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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Transportation Safety Planning (TSP)

The mission of TSP is to reduce transportation fatalities and serious injuries by supporting comprehensive, system-wide, multimodal, data-driven, and proactive regional and statewide transportation planning processes that integrate safety into surface transportation decision-making. Transportation Safety Planning (TSP) is a comprehensive, system-wide, multimodal, proactive process that better integrates safety into surface transportation decision-making. Federal law requires that the State and Metropolitan transportation planning processes be consistent with Strategic Highway Safety Plans. It is important for the processes to consider projects and strategies to increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.




Transportation Safety Planning and the Zero Deaths Vision: A Guide for Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Local Communities – Publication number FHWA-SA-18-024, August 2018. The Guide provides references to key information for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and local communities to understand and use the safety planning process to work toward the zero deaths vision.

Transportation Safety Planning Workshop – Communicating, Collaborating, and Coordinating to Advance TSP in:

Building Links to Improve Safety: How Safety and Transportation Planning Practitioners Work Together – Publication number FHWA-SA-16-116, December 2016. The resource guide shows transportation planners and safety practitioners how to work together to link the transportation planning and safety planning processes to address safety challenges.

Applying Safety Data and Analysis to Performance – Based Transportation Planning – Publication number FHWA-SA-15-089, November 2015. This guidebook provides State and regional planners with information on how to effectively use safety data and analysis tools in performance-based transportation planning and programming processes.

Safety Focused Decision Making Guide – Publication Number: FHWA-SA-13-034. The guide provides a framework defined by five high-level activities with continuous feedback loops for data collection and analysis and project modifications to enhance safety impacts.

Safety Focused Decision Making Guide Training – Publication Number: FHWA-SA-13-035, September 2013

Tools and Practices for System Wide Safety Improvement – Publication Number: FHWA-SA-13-033, July 2013. This is a gap analysis on current safety planning environment as it relates to projects, current tools and activities, and the desired future state.  This work is the precursor of Safety Focused Decision Making Guide (Publication Number: FHWA-SA-13-034, 2013).

Integrating Road Safety Into NEPA Analysis: A Practitioner's Primer – Publication Number: FHWA-SA-11-36, July 2011. This primer presents strategies to capitalize on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process as an effective tool for maximizing the safety benefits of transportation projects.

Brochure: Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Practitioner's Primer – Publication Number: FHWA-SA-11-37, June 2011.

Safety and NEPA Case Studies and Noteworthy Practices Introductory Document - Publication Number FHWA-SA-22-047.  This case study document begins with a discussion of the Roadway Safety Management Process and its applicability to the broader project development process. The introduction and case studies then narrow the focus of safety analysis for the purpose of incorporating safety elements specifically within the context project purpose and need and the NEPA process. The document concludes with an Appendix of specific codes and federal regulations that help justify safety as a relevant part of the NEPA legal framework.

Incorporating Safety into Project Purpose and Need - Publication Number FHWA-SA-22-043.  This case study documents formal guidance developed by three State DOTs and outlines noteworthy practices for incorporating safety as a project need: Pennsylvania DOT’s (PennDOT’s) Needs Study Handbook,  Florida DOT’s (FDOT’s) Safety Analysis Guidebook for Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Studies, and Ohio DOT’s (ODOT’s) Guidance for Developing Purpose and Need. Each section presents an overview of each agency’s process, its applicability to safety, and a project example that illustrates the guidance in practice.

Colorado's I-25 South Gap Environmental Assessment - Publication Number FHWA-SA-22-044.  This case study presents how the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was able to incorporate safety as part of the NEPA process to rapidly address a major transportation need for the State. The I-25 South Gap Environmental Assessment touches on several themes noted in FHWA’s Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Practitioner’s Primer : Considering Safety Prior to NEPA, Public and Stakeholder Engagement, Safety in Purpose and Need, and Safety in Mitigation.

Kentucky's Second Street Corridor (US 60) Complete Street and Road Diet Project - Publication Number FHWA-SA-22-045.  The City of Frankfort, Kentucky’s Second Street Corridor project is an example of how local governments and State departments of transportation (DOTs) can address safety needs during NEPA process.  This case study touches on several themes noted in FHWA’s Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Practitioner’s Primer : Considering Safety Prior to NEPA, Stakeholder and Public Engagement, Safety and Environmental Justice, Safety and Environmental Stewardship, and Future Opportunities for Complete Streets.

North Dakota's US 85 Expansion Environmental Impact Statement - Publication Number FHWA-SA-22-046.  This case study presents how the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) was able to proactively address emerging system needs through the NEPA process and incorporate safety and minimize environmental impacts.    The US Highway 85 (US 85) expansion project touches on several themes noted in FHWA’s Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: A Practitioner’s Primer : Stakeholder and Public Engagement, Safety in Purpose and Need, Highway Safety Manual Applications, and Safety and Environmental Stewardship.   

Safety Performance Measure Primer – A Tool for Integrating Safety in the Planning Process – Publication Number FHWA-HEP-09-043, September 2009. The primer is a tool to help State and local practitioners, transportation planners, and decision-makers identify, select, and use safety performance measures as a part of the transportation planning process



This newsletter, although is no longer in production, contains information on how transportation agencies integrate safety and the transportation planning process and how this process is coordinated with the safety planning process. This information is presented in the forms of publications, tools, research, and training.

Planning It Safe Newsletter – March 2014

Planning It Safe Newsletter – January 2013

Planning It Safe Newsletter – November 2012

Directions in Road Safety Newsletter – January 2012


Roadway Safety Noteworthy Practices Database – The FHWA Office of Safety collects and makes noteworthy practices available in this database. Transportation agencies are encouraged to nominate noteworthy practices by entering information into the database.

Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Technical Assistance – The P2P Program is designed to help agencies develop and implement effective strategies and programs that reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries on public roads.

Check out Coordinating State and Regional Transportation Safety Planning through the SHSP Process P2P report – May 2013

Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) – The TPCB Program organizes, facilitates, and documents events in order to share noteworthy practices among transportation agencies.

Other Resources

NCHRP Report 811, Institutionalizing Safety in Transportation Planning Processes: Techniques, Tactics, and Strategies, 2015 – Report 811 provides field-tested guidance on institutionalizing the integration of safety into transportation planning and programming processes. The guidebook also provides ways to measure the effectiveness and success of integration efforts.

TRB Webinar: A New Transportation Safety Planning Framework, 2016 – Based on the NCHRP Report 811, this webinar features research that seeks to provide guidance to State DOT and MPOs on institutionalizing the continuous integration of safety into transportation planning and programming processes. The presenters reviewed the tactics, techniques, and strategies that contribute to effective safety, planning, and policy decisions.

NCHRP Report 05-46, Incorporating Safety into Long-Range Transportation Planning, 2006 – Report 546 was a first step in providing MPO and DOT transportation planners with tools and strategies to consider safety in the planning process.


State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) play the leading roles in transportation safety planning. However, to make the greatest impact, it is importation to look beyond the traditional stakeholders. Other stakeholders who should be at the table include:

  • State, Local, and Tribal Transportation Agencies
  • Regional Planning Organizations
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Local Law Enforcement
  • Transit Agencies
  • State Agencies responsible for:
    • safety data collection & management
    • law enforcement
    • motor vehicle departments
  • Federal Agencies–FHWA, NHTSA, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • National Organizations–Transportation Research Board, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, National Association of Regional Councils, AASHTO, American Public Transit Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers
  • Highway Safety Community–Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, Operation Lifesaver, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, etc.