The National Academies

NCHRP 17-51(04) [Completed]

Development of a National Strategy on Highway Safety — TZD Framework

  Project Data
Funds: $249,941
Research Agency: CH2M HILL
Principal Investigator: Timothy R. Neuman
Effective Date: 6/2/2011
Completion Date: 6/30/2012

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), with the help of other highway safety stakeholders, developed and adopted a strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) in 1997, and updated this plan in 2005. NCHRP Report 500: Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan has been published in 23 volumes to address the objectives of the AASHTO plan. Furthermore, each state has its own SHSP, as do many safety stakeholder organizations. Given the history of these plans, there would be benefit to examining the experiences thus far to implement these plans. Strategies most effective in prompting action to achieve, or at least address, intended goals and objectives need to be evaluated and highlighted. More recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation (specifically through the Federal Highway Administration) and several highway safety-related professional associations have initiated an effort to develop a National Strategic Highway Safety Plan to be titled, “Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety.” The national strategy is intended to be a guide or framework for safety stakeholder organizations to enhance current national, state, and local safety planning and implementation efforts. The plan will provide a wide array of accepted stakeholder strategies and innovative new strategies directed at institutional and cultural changes through the 4 E’s (education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical services). Identifying commonly accepted and successful strategies would contribute to the development of a national strategy by these stakeholder organizations. Unlike the earlier AASHTO plan, this national strategy will not be "owned" by any one organization. The strategy will cover a broad range of issues and can be utilized as a guide and framework by safety stakeholder organizations to enhance current state and local safety planning and implementation efforts. To assist in improvements to existing individual plans and serve as a resource for those interested in developing effective nationwide strategies, research is needed to identify successful strategies already deployed and to incorporate innovative countermeasures that go beyond the countermeasures already known to be effective.

The objective of this research is to identify strategies, existing and proposed, to achieve various safety-related goals over an extended period of 25 years. An array of potential strategies will be organized into a framework based on the desired safety outcome and the expected degree or rate of success. Via the framework, stakeholders will be presented with options for formulating their highway safety plans to address national, state, or local levels of activity. Strategies may also include new directions for needed research.

(1). Review existing literature associated with highway safety programs and countermeasures. In addition, review information gathered from (1) the Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety Stakeholder Workshop on August 25-26, 2010, including ten white papers prepared in advance and the workshop participants' comments on the white papers; (2) a stakeholder input webinar series conducted in June 2010; and (3) information compiled by FHWA on individual state highway safety plans. Assess strengths and weaknesses of the current information. Interview key individuals, including representatives from state DOTs with strong safety programs [i.e., Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), Zero Vision, and Target Zero] to supplement the literature review. Identify successful strategies being deployed along with likely new or proposed approaches. (2). Develop a summary report based on the findings from Task 1. This report should include a framework that organizes potential strategies by actionable items and identifies potential outcomes. Strategies should be categorized and prioritized by the rate or degree of successfully achieving various safety area performance goals over 25 years. (3). Within 4 months of the contract start, submit the results of Tasks 1 and 2 for review. The draft framework will be a stand-alone deliverable. (4). Conduct two webinars to obtain stakeholder input on the draft framework. (5). Upon NCHRP approval, conduct a workshop to present and discuss the draft framework. Revise the framework based on input received from the workshop. (6). Submit a final report documenting the entire research effort. The framework and research needs will be stand-alone appendices. (7). Provide technical support to an AASHTO-organized coalition (TZD: National Strategy on Highway Safety Steering Committee) of interested stakeholders and the AASHTO Safety Management Subcommittee in the preparation of a nationwide plan of strategies.

STATUS: The work has been completed, and the results have been forwarded to AASHTO.

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