Multi-Agency Collaboration Effort to Improve Highway Safety
Snyder & Associates assisted the Iowa Department of Transportation and other transportation safety stakeholders including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, other state and local agencies, and Universities with an update to its statewide Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Required by the U.S. DOT/FHWA Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), the plan provides goals and strategies to reduce highway fatalities and injuries on all public roads in the state.
To develop the plan, our transportation professionals worked with two multiagency stakeholder groups—the Update Team and the Implementation Team, a larger advisory group. These stakeholder groups collaborated to develop strategies and goals that represent the Strategic Highway Safety Plan’s five E’s:
- Engineering – Our focus on safety begins with how we design and build roadways. Proven design methods that reduce the risk of crashes, national standards for signs and traffic markings, along with research, contribute to making transportation safe.
- Education – Effective campaigns such as “Message Mondays” to reinforce safe driving habits in order to reduce fatalities and serious injuries.
- Enforcement – State, county, and municipal law enforcement are essential to encourage drivers to follow the rules of the road.
- Emergency medical services – Emergency medical personnel tend to injuries and can save lives. Other responders clear roadways and direct traffic, reducing the risk of secondary crashes.
- Everyone – Ultimately, the responsibility of traffic safety belongs to everyone who gets in a vehicle. We all must work together to make our roads safe.
The scope of the project involved a review of statewide crash data and trends to identify progress toward safety goals and emerging areas of concern. Additional work included:
- Data collection on existing programs and policies
- Facilitation of workgroup meetings
- A review of federal guidelines and policies to ensure the planning process and performance measures were consistent with federal guidelines
A key component of the process involved providing updates on programs and policies implemented from the prior plan. For this, stakeholders updated programs, policies, and educational campaigns for their respective agencies/organizations in addition to providing current data and research for their areas of expertise. The new two-year update had to be complete for Iowa to continue receiving approximately $24 million in annual federal safety funding.
Meeting Federal Guidelines
As the planning consultant, Snyder & Associates guided the process to conform to federal guidelines and stay on schedule. In doing so, we worked with the Iowa DOT and safety stakeholders to ensure the plan was data-driven, coordinated with the other statewide transportation plans, informed by a performance-based approach, and identified strategies consistent with safety priorities and the vision of Zero Fatalities.