Groups Honored for Highway Safety

WASHINGTON, DC (November 15, 2005) - The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) and the Federal Highway Administration recognized 14 honorees at its biennial Roadway Safety Awards at a National Press Club ceremony today in Washington, D.C.

Selected for their excellence in operations, planning and roadway design to reduce fatalities, recipients of the awards were honored for implementing the nation’s most innovative road safety projects and programs.

RSF Executive Director Greg Cohen remarked, “The roster of award winners represents the most dynamic and creative highway safety programs, and sets a standard for others to follow. The methods and practices enacted effectively work to prevent traffic accidents and fatalities, and make progress in fighting the national epidemic of 43,000 annual road deaths and 3 million injuries that occur on our nation’s roadways every year.”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation champions highway safety every day, and we know that the leadership shown by today’s award winners is crucial to saving countless lives,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka.

Roadway Safety Award recipients were evaluated on three criteria - innovation, effectiveness, and efficient use of resources. Program categories included infrastructure improvements, operational improvements and program planning, development and evaluation.

This year’s honorees include:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for improving the use of safety data to identify run-off-road (ROR) collision concentrations on the state’s highways.

The Florida Department of Transportation, for reducing red-light-running violations by attaching white lights to red traffic lights at intersections to enhance visibility of red-light runners to area police.

The Iowa Statewide Traffic Records Committee, which first convened in 1994, for improving its ability to process crash information with a modified database.

The Idaho Department of Transportation, for creating an innovative software program, “Impact2K,” to improve crash data collection and analysis, and to identify problem areas for roadway safety planning officials.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, for developing an innovative roadway safety plan that coordinates efforts of the state DOT and the Department of Public Safety.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, for implementing the “Missouri Blueprint for Safer Roadways” to reduce fatalities and injuries by nearly 20 percent over 2003 levels.

The USDA Forest Service, in concert with the Montana Department of Transportation and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, for standardizing traffic control procedures at wildland fire locations, which the U.S. Forest Service is implementing nationwide.

The Ohio Department of Transportation, for a cutting-edge work zone crash-analysis program and also for doubling its annual funding - from $30 million to $60 million - to improve safety at high-crash locations.

The Pennsylvania State Police, for using real-time data to help police reduce the number of traffic accidents and improve emergency response time.

The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, for its Local Road Safety Audit program - one of the first of its kind - to prevent crashes on rural roads.

The Utah Department of Transportation, for installing a temporary cable barrier on I-15 between Provo and Lehi which, for the 18 months it was in place, prevented all fatalities there despite being struck more than 100 times. Data collected from the project will be used in the creation of barrier specifications in the future.

The Virginia State Police for the “Safety at Sea” program which provides driver training for Navy personnel to reduce the disproportionate number of traffic violations or accidents due, in part, to having not driven for months at a time and new traffic laws enacted while they were at sea.

The Washington State Patrol, for holding managers responsible for achieving traffic safety benchmarks, which has resulted in a significant reduction in roadway fatalities.

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The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) present the bi-annual Roadway Safety Awards to programs and projects across the nation exhibiting excellence in roadway design, operations and planning. The RSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization solely dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes by improving the safety of America’s roadways.