In 2020, people drove significantly less because of the pandemic, yet the number of people involved in fatal transportation crashes rose eight percent since 2019 to over 42,000. Even prior to 2020, transportation-related fatalities consistently averaged about 35,000 - that’s 35,000 more than the acceptable number of zero. Traffic crashes take people away without notice, but what makes them even worse is they can be prevented.
The new Secretary of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration continues to place emphasis on equity, speed, safe multimodal options, distraction, and other challenges that impede progress toward zero roadway deaths. To support this focus and provide directions to transportation agencies, FHWA is promoting a Safe System Approach (SSA). The purpose is to re-frame transportation policies and priorities, culture, and coordination efforts to create safe spaces for all road users, first and foremost.
Planners, Engineers, and Designers all have a role to play when implementing the SSA at their agencies. This presentation will highlight how to address safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speed, safe roads, and post-crash care during planning and programming. More specifically, it will explore:
- What is a safe system?
- What are the benefits and challenges?
- What is the Planner’s/Designer’s/Engineer’s role in a Safe System Approach?
- Lessons learned and steps you can take at your agency to get started.