Nine roadway safety projects received National Highway Safety Awards from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF). Safety experts agree that outmoded road designs and conditions contribute to nearly 30 percent of the more than 41,000 highway fatalities each year. The Washington, D.C., award ceremony honored initiatives that save lives by improving roadway design, operations, and overall planning.
Award winners include state transportation departments, a governor's highway safety program, and a state police agency. They are: The Delaware Department of Transportation for installing centerline rumble strips on Route 301. This project has resulted in a documented 90 percent decrease in the head-on collision rate and no fatalities since the project's completion six years ago. For more information, contact Randall Grunden, 302-760-2145. The Virginia Department of Transportation for Continuous Shoulder Rumble Strips (CSRS). Virginia's CSRS project has reduced run-off-the-road crashes by 51.5 percent. For more information, contact Ilona O. Kastenhofer, 804-786-2965. The Midwest States Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. This project evaluated 26 work zone technologies to determine their impact on the safety and efficiency of traffic operations. This public-private partnership also involved the university faculty in each state, FHWA, and Mid-America Transportation Center. For more information, contact Kathy Glenn, 402-472-6363. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation PennDOT 2-Dot Tailgating Treatment program. Aggressive driving and tailgating dropped 60 percent in an area equipped with reflective dots on the roadway that help motorists gauge their distance behind moving vehicles. PennDOT partnered with police on a portion of U.S. 11 that previously had experienced high rates of tailgating. For more information, contact Michael Hess, 570-368-4344. The Alabama Department of Transportation ALDOT Fast Track Hazard Elimination Safety program. Alabama is spending $19 million on a variety of high-priority projects to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by 20 percent during the next ten years. Fast Track increased safety project development by 58 percent in 2000. For more information, contact Waymon Benifield, 334-242-6128. The Kentucky State Police Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH) program. This system improves the analysis of traffic collision data and produces reports that are free-of-charge to any law enforcement agency within the Commonwealth. For more information, contact Sgt. John Carrico, 502-227-8700. The PennDOT Road Test of the Road Safety Audit Process. This program produces detailed evaluations of safety data and has led to safety improvements for elderly drivers, bicyclists, emergency vehicles, buses, trucks and pedestrians. For more information, contact Timothy Pieples, 724-357-2819. The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety for its Work Zone Safety for Roadway Maintenance Operations. This interactive multimedia training system provides Web-based training on work zone safety regulations and "best practices." For more information, contact Claudia Knezek, 732-445-3632. The Washington Department of Transportation Intersection Safety Improvement Priority Program. Under this program, state transportation officials can analyze the need for designated turn lanes and prioritize improvements based on expected benefits. For more information, contact Larry Larson, 509-324-6205.
"Nearly 42,000 people died on American roadways last year, and well over 400,000 have died over the past decade. . .millions more have suffered injuries, too many of them debilitating," said William D. Fay, RSF trustee. "Studies have shown that thousands of crashes, fatalities and injuries each year could be eliminated by implementing safety features and learning from crash data. We congratulate the award winners for their contributions to roadway safety. The hard part was choosing the winners from among the outstanding array of life-saving projects."
Fay was a member of the blue-ribbon panel of safety experts that selected the award winners from more than 60 applications. They were chosen for road design improvements; operational improvements; and program planning, development, and evaluation initiatives aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities. The National Safety Awards program is a biennial event; the next awards will be presented in 2003.
The Roadway Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes by improving the safety of U.S. highways and bridges. RSF is dedicated to reducing highway deaths and injuries by improving the physical characteristics of U.S. roads. RSF's programs are funded from annual contributions, grants and other donations received from private and public sector organizations. More information about the Roadway Safety Foundation can be found on the Internet at www.roadwaysafety.org.