USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs



This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names may appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes for continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3. Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

Strategic Highway Safety Plans – A Champion’s Guidebook to Saving Lives, Second Edition

5. Report Date

March 2013

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
100 CambridgePark Drive, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02140

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety,
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report
May 2012-September 2012

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA: Jennifer Warren, Office of Safety

16. Abstract

This document reviews the basic principles and important considerations concerning the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). It is intended as a resource for States to consult during examination of their SHSP process, as well during SHSP updates. It is also a valuable reference for professionals new to safety and planning or newly involved in the SHSP process.

This document addresses the SHSP fundamentals of champions, leadership, organizational structure, safety partners, and collaboration; data collection and analysis; content; preparation (of document); and implementation and evaluation. The original Champion’s Guide published in April 2006, provided guidance to States as they developed their first SHSPs. This revised second edition, while not guidance, is consistent with current legislation and builds upon more than five years of States’ experiences implementing SHSPs. It is designed to encourage practitioners to revisit their SHSP with effective practices and processes in mind, and includes a helpful checklist at the end of each chapter with recommended steps for achieving these standards. The document concludes with a list of additional tools and references.

17. Key Words

Transportation safety, SHSP development, SHSP implementation, transportation planning, SHSP fundamentals, safety data and analysis, SHSP emphasis areas, safety goals and objectives, SHSP content, SHSP evaluation.

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

Reproduction of completed pages authorized


The original Champion's Guide to Saving Lives, published in April 2006, provided guidance to States as they developed Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP), required for the first time by SAFETEA-LU. Since then, all States have developed and implemented their SHSPs and many have updated them at least once. Through its data-driven and collaborative process, the SHSP is helping States identify and prioritize their most pressing road safety needs, and develop a program of strategies with the greatest potential to save lives and reduce injuries.

The SHSP process is ongoing and cyclical; therefore, it is helpful to periodically revisit its elements. Strategic Highway Safety Plans: A Champion's Guidebook to Saving Lives, Second Edition addresses the fundamental and effective steps for the SHSP development process. While this Second Edition is not legislative guidance, it is consistent with MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) and is intended to be a resource for States that are updating their SHSPs or reviewing their SHSP process. It also is intended as a reference for professionals new to safety and planning. It describes the fundamentals of SHSP safety champions, leadership, organizational structure, safety partners, and collaboration and communication and how to incorporate them into the SHSP process. It also identifies helpful data collection and analysis techniques, describes typical content elements of SHSPs, provides a sample SHSP format, and describes helpful implementation and evaluation strategies. Included in the document are recommendation checklists and resources to assist practitioners through the SHSP process.

Every SHSP update is an opportunity to revisit and strengthen the State's safety priorities, performance measures, goals, objectives, and strategies. This Guidebook describes how a commitment to a data-driven, performance-based, collaborative, and multidisciplinary SHSP can dramatically improve SHSP efforts and transportation safety.

Sincerely yours,

Anthony Furst
Associate Administrator for Safety
Federal Highway Administration