the States in advancing their safety agenda. This appendix explains the relationships between the various programs and plans. More specifically, this appendix explains what they share in common, and what States should consider as they satisfy all of the various safety and transportation planning requirements as they relate to the SHSP.

The Planning Process

Long- Range Statewide Transportation Plans

The statewide transportation plan is the product of the planning process whereby the States, in consultation with local officials, identify transportation goals, objectives and needs for the next 20 years, as well as a plan of recommendations, policies and strategies for accommodating those needs. This plan is based on the vision and goals for the system, identified future needs, and policies, solutions and strategies to address those needs. The safety of the transportation system should be one of those goals, and is a required factor to be addressed within the scope of the statewide transportation planning process. Depicted along side the statewide transportation plan box in Figure 1 on page 27 is the metropolitan transportation plan.

Metropolitan Transportation Plans

Metropolitan transportation plans present a multi-modal set of capital, operational, and systems management strategies for the transportation system within an urbanized area with population greater then 50,000. A State should coordinate planning needs in metropolitan areas with statewide trade and economic development planning activities. The scope of metropolitan transportation planning, as with statewide planning, should consider safety as a factor with safety goals addressing regional safety issues. But, at the same time, the safety aspects of metropolitan planning should be consistent with the goals and objectives from the State's SHSP. The double-arrow between the metropolitan transportation plans box and the SHSP box in Figure 1 on page 27 depicts this relationship. Transportation planners at Metropolitan Planning Organizations are an integral part of the SHSP process. It is important that MPO planners participate in the SHSP

process, to help facilitate the seamless integration of the transportation planning and safety planning processes. Additionally, States are required to consult with representatives of the major modes of transportation in preparing the SHSP. The metropolitan, as well as statewide, planning processes are appropriate venues for doing this consultation.

Because SAFETEA-LU requires that safety be considered as a separate, stand-alone planning factor in the transportation planning process at both the MPO and State level. State and metropolitan planners should, through extensive public involvement, develop strategies to incorporate safety in their transportation planning process.

Strategic Highway Safety Plans

The SHSP is a statewide safety plan that involves a collaborative and comprehensive approach that provides a framework for advancing all of the State's safety activities. It is a strategic planning document that identifies goals and objectives the State will pursue to improve the safety of the transportation system, and that are consistent with overall statewide long-range transportation plan goals. While the SHSP is initially being developed safety partners should consider the safety goals identified in the statewide transportation plan and the metropolitan transportation plans. After the SHSP is developed and approved, the goals and objectives of the SHSP should be reflected in the next updated statewide transportation plan to assure full integration of safety goals as a component of the transportation plan. The safety goals of the metropolitan transportation plans should also reflect the goals and objectives of the SHSP. The double-arrow in Figure 1 on page 27 from the SHSP to the statewide plan and to the metropolitan long-range transportation plans shows this relationship.

States may also choose to develop action plans in selected "emphasis" areas identified in the SHSP. These supplemental plans would provide further detail on strategies that lead to projects in the HSIP, MCSAP, HSP, and other State and local plans.

Other State Plans

The State will also have other plans relating to infrastructure improvements. While these other plans are not directly related to the SHSP, they are also influenced by the statewide transportation plan, as depicted by the arrow from the other plans box to the statewide transportation plan box in Figure 1 on page 27. Infrastructure improvements identified in these plans (in this case freight and bike/pedestrian used as examples) may have safety elements. Ideally, these safety elements will have been integrated as a result of a strategy in an SHSP action plan. This relationship is depicted in Figure 1 on page 27 by the two-way arrow from the SHSP box to the Other State Plans box.

The SHSP and Related Safety Programs

The SHSP is intended to provide guidance for all of the State's safety partners in addressing critical highway safety issues and to align their highway safety efforts. SAFETEA-LU calls for States to undertake extensive consultation with interested parties, including MPOs and representatives of the major modes, in preparing the SHSP. Goals and objectives identified in the SHSP will be reflected in the State Highway Safety Improvement Program, FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), and NHTSA's Highway Safety Plan (HSP), and other safety plans. The two-way arrows from the SHSP box, as shown in Figure 1 on page 27, to the boxes representing these plans show this relationship. Each of these plans has their own safety provisions and eligibility criteria. Given the comprehensive nature of the SHSP and the requirement for the SHSP to address all 4 E's: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services; a State should use multiple funding sources and maximize flexibilities to support SHSP activities.

Infrastructure related safety projects described in the HSIP should be founded from strategies in the SHSP. There could also be instances where data analysis points to specific locations, features, or operations that need to be immediately addressed in a State's HSIP. The double-arrow between the SHSP box and the HSIP box in Figure 1 on page 27 not only represents this HSIP requirement, but also demonstrates that the goals in the HSIP are consistent with the SHSP. The HSIP yields a list of infrastructure safety projects that feeds into the STIP. These projects are funded through the HSIP, a stand-alone core Federal-aid highway safety program.

The CVSP and the HSP share a relationship with the SHSP that is similar to the HSIP, although these programs are funded differently. Safety projects relating to commercial motor vehicles are funded through the CVSP by grant. Other safety projects such as those relating to the behavioral aspect of transportation safety are funded through the HSP, also by grant. These non-infrastructure related safety projects do not have to feed into TIPs or STIPs. However, they are still vital to improving safety in the statewide transportation system. Many of these projects are also products of the strategies described in the SHSP and contribute to the goals of the SHSP as well as the statewide transportation plan.

The Programming Process

TIPs and STIPs

The metropolitan transportation plan is carried out through the TIP, as shown in Figure 1 on page 27. The TIP is the programming document for the metropolitan area, and identifies the projects and funding to be implemented to reach the vision for the metropolitan area's transportation system and services. It represents a commitment of the projects and programs that will be implemented in the metropolitan area using local, State, and Federal-aid funds.

Safety should be one of the major factors used in selecting and prioritizing projects from the transportation plan to be included in the TIP. Projects from the TIP are incorporated into the STIP to be programmed for funding.

For most categories of transportation projects, FHWA/FTA funds cannot be used unless the project is included on a fiscally-constrained TIP/STIP. Reasonably available or committed revenue sources shall be identified to match the estimated costs of the strategies included in the TIP/STIP. In air quality maintenance and non-attainment areas, the TIP/STIP and long-range plan shall also demonstrate conformity with the regions' air quality implementation plan. It is advisable to coordinate with transportation planners to ensure that all factors and requirements are considered and addressed to include appropriate projects and strategies in the TIP/STIP.

The STIP is the programming document for the State, and identifies the projects and funding to be implemented to reach the vision for the State's transportation system and services. It represents a commitment of the projects and programs that will be implemented throughout the State using Federal-aid transportation and transit funding. As depicted in Figure 1 on page 27, the TIP flows directly into the STIP, but the STIP also contains projects from other sources, including non-metropolitan areas of the State. Safety related infrastructure improvement projects come from several sources, but the majority will be identified in the HSIP's list of projects. This is depicted with an arrow from the HSIP box to the STIP box. Infrastructure related safety projects in the HSIP, which are funded through the HSIP list of projects, should originate from strategies in the SHSP. Other safety and non-safety related infrastructure improvement projects come from the statewide long range transportation plan and the other plans that feed into it, as shown in Figure 1 on page 27.


In summary, the new requirement for an SHSP will need to be accomplished in coordination with other State and metropolitan transportation planning and programming processes and in consultation with a broad range of stakeholder interests. The SHSP is a statewide safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for all safety-related activities in a State. The SHSP is a strategic planning document that identifies goals and objectives. These safety goals, objectives, and program of projects or strategies, developed in consultation with a variety of safety partners, influence decisions made concerning transportation safety resources throughout the State. Through the SHSP and in coordination with existing safety planning and programming processes, transportation partners will together improve the safety of the entire statewide transportation system.

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APPENDIX B: The Relationship Between Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) and Existing Planning and Programming Processes

Click for description

APPENDIX C: Links to Resources

American Association of State Highway transportation Officials (AASHTO) http://safety.transportation.org/

American Association of State Highway transportation Officials (AASHTO) "Self Assessment Tool" http://safety.transportation.org/assessment.aspx

American Association of State Highway transportation Officials (AASHTO) "Elements of a Safety Plan" http://safety.transportation.org/elements.aspx

Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety, http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/

Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety, "HSIP Manual" https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tfhrc/safety/pubs/81218/intro.htm

Federal Highway Administration - "Considering Safety In the Transportation Planning Process"

Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration - "Transportation Planning Capacity Building" http://www.planning.dot.gov/

Federal Highway Administration - "Proactive Approach to Safety Planning" (Article) https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/03may/02.cfm

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - "Countermeasures that Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices"

Federal Railroad Administration "“ "Secretary's Action Plan, Highway-Rail Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention, June 2004" http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/safety/action_plan_2004.pdf

Federal Transit Administration "“ TRIS Database http://trisonline.bts.gov

Institute of Transportation Engineers, ITE, "The Traffic Safety Toolbox" http://www.ite.org/

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 "Implementing AASHTO's Strategic Highway Safety Plan" http://safety.transportation.org/guides.aspx

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 501 "Integrated Safety Management Process" http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_501.pdf

Federal Highway Administration - "Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians" https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/humanfac/01103/

Federal Highway Administration - "Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older Drivers and Pedestrians" https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/humanfac/01051/

Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) http://www.ltapt2.org/about/program.htm

Some examples of currently existing Strategic and/or Comprehensive Highway Safety Plans are available on-line:

(These plans were developed prior to SAFETEA-LU requirements)

Alabama http://utca.eng.ua.edu/projects/final_reports/04404fnl.pdf
Maine http://www.themtsc.org/databook/mtsc_databook_complete.pdf
Maryland http://www.roads.maryland.gov/index.aspx?pageid=240
Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MI_CHSP_110103_7.pdf



Oregon http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/tsap.shtml#Download_the_2004_TSAP_Here
Washington http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/biz/trafficoperations/pdf/targetzero.pdf

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APPENDIX D: Potential Safety Partners and Stakeholders

SAFETEA-LU requires State DOT's to develop and implement an SHSP after consultation with a variety of safety partners. At a minimum, a State will be required to consult with the agencies and organizations outlined in section 148(a)6(A) of SAFETEA-LU. Below is an example list of public and private safety stakeholders, including many non-traditional, that are potential partners in the development and implementation of a State's SHSP. This list includes representatives from the engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services communities.

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Mission: The mission statement defines the purpose of the plan, what it does, and what it is all about. The mission statement usually does not change and sets the culture of the organization.

Vision: A vision statement describes what you are striving for.

Goal: The overall goal of the SHSP. What do you hope to achieve in a specified amount of time? This can and often evolves.




Discuss the current condition of the State with respect to roadway fatalities. Discuss the purpose of the plan and how the plan will help make a difference in fatality and crash rates. This section should also describe the purpose of the document and the expected outcome of implementing the plan


List the agencies that were consulted in the development of the SHSP and are crucial in achieving the SHSP goals. The following list includes the safety partners listed in SAFETEA-LU. It is expected that States will include a variety of additional stakeholders.

(List Organizations only)

Development Process

Discuss the process as a record of how the plan was created. The SHSP development process is every bit as important as the actual SHSP report. There will be many activities that lead to the SHSP report. It might be difficult to determine whether the required processes were followed just by reading the SHSP. For this reason, it is recommended that some documentation or explanation of the process be included in the SHSP. The SHSP is a living document and is expected to evolve over time.

Turnover with team members is inevitable and it should also be expected that many who were not directly involved in the development process will read and use the SHSP. Including some explanation of the development process will document the process and inform those who were not as closely involved as well as being useful to new team members. A section on the development process or reference to documentation will also help approving officials.

Data Analysis

Discuss how the data was gathered and analyzed. Include any concerns about the quality and reliability of data, assumptions, and data improvement needs.

Emphasis Areas

Introduce how you identified these emphasis areas and why addressing them is vital in achieving the goal. The list only serves as a quick reference and introduction to the body and structure of the plan.

List Emphasis Areas (5 to 7)

(For each emphasis area provide the following structure, usually about one page per emphasis area)



The background for the emphasis area should be a brief explanation as to why this was important enough to address in the SHSP. In this section you should provide the fatality data and show trends that demonstrate that this is a data driven need. This is a good section to fit in graphics such as bar charts or graphs.


What is the goal for this emphasis are?. (i.e. Reduce roadway departure fatalities by x% by 20XX)

Performance Measures:

What measures will be used to monitor the objective (i.e. roadway departure fatalities)?


List generally the strategies that will be performed. These strategies should include actions that can be performed by the 4Es, if appropriate. Each strategy should include a performance measure. These strategies will be carried over as action plans are created for each emphasis area. Further information about what, how, when, where, and who of safety activities will be included in the action plans. Action plans can also provide specifics such as various funding sources for safety activities and may also contain some project level detail, responsible agencies, and timeframes for safety activities.


Discuss how the group plans to implement the SHSP. Include schedule of projects or how you will get to a schedule of projects (i.e. action plan).


What will the steps be in the evaluation process? How often is it expected that this group will meet? Is someone responsible to monitor the numbers throughout the year? When will revisions to strategies be made? How will the SHSP evaluation affect future projects funded through the HSIP, HSP, and CVSP? How will the project evaluations in these programs affect the SHSP?


Discuss what will come next. This will help keep momentum in the process and make it clear who needs to do what. What are the responsibilities of the partners, what will each of them do with the plan? Remember, this is a living document!


This section could list other plans that were referenced in the development of the SHSP such as the State's HSIP, HSP or CVSP. This section could list the action plans that provide more detail on the emphasis areas described in this plan. The SHSP is a strategic planning document and is intended to be concise. Action plans expand on the information in the SHSP and are much more detailed. Action plans are based on the emphasis areas outlined in the SHSP and expand on the supporting data and strategies. These details would describe the what, how, when, where, and who. Action plans can also provide specifics such as funding and may also contain some project level detail. They may also include evaluation criteria for assessing the success of the implemented safety strategies. Ideally each emphasis area in the SHSP should be supplemented with an action plan. SAFETEA-LU requires each State to establish and implement a schedule of highway safety improvement projects and strategies for hazard correction and hazard prevention. This section could help fulfill that requirement as it related to HSIP.


Some States have found it helpful to include a glossary of terms used in the SHSP.

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APPENDIX F: Glossary

Codes and Regulations:



AASHTO Self Assessment Tool: The Assessment Tool is designed to assist agencies involved with highway safety in judging how they might better focus or redirect their safety activities to have more of an impact in efforts to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from traffic crashes.

AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan: The Strategic Highway Safety Plan identifies 22 key emphasis areas that affect highway safety and focuses attention on selected strategies. If implemented, they can significantly reduce highway deaths and injuries.

Collaborative: To work jointly with public (State, Local, and Federal) and private safety stakeholders in the development and implementation of the State's SHSP.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan: The document outlining the State's commercial motor vehicle safety objectives, strategies, activities and performance measures.

Comprehensive: The SHSP emphasis areas consider, as appropriate, strategies in the 4Es.

Consultation: One party confers with another identified party in accordance with an established process and, prior to taking action(s), considers that party's views and periodically informs that party about action(s) taken.

Countermeasure Analysis: A process with the ability to identify and analyze the effectiveness of selected safety countermeasures.

Crash Data System: Each State maintains a database that contains comprehensive information about people, vehicles, and conditions recorded in Police Accident Reports (PARs). Information will vary from State to State because each State has different data collection and reporting standards.

Data Driven: Careful analysis of the best available data to identify critical highway safety problems and safety improvement opportunities for each State on all public roads.

Emphasis Area: Opportunity areas to improve safety identified through a data-driven process for the State's SHSP.

Highway Safety Plan (Section 402): Describes activities to achieve goals and performance measures to improve highway safety in the State as established in the State's performance plan.

Institutionalize: To incorporate into a structured way of doing business.

Long Range Transportation Plan: A document resulting from regional or statewide collaboration and consensus on a region or State's transportation system, and serving as the defining vision for the region's or State's transportation systems and services. In metropolitan areas, the plan indicates all of the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years.

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program: A Federal grant program that provides financial assistance to States to reduce the number of hazardous materials incidents involving commercial motor vehicles. The goal of the MCSAP is to reduce commercial motor vehicle involved crashes, fatalities and injuries through consistent, uniform and effective commercial motor vehicle safety programs. Investing grant monies in appropriate safety programs will increase the likelihood that safety defects, driver deficiencies and unsafe motor carrier practices will be detected and corrected before they become contributing factors in crashes.

Problem Identification: The discovery of where, when, how, and why crashes occur. Also of major importance is the identification of the causes of crashes and collisions.

Safety Conscious Planning: SCP implies a proactive approach to the prevention of accidents and unsafe transportation conditions by establishing inherently safe transportation networks. SCP achieves road safety improvements through small quantum changes, targeted at the whole network. The short-term objective is to integrate safety considerations into the transportation planning processes at all levels, specifically the Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIP) and the Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) developed by the State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) respectively. This step should be followed by consideration of safety objectives in the longer range, 20 year plans that the State DOTs and MPOs are required to prepare and update periodically.

Safety Management System: A systematic process that has the goal of reducing the number and severity of transportation related accidents by ensuring that all opportunities to improve safety are identified, considered and implemented as appropriate.

State Highway Safety Improvement Program: Projects or strategies included in the State strategic highway safety plan carried out as part of the State transportation improvement program.

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program: A staged, multi-year, statewide, multi-modal program of transportation projects, consistent with the statewide transportation plan and planning processes as well as metropolitan plans, TIPs, and processes.

Strategic: The plan is strategic in that elements are included only if they are considered important enough to affect goal achievement.

Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Under 23 U.S.C. § 148, State DOT's are required, after consultation with public and private safety stakeholders, to develop and implement a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The purpose of an SHSP is to identify critical highway safety problems and opportunities within the State. The SHSP provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries, enabling the State to make data driven strategic investment decisions.

Transportation Improvement Program: A staged, multi-year, multimodal program of transportation projects, developed and formally adopted by an MPO as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process that is consistent with the metropolitan transportation plan.

Traffic Records Assessment: The NHTSA National Driver Register and Traffic Records Team manages the Traffic Records Assessment process. It is a technical assistance tool that NHTSA/FHWA/FMCSA offer to State offices of highway safety to allow management to review the traffic records program. Their support of this process includes the formation of assessment teams representing people from throughout the United States who have extensive knowledge about traffic safety data systems. These teams spend a week interviewing the various stakeholders, data managers, and users within a State. A confidential assessment is prepared of how well the State data systems meet the guidelines contained in the Traffic Records System Advisory, the State's traffic records strengths and accomplishments are noted, and suggestions where improvements can be made are offered.

Transportation Safety Planning: A broad term related to the existing transportation planning process, safety conscious planning and the new SHSP.

Page last modified on February 1, 2017
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