FHWA Details Latest Safety Efforts in Support of USDOT National Roadway Safety Strategy
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WASHINGTON – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reaffirmed its commitment today to making travel safer for those in vehicles and outside of them as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) work to make roads safer through the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS). FHWA’s efforts are focused on safer roads and road users, safer speeds, and post-crash care and include exploring new approaches and investing the significant resources provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve safety for those both inside and outside a vehicle.
In the past six months alone, FHWA has taken numerous steps as part of its all-in, coordinated approach designed to address the national roadway fatality crisis.
- In October, FHWA announced new guidance to provide additional clarity for states as they develop their Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment. That assessment, a new safety approach established under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is used to gauge the safety performance of individual states, identify areas of high risk to vulnerable road users, and then utilize that assessment to drive strategy and investment decisions around further safety improvements to mitigate identified safety risks.
- In November, during Crash Responder Safety Week, FHWA emphasized the importance of post-crash care – one of five key tactics in the Safe System Approach supported by the Department. Since 2012, FHWA has provided free Traffic Incident Management training to more than 619,000 responders.
- In December, FHWA announced more transportation innovations through the Every Day Counts program, including two chosen specifically to improve safety: Nighttime Visibility for Safety and Next-Generation Traffic Incident Management.
- In January, the agency unveiled two new efforts to improve road safety and advance Complete Streets that serve all road users. First, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued seeking input on ways to improve safety and design standards for roads to facilitate the development of Complete Streets that serve all road users. Second, FHWA made a new waiver available that will remove financial barriers for States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations interested in pursuing certain Complete Streets activities.
- In February, FHWA began working with the 510 Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant recipients to assist them with getting their safety projects implemented.
- Data shows that traffic crashes occur more frequently in Tribal and rural communities, and addressing this is one of the safety goals laid out in the NRSS. In February, as part of the Department’s commitment to reducing roadway fatalities, FHWA provided $21 million in Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund grants for 93 projects to improve road safety on Tribal lands.
- In March, FHWA provided updated guidance to its Division Offices to support States interested in bringing their procedures and criteria for resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation work on roads as well as freeways and other highways into alignment with current practices, particularly those that improve roadway safety.
- Also in March, USDOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg joined Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt and FHWA Executive Director Gloria Shepherd at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center to get a closer look at smart intersections and other technological advances that can help the nation reach the goal of zero deaths on U.S. roadways someday.
- Earlier this month FHWA implemented the first-of-its-kind Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program will help states and communities construct wildlife crossings over or below busy roads, add warning signs for drivers, acquire mapping and tracking tools.
And this week, FHWA underscored its commitment to improving safety for highway workers who are outside of a vehicle and therefore considered vulnerable road users during National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 17-21). Resources provided under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the new Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program and FHWA’s existing Highway Safety Improvement Program, can be used to improve the safety of roads and those using or working on them. FHWA’s Work Zone Safety Grant Program also continues under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with $12 million provided for grants to non-profit organizations over five years and funding for the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
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