The biennial competition, which began in 1999, was created to honor highly successful and innovative approaches to improving roadway and traffic safety at the state and local level, officials said.
“These awards honor those who successfully identified dangerous deficiencies in their systems and applied our latest research and technology to implement effective and cost-efficient fixes,” RSF Executive Director Greg Cohen said in a statement. “We salute these winners—the unsung heroes who planned, engineered and implemented these innovative solutions—and urge DOTs across the nation to consider these projects and apply them wherever possible.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes cost over 37,000 lives in 2017 and 2.7 million injuries.
Applicants for the awards were encouraged to nominate successful programs that are innovative, cost-effective, and able to be replicated elsewhere. In addition, the awards included two categories: Infrastructure and Operational Improvements, and Program Planning, Development and Evaluation. From the applications received this year, seven winners and one honorable mention were selected.
- Arizona: For its installation of a first-in-the-nation Wrong-Way Driving (WWD) Alert System to combat serious WWD crashes through the use of thermal camera technology.
- Florida (earned two awards): First, for its creation of the “Alert Today Florida” program to address the state’s very high fatality rate among its pedestrians and bicyclists. Second, for initiating its “Design-Build Push-Button Contract” which has had great success at getting safety improvements quickly from “concept to concrete.”
- Missouri: For its “Median U-Turn” program to reduce the severe and fatal-injury crashes along a stretch of roadway in central Missouri.
- South Dakota: For its “High Friction Surface Treatment Project (HFST)” which resulted in HFST installations in 15 areas in the Blacks Hills area. In the two winters following the installations, there was a total crash reduction of 78%.
- Virginia: (earned two awards): First, for its “Strategic Guardrail Management Program” which improved the state’s investment on its guardrails by improving hundreds of the lowest functioning guardrail terminals at the highest risk locations across the state. Second, for its statewide “Pedestrian Safety Action Plan” which provides a successful strategy for identifying high risk areas for pedestrians and then quickly funding and installing safety improvements at those locations.
Also recognized this year with an Honorable Mention was Garfield County in Washington State for the development of its Garfield County Road Improvement Safety Plan, which provides the cornerstone of a long-term, comprehensive, data-driven safety program for the county’s rural roadway system.
SOURCE: Roadway Safety Foundation