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2017 National Roadway Safety Awards

Nine state transportation departments display innovative improvements for safer traffic

December 12, 2017

The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation have selected their list of winner for the 2017 National Roadway Safety Awards and released the accompanying Noteworthy Practices Guide that spotlights the nation’s very best efforts by public agencies to save lives on the nation’s roadways.

Here are this year's winners:

DELAWARE : High-Friction Surface Treatment Systemic Safety Improvements

  • The Safety Concern: Roadway departures account for nearly 40% of Delaware's fatal crashes, and half of them occur on curves
  • The Solution: High-friction surface treatments (HFST) dramatically improve traction and reduce fatal crashes
  • The Result: A 56% reduction in roadway departure crashes across the treated sites, and an overall benefit-cost ratio of 23.97.

Side-by-side comparison of newly-installed HFST (right) next to traditional surfacing (left)

FLORIDA: Wrong-Way Driving (WWD) Mitigation Initiatives

  • The Safety Concern: Wrong-way driving (WWD) incidents statewide, and a spike in WWD particularly in the Tampa Bay area, which experienced 11 WWD fatalities in one year
  • The Solution: A comprehensive approach to mitigating wrong-way driving through infrastructure and operational improvements, as well as policy changes and ongoing research, implementation and monitoring efforts
  • The Result: Sustained and proactive engineering countermeasures, education efforts, and enforcement actions helped mitigate WWD crashes statewide.

MICHIGAN: Improved Incident Scene Safety with Partnerships

  • The Safety Concern: A spike in vehicles striking fire department vehicles responding to crash scenes in the Grand Rapids area, and challenging freeway layouts that make providing advance notice to motorists difficult
  • The Solution: A multi-agency Traffic Incident Management (TIM) partnership that yielded new strategies for shielding and clearing crash scenes, including a crash attenuator truck and expedited towing
  • The Result: 31% reduction in tow truck response time, reduction in vehicles striking fire

MINNESOTA: Implementation of Data Driven Safety Solutions

  • The Safety Concern: County roads in Minnesota account for half of all fatal crashes, but less than a quarter of vehicle-miles traveled in the state
  • The Solution: Development and implementation of County Road Safety Plans (CRSP) for all 87 Minnesota counties, emphasizing low-cost, systemic improvements over high-cost reactive treatments
  • The Result: 330 low-cost, proactive safety improvements on the county road network, and a 25% reduction in the county road fatality rate during the four-year period following the CRSP process.

VIRGINIA: Instant Roundabout

  • The Safety Concern: An alarming increase in crashes due to rising traffic volumes
  • The Solution: An instant roundabout installed in less than a week using off-the-shelf products
  • The Result: An 89% reduction in injury crashes with a solution 95% less costly than a traditional roundabout.

Alaska: Safety Corridor Program

  • The Safety Concern: High rates of fatal and serious injury crashes – especially head-on collisions – on high-speed two-lane roads with seasonal traffic levels over 20,000 vehicles per day
  • The Solution: A multidisciplinary approach to safety involving collaboration between each of the "4 Es": Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Response
  • The Result: In the decade since Alaska's Safety Zones were established by law, fatal and serious injury crashes have a sustained reduction in the established Safety Corridors by 45%.

MISSOURI: Road to Saving Lives Design-Build Project

  • The Safety Concern: In the last decade, 8,752 motorists have died on Missouri's roads, leaving the state searching for an effective way to implement its Toward Zero Deaths strategy
  • The Solution: Five Design-Build teams competed in a unique procurement process to offer MoDOT the most cost-effective safety treatments based on Highway Safety Manual analysis
  • The Result: A winning bid to address improvements at all 31 identified locations, projected to prevent 73 deaths and serious injuries over 10 years and be completed nine months ahead of schedule.

New Jersey: Roundabout Implementation Program

  • The Safety Concern: The intersection of two county roads in Burlington County, NJ had experienced severe crashes and was identified for improvements
  • The Solution: The installation of a roundabout at the location
  • The Result: A 100% reduction in right-angle and left-turn crashes at the location, and additional roundabout implementation elsewhere in the state.

TENNESSEE: Safety Projects Evaluation Report

  • The Safety Concern: Outcome evaluations are an important, but often-overlooked, element in demonstrating that safety investments achieved their real-world potential
  • The Solution: A thorough review of six years of safety projects
  • The Result: Strong, actionable evidence for TDOT showing a 60% reduction in crash frequency overall, and cost-effectively identifying additional locations in need of further study or improvement.

For case studies of each winner, download FHWA's 2017 National Roadway Safety Awards Noteworthy Practices Guide

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