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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

SHSP Quick Reference Guide

shsp_qr.pdf (2.13 MB)


You are the new program manager for the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)—now what? You’ve probably already discovered that the SHSP is no small task. The SHSP involves a variety of stakeholders from different agencies and disciplines all of whom have their own set of expectations and concerns; there are a number of tasks to complete; and there are connections that need to be made so the process can be successful. This is why an SHSP program manager is vital to the success of the SHSP. This guide, however, is a useful reference for anyone who is new to the SHSP process and can be used for stakeholders, leaders, or anyone interested in getting involved.

This guide is designed to provide you with a quick reference to the basic information you need to get started with the SHSP and successfully manage the process. It will provide you with an overview of the basic elements and requirements of an SHSP, as well as provide you with helpful resources and links to learn more. We recommend reviewing the document in order, but if you are pressed for time, making sure you understand the requirements is crucial.

This on-line guide is designed to be both interactive and intuitive. Please use the “control” bar along the left side of the viewing screen to either: 1) go to the various sections of the guide, or 2) download a PDF version.

To go to any section within the guide, simply move the cursor over the SHSP Quick Reference Guide text under the “Go To” section of the control bar. A small window will open allowing the user to select the section desired. Simply click to open the Section. Within the guide there are links to various Web sites and reports where users can go for more information. These are opened in a separate window.

To download the PDF version simply click on the document under the “Download” section of the control bar. This will open the PDF version of the selected document in a new window. The control bar along the right side of the window is available from any page allowing users to easily get back to where they started from anywhere.

“When Congress required States to develop an SHSP, they did so because the process works. Bringing the various safety disciplines together to work jointly on the most serious traffic safety problems is making a difference.”

Elizabeth Alicandri, Associate Administrator, FHWA Office of Safety


The role of the SHSP Program Manager is paramount in creating a process that functions effectively and efficiently, and it’s worth it. Over the past 10 years, there has been a reduction of nearly 25 percent in the number of fatalities on the Nation’s roadways. Still, much needs to be done to move our Nation towards zero deaths and State SHSPs are charting the course.

The SHSP process is multifaceted, and so are the skills of an SHSP Program Manager. You’ll find some days you are a meeting planner and facilitator, and other days you are a diplomat and Champion for the SHSP. Some of the specific roles and responsibilities for an SHSP Program Manager include the following:

  • Serve as the point person for all SHSP-related activities, programs, and projects;
  • Manage meetings for the SHSP, including those involving the Executive and Steering Committees;
  • Ensure the emphasis area teams are meeting and functioning well;
  • Assist SHSP key players (Executive and Steering Committees, emphasis area teams) in finding solutions to problems, and help overcome barriers;
  • Work to obtain data for the SHSP’s data-driven process;
  • Organize special meetings and events as needed such as Summits and Workshops;
  • Spearhead and track implementation efforts; and
  • Ensure the SHSP is evaluated and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it is moving in the right direction.