U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Document No. FHWA-SA-16-069
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June 16-17, 2015
This report summarizes a peer exchange hosted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) on June 16-17, 2015, in Frankfort, KY. The event included peer representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the FHWA Missouri Division Office, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and the FHWA Tennessee Division Office. The exchange was supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety's Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building Program and the FHWA Kentucky Division Office.
The peer exchange was convened to gather States that have excelled in developing and implementing the SHSP, and to generate lessons learned, to help KYTC and KOHS draft and implement Kentucky's upcoming SHSP update. Specifically, the Kentucky participants were interested in using the exchange to achieve the following:
Participating peer States prepared presentations organized around those three goals, and also addressed Kentucky's needs through a series of roundtable discussions. At the end of the exchange, the Kentucky participants synthesized input from the peer States to prepare an action plan for improving Kentucky's SHSP processes. The agenda is available in Appendix A. The list of participants is available in Appendix B. The following report summarizes the peer presentations, and the discussion between Kentucky participants and the three peer States.
Kentucky completed its first SHSP in 2006. This initial SHSP had ten emphasis areas. Two emphasis areas (traffic records and legislative actions) were removed from Kentucky's first SHSP update, which was completed in 2010. The 2010 SHSP added two new emphasis areas: pedestrians and intersections. Kentucky's 2015 SHSP update, currently underway, features eleven emphasis areas divided into four groups: vulnerable populations, behavior modification, design, and system management. KOHS provided an overview of each of these eleven emphasis areas, including goals and objectives for each. The emphasis areas include performance measures and strategies organized according to the 4 Es of safety: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical services (EMS). Certain strategies, such as rumble strips, are included under multiple emphasis areas. This approach helps demonstrate the high benefit-cost ratio of those strategies.
Partly as a result of SHSP implementation, fatalities on Kentucky's roads decreased from 985 in 2005 to 638 in 2013, with an uptick to 672 in 2014. The fatal crash rate has also declined over this period. Distracted driving, impaired driving, and occupant protection (lack of seatbelt use) are the three largest contributing factors to fatal crashes in Kentucky. The improvement in safety over the past ten years has been impressive, but the rate of decline in fatalities appears to be reaching a plateau, possibly because KYTC has already addressed the “low-hanging fruit” of highway safety.
Kentucky's Toward Zero Deaths website provides access to safety programs and opportunities available through the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Other venues for safety information include the daily fatality report through the Fatal Accident Reporting System and KOHS daily fatalities update and trend report by highway district. The KOHS report focuses on occupant protection, impaired driving, and distracted driving. KOHS also provides a web-based safety dashboard with much of the same information, in addition to smartphone applications such as Drive Sober Kentucky and Text Limit.
The three key topics of discussion during the peer exchange were emphasis area selection and implementation, partnerships, and performance measures and evaluation. The next section summarizes the discussion across those areas.
Georgia finds that successful SHSPs weave statewide visions and goals throughout the plan. GDOT follows this approach by communicating the “Every Life Counts” vision throughout its SHSP and in communications with internal and external partners. Georgia's SHSP Executive Board has an important role in implementing the SHSP. The Executive Board passes and approves the Statewide vision and goals and then supports those goals in all of its activities. The Executive Board meets on a quarterly basis.
GDOT finds that the most effective emphasis area and task teams have enthusiastic, outgoing, and organized task team leaders.
One noteworthy part of GDOT's SHSP implementation activities are its SHSP task teams. GDOT and the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) implement the State's SHSP through 13 task teams—one for each emphasis area, plus task teams for overarching topics, such as data. Most task teams meet monthly. GDOT finds that strong task team leaders help implement the SHSP effectively.
Each task team relies on an implementation plan to guide their efforts. Each implementation plan has goals that are challenging, but realistic. Implementation plans also include measurable performance metrics connected to known data sources; they are clearly-worded and organized by objectives and 4 E strategies. Each strategy is assigned a champion who helps the task team leader organize and motivate the team. Task teams report to the SHSP executive board.
Missouri's SHSP is a story of collaboration among many parties. The Missouri Governor's Highway Safety Administration combined with MoDOT in 2004. MoDOT has found that integrating the agencies has helped engineering and behavioral/human factors staff collaborate on developing and implementing the SHSP.
MoDOT has met with success in getting local agencies to participate in regional SHSP meetings by using full-time staff to reserve meeting rooms, reach out to participants from multiple agencies, and facilitate discussions.
Missouri's latest SHSP includes six emphasis areas. There are several focus areas within each emphasis area. For example, the vulnerable roadway user's emphasis area includes older drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicycles as focus areas. Within each focus area, the SHSP lists key strategies organized by the 4 Es of safety, plus technology and public policy. The SHSP also features a set of key strategies called, “the necessary nine.” The necessary nine are strategies, such as increased seatbelt use, that MoDOT has identified as having the greatest potential to save lives.
Tennessee completed its first SHSP in 2004. Since then, roadway fatalities in the State have decreased from 1,324 to 961. Tennessee completed its latest SHSP update in January 2015. Between June 2013 and December 2014, Tennessee used a consultant to evaluate their previous SHSP, learn from other States' SHSPs, restructure the SHSP, consult with stakeholders, and coordinate SHSP draft reviews. TDOT uses Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds to pay for consultant services.
Brian Hurst (TDOT) and Jessica Rich (FHWA) at the signing of the SHSP update in January 2015.
The SHSP update featured the following six emphasis areas:
Some emphasis areas, such as infrastructure improvements, represented a combination of existing emphasis areas. The emphasis areas drew from a range of plans and data sources, including the HSIP, Transportation Improvement Programs, Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs, the Traffic Records Plan, the Commercial Motor Vehicles Plan, the Highway Safety Performance Plan, and the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Plan.
Each emphasis area includes sub-emphasis areas, some which are represented across multiple emphasis areas. Senior drivers, for example, are a focus area under vulnerable road users and operational improvements. Tennessee created teams to guide implementation of each emphasis area and assigned a chairperson to each team. Tennessee also created emphasis area action plans, using guidance from FHWA and other resources.
Georgia's presentation on partnerships emphasized that reaching out to partners and bringing people together is crucial to SHSP development. GDOT recognizes the logic of using State employees to lead committees and task teams, but also values sharing responsibilities with all the partners involved. Georgia's young adult driving task team, for example, is led by a representative from a local rehabilitation hospital, rather than a GDOT or GOHS employee.
Although it can be difficult to engage certain groups in task teams, Georgia noted that it takes a diverse range of partners to create an effective and vibrant task team to guide SHSP implementation.
Generally, Georgia prefers to engage a variety of representatives in each emphasis area team, including staff with multiple skills. GDOT and GOHS intentionally reach out to non-traditional safety partners, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and educational institutions. GDOT and GOHS also encourage potential partners to sit in on task team meetings, even if they are only curious about the team's activities. As for leadership, GDOT has found that it is important to rotate task team leaders to prevent burnout.
Missouri's SHSP is governed by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety (MCRS) executive committee, eleven emphasis area subcommittees, and seven regional coalitions. MCRS is a partnership of local, State, Federal, and private organizations committed to the common goal of making travel safer on Missouri's roadways.
MoDOT is interested in expanding its SHSP partnerships to the private sector, including corporate employee safety programs and chambers of commerce.
The coalitions and subcommittees also contribute to the overarching mission and goals of the SHSP. Each subcommittee chair is part of the executive committee, which helps centralize SHSP leadership. Each MoDOT district corresponds to a regional coalition. Each coalition is responsible for a regional plan that dovetails into the overall SHSP. By following this organizational structure, MoDOT is able to effectively engage local, regional, and State stakeholders from partner agencies and associations.
MoDOT provides $1.9 million in State funding to its seven regional coalitions. MoDOT sets aside Public Information and Education funds in addition to other funding for subcommittees. The executive committee maintains a balance of funds that can be used as needed to drive down fatal and serious injury crashes. MoDOT finds that access to funding helps to advance important subcommittee programs and activities.
TDOT and the FHWA Tennessee Division Office worked with a number of partners to develop the State's most recent SHSP update, with input from associations, advocacy groups, and government agencies at the Federal, State, and regional levels. Partners included the following agencies and organizations:
TDOT plans to begin using webinar technology to expand participation in its quarterly SHSP partner meetings.
TDOT has found that identifying new partners and keeping historic partners engaged in the SHSP process is crucial to successful SHSP implementation. Among other benefits, strong partnerships offer opportunities for information sharing and idea generation. For that reason, TDOT is continuously expanding its list of partners by reaching out to active safety groups.
GDOT is establishing a performance measure for each emphasis area and task team. GDOT emphasizes the need to pick performance metrics that are measurable by reliable and available data sources. GDOT argues that well-documented performance management processes are important because they help preserve institutional memory and ensure evaluations that are replicable.
GDOT noted that performance measures should be understandable to both engineers and the general public.
GDOT hopes to use the evaluation and performance management process to shape future implementation plans and SHSP updates. GDOT explained that the results of performance management can help validate or invalidate SHSP strategies and demonstrate the value of SHSP efforts. Georgia chooses measurable strategies that help define success. However, GDOT has found that certain “black and white” performance measures do not adequately capture progress toward achieving a strategy. As such, GDOT focuses performance measures that are more nuanced answers than “yes” or “no.”
GDOT uses a number of reporting practices to communicate safety progress and evaluate success. GDOT produces a daily fatality report with running totals on fatalities compared to the past two years. GDOT also uses the Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting System to produce fatality reports by GDOT district. These reports include information on total crashes, injuries, commercial vehicle crashes, and other information. GDOT has found that brief reports on safety baselines, trends, and progress within each emphasis area help the agency evaluate the SHSP on a continual basis.
MoDOT's Tracker Tool
Missouri's SHSP relies on statistical evidence to determine progress toward its performance measures for each emphasis area. The SHSP includes outcome-based and output-based performance measures. In the lane departure emphasis area, for example, the SHSP looks at rumble strip mileage (output-based) and the number of lane departure crashes (outcome-based).
In addition to emphasis area-specific measures, MoDOT presents information on big-picture safety outcomes, such as a five-year rolling average of fatalities and serious injuries. MoDOT also reports other big-picture information, such as fatalities by system—for example, State highway, interstate, or city/county road.
For ten years MoDOT has used its Tracker tool to assess how well the agency meets the needs of its customers. Based on MoDOT's Mission and Value Statements, the tool presents performance measures in various areas—including but not limited to safety—to demonstrate tangible results of the agency's activities. MoDOT reviews these measures quarterly and communicates progress internally and externally.
For formal reporting procedures, Missouri's SHSP subcommittees regularly present information to the SHSP executive committee. Much of the same information is captured in the Missouri Highway Safety Annual Report, which is also delivered to the MCRS Executive Committee. In addition to this report, each SHSP update includes a results section that communicates progress toward the goals of the previous SHSP.
Tennessee's recent SHSP update included five-year averages for a number of performance measures, including roadway departure crashes, intersection fatalities, and alcohol-related fatalities. Tennessee is also prepared to report on the four required safety performance measures from MAP-21: rate of serious injury and fatal crashes, and total number of serious injury and fatal crashes.
In addition to the number and rate of fatalities and serious injuries, TDOT tracks safety awareness and the availability of safety training.
Outside of the four required measures, Tennessee developed performance measures by examining each countermeasure in the SHSP and considered how they could be translated to a performance measure. With performance measures in place, Tennessee established time frames for evaluating the measures, reporting on progress, making strategy adjustments, and using evaluations to prepare the next SHSP update.
In general, TDOT avoids broad strategies that are difficult to measure. However, when necessary, TDOT does rely on broadly-worded performance measures, such as, “incorporate latest design strategies into roadway safety audits.” TDOT believes that every safety strategy corresponds to at least one outcome or output that can be measured.
The following section summarizes key discussions that occurred during the peer exchange.
The group discussed strategies for keeping partners engaged. One suggestion was to rotate team members and chairpersons to prevent burn-out. TDOT recommended reaching out to partners to make sure they want to remain involved in the SHSP. To this end, some States prepared written roles and responsibilities that explain expectations for participating partners.
States talked about strategies to reach local agencies. MoDOT has had success using its Local Technical Assistance Program, the Missouri and Kansas City Metro Chapters of the American Public Works Association, and the Missouri Association of County Transportation Officials to reach out to local agencies. KYTC staff recommended using State and national associations, such as the National Association of County Engineers and the American Public Works Association to engage local partners.
States also discussed using local or regional SHSPs to engage local partners. MoDOT noted that its performance measures reflect regional priorities, and may differ by region. Like many other States, Missouri has started conducting regional plans that tailor the SHSP to local needs. To date, MoDOT has completed seven county plans on non-MoDOT facilities. MoDOT has focused efforts in counties that have the greatest opportunity to reduce fatal and serious injury Crashes on the local road system. The Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City is working on a second version of its safety plan, known as Destination Safe.
Kentucky noted that it would like to involve the Administrative Office of the Courts and other judicial entities, because they can provide valuable court data. MoDOT has a judicial outreach liaison to help engage those partners.
An EMS representative who focuses on pedestrian safety in Louisville is involved in the Kentucky SHSP. Kentucky has also engaged EMS partners through the TIM training program, which the Kentucky Board of Medical Services supports. KYTC will provide TIM training at an upcoming statewide EMS conference. Generally, EMS is involved in only in the incident management focus area, but could potentially contribute to other emphasis areas, such as mature drivers.
States discussed using annual safety conferences or similar events to market the SHSP and engage stakeholders. The Kentucky Lifesavers Conference is closely tied to the SHSP; Kentucky sees additional opportunities to use this event to conduct SHSP outreach. Similarly, MoDOT holds an annual traffic safety conference that involves leaders from several partner agencies, including FMCSA, NHTSA, and FHWA.
Regarding engaging corporate partners in the SHSP—or, more broadly, in public health and safety—KYTC noted that it does not have active corporate partners, but does work with the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center to communicate with the public on safety issues. Kentucky is interested in getting large companies interested in protecting their employees on the road. Kentucky may contact the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety about this possibility. Toyota's Alive at 25 partnerships with the National Safety Council and the Kentucky State Police may also provide a good model for engaging the private sector.
States discussed how they evaluate the implementation of their SHSPs. Some States conduct formalized implementation evaluations. MoDOT, for example, reports on SHSP progress in its HSP, Intersection Safety Plan, and other plans that overlap with the SHSP. MoDOT's SHSP executive committee, which includes representatives from NHTSA, FMSCA, MSHP, MoDOT, and the FHWA Division Administrator's Office, meets two to three times per year to report on performance measures. MoDOT has found that the reporting helps to identify successes and opportunities for the executive committee members in their respective areas.
By looking at high-level safety indicators, States can determine whether change is occurring as it should according to the SHSP. If safety trends are not moving in the right direction, project-level evaluations can reveal why change is not occurring as expected. Overall, tracking can help find gaps and areas for improvement. Tracking can also help demonstrate the value of work being done as part of SHSP implementation.
States inquired whether FHWA will provide guidance on developing safety performance measures. FHWA noted that it could not answer that question until the final performance management rule is in place. However, FHWA noted that while annual target reporting under MAP-21 is separate from the SHSP process, the SHSP should be consistent with final performance measures. States are not required to include performance targets in the SHSP. These will be reported through the Highway Safety Plan (HSP) and HSIP annual reports.
Several commonalities between participating States emerged during the exchange. All participating States use performance measures as part of their SHSPs. They all also report on safety results through annual status meetings, in a section of the SHSP, or by other means. Additionally, all States share data through regular email blasts and website updates. Most States rely on other annual reports, such as the HSIP and HSP reports, to communicate information on the SHSP status and to inform overall SHSP efforts. However, the participating States do not produce specific SHSP annual reports.
KYTC, KOHS, and the peers identified a list of key action items for their respective agencies during the close of the two-day peer exchange. The takeaways and key points discussed above are summarized here:
|8:30 A.M.||Welcome and Introductions||Michael Schwendau, KY Office of Highway Safety|
|8:45 A.M.||Workshop Overview||Jennifer Warren, FHWA HQ|
|9:00 A.M.||Highlights of Kentucky's SHSP and Update Process||KY Office of Highway Safety|
|9:30 A.M.||Peer Presentations - Emphasis Area Selection/Implementation||
|11:00 A.M.||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion||ALL|
|1:00 P.M.||Peer Presentations - Partnerships||
|2:45 P.M.||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion||ALL|
|3:45 P.M.||Action Planning||ALL|
|4:30 P.M.||Recap and Closing Remarks||FHWA and KY Office of Highway Safety|
|8:00 A.M.||Welcome and Recap from Day 1||FHWA and KY Office of Highway Safety|
|8:30 A.M.||Peer Presentations - Performance Measures/Evaluation||
|10:15 A.M.||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion||ALL|
|11:00 A.M.||Action Planning||ALL|
|12:15 P.M.||Wrap up and Closing Remarks||KY Office of Highway Safety and FHWA|
|David Adams||State Safety Manager||Georgia DOT||404-635-2850||EAdams@dot.ga.gov|
|Bill Whitfield||Highway Safety Director||Missouri DOT Traffic and Highway Safety||573-751-5417||William.WhitfieldJr@modot.mo.gov|
|John Miller||Traffic Safety Engineering Program Manager||Missouri DOT Traffic and Highway Safety||573-526-1759||John.P.Miller@modot.mo.gov|
|Brian Hurst||Manager II||Tennessee DOT||615-517-5384||Brian.Hurst@tn.gov|
|Bill Bell||Executive Director||Kentucky Office of Highway Safety||502-782-3986||Bill.Bell@ky.gov|
|Michael Schwendau||Assistant Director||Kentucky Office of Highway Safety||502-782-3985||Michael.Schwendau@ky.gov|
|Tristan Truesdell||Lieutenant||Kentucky State Police||502-782-2032||TristanS.Truesdell@ky.gov|
|Ben Blandford||Research Scientist||Kentucky Transportation Center||859-257-7504||Benjamin.Blandford@uky.edu|
|Jerry Pigman||Manager, Traffic and Safety||Kentucky Transportation Center||859-257-4521||Jerry.Pigman@uky.edu|
|Michael Scrivner||Program Coordinator||KY Office of Highway Safety||502-782-4027||Mike.Scrivner@ky.gov|
|Jason Siwula||Innovation Engineer||Kentucky Transportation Cabinet||502-564-3730||Jason.Siwula@ky.gov|
|Jarrod Stanley||Safety Engineer||Kentucky Transportation Cabinet||502-782-5539||Jarrod.Stanley@ky.gov|
|Bob Stokes||Kentucky Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor||Office of the Attorney General||502-696-5500||BStokes@prosecutors.ky.gov|
|Michael Vaughn||Safety Engineer||Kentucky Transportation Cabinet||502-782-4923||Mike.Vaughn@ky.gov|
|Tony Young||Highway Safety Specialist||FHWA Kentucky Division Office||502-223-6751||Tony.Young@dot.gov|
|Ryan Tenges||Highway Safety Engineer||FHWA Kentucky Division Office||502-223-6750||Ryan.Tenges@dot.gov|
|Marc Thornsberry||Safety and Mobility Engineer||FHWA MO Division Office||573-638-2616||Marc.Thornsberry@dot.gov|
|Jessica Rich||Safety Engineer||FHWA TN Division Office||410-962-3742||Jessica.Rich@dot.gov|
|Jennifer Warren||Transportation Specialist||FHWA Office of Safety||615-781-5788||Jennifer.Warren@dot.gov|
|Scott Middleton||Community Planner||US DOT/Volpe||617-494-3480||Scott.Middleton@dot.gov|
|Susan Smichenko||Community Planner||US DOT/Volpe||617-494-3438||Susan.Smichenko@dot.gov|