The National Roadway Safety Awards program is back for 2023! Nominations will be accepted from March 15 to June 16. See below for full program details, including eligibility requirements, Award criteria, examples of past winners, and more.
The National Roadway Safety Awards is a biennial competition sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) to recognize roadway safety achievements that move the United States towards zero deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways. The competition acknowledges successful engineering solutions that agencies have integrated into their roadway safety programs. Awards are given in two categories: Infrastructure and Operational Improvements; and Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation. Selected projects are included in a noteworthy practices guide so they can be replicated nationwide.
FHWA and RSF stress the importance of strategic, data-driven approaches to improving highway safety. Applicants are encouraged to nominate projects or programs that exemplify innovative and effective safety activities and maximize the cost effectiveness of Federal, State, local, and/or private sector funds.
“The recognition our agency received was fantastic. Not to mention the time I spent in Washington, DC and getting to know all the other award winners!’’
Brent Jennings, Highway Safety Manager
INFRASTRACTURE AND OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS
This category recognizes successful implementation of infrastructure or operational solutions on the roadway or roadside environment that demonstrably improve safety.
PROGRAM PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND EVALUATION
This category honors programs that identify and address State and local needs by making effective use of safety data and evaluations as well as tools and applications such as the Highway Safety Manual and the U.S. Road Assessment Program (usRAP).
Examples of winning entries from past competitions can be found at https://www.roadwaysafety.org/programs/national-roadway-safety-awards.
Eligibility for submitting a National Roadway Safety Award application is restricted to public agencies that have implemented a relevant project for public roadway safety benefit. Other groups that have been involved in successful roadway safety efforts (e.g., private entities, academic institutions, nonprofits, etc.) may cosponsor a nomination, provided that a public agency is the lead applicant. Each entry will be judged among other nominations in its category. A nominated project or program must demonstrate evidence of data-supported results, including documentation supporting the project’s or program’s success. Applicants are encouraged to review the application form as they consider submitting a project or program for an award. Projects in both award categories will be judged on the following criteria:
Projects or programs that:
- Result in or demonstrate high potential for significantly reducing fatal and serious injury crashes, with an emphasis on states, cities, local or tribal governments with significant reductions in these crash types within the last five years.
- Create a proven case for greater emphasis on roadway safety in transportation planning, programming, project delivery, construction, and/or maintenance.
- Support safety improvements through greater public awareness that yields a positive change in transportation safety culture.
- Include equity considerations through safety solutions that focus on underserved populations.
Projects or programs that use innovative concepts at a national, state, or local level including:
- Creative approaches to address highway safety concerns.
- Innovative management approaches to overcoming barriers to safety implementation.
- Inventive solutions to a particular serious injury or fatal crash problem.
- Proactive involvement of the public and/or stakeholders.
Projects or programs that:
- Are implemented cost-efficiently.
- Use planning and engineering resources efficiently and/or employ cost-sharing through multi-source partnerships, task forces, or coalitions.
- Improve the economic vitality of the community.
Benefits of Being a National Roadway Safety Award Winner
Award Winners Receive:
- An invitation and funded travel to attend a ceremony and luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. *Note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Awards are being held virtually.
- Opportunities to network with legislators and key national transportation officials.
- National media coverage and additional local media support, identifying your organization as a leader in highway safety.
- Appearance in the Noteworthy Practices Guide, Public Roads magazine, the Roadway Safety e-Reporter, FHWA Safety Compass, as well as other publications of national safety and transportation organizations.
- Recognition on several websites operated by FHWA, RSF, and their safety partners.
- An engraved trophy.
National Roadway Safety Awards
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
FHWA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system and various federal- and tribal-owned lands. Through financial and technical assistance to State and local governments, we are responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world.
THE ROADWAY SAFETY FOUNDATION
RSF is the only national organization solely dedicated to reducing deaths by improving the physical characteristics of America’s roadways – design and engineering, operating conditions, removal of roadside hazards, and the effective use of safety features. RSF works to attain its goals by building awareness through media campaigns and outreach activities, developing educational materials, and forming roadway safety partnerships between the private and public sectors. It is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the American Highway Users Alliance.
2021 Award Winners
On October 6, 2021 the Roadway Safety Foundation and Federal Highway Administration announced the seven winners and three Honorable Mentions of the 2021 National Roadway Safety Awards. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg keynoted the event, and FHWA's Associate Administrator for Safety, Cheryl Walker, joined RSF's Executive Director to present the awards to the honorees at a virtual ceremony broadcast from Washington, DC. Click the project names below to read more about each winner.
Infrastructure & Operational Improvements
- Florida Department of Transportation: Arterial Work Zone Safety
- North Carolina Department of Transportation: Long-Life Pavement Markings Safety Initiative
- Village of Whitefish Bay, WI: Community-Wide Safety Improvements
Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation
- City of Bellevue, WA: Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero Program
- Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization: Complete Streets Master Plan & Wilton Drive Implementation
- California Department of Transportation: 2020 - 2024 Strategic Highway Safety Plan
- Texas Department of Transportation and Texas A&M Transportation Institute: TxDOT Safety Scoring Tool