Local Road Safety Plans
Keeping people safe on our roadways is an important responsibility that we all share. Roadway user, government employee, public official – whatever our role, with it comes that responsibility to do all we can to ensure that people in our community get home at the end of the day. Reducing crashes, especially serious injury and fatal crashes, is a key component of that.
Approximately fifty percent of serious injury and fatal crashes in Connecticut occur on local roads. Efforts have been made to reduce those numbers, and many municipalities have experienced success. Unfortunately, there are still crashes occurring on these roadways, and a broader approach may be what is needed to address them.
Local Road Safety Plans (LRSPs) are a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proven safety countermeasure that can assist your town or city with creating an overarching approach to safety on your local roads. The LRSP is a valuable tool that creates a framework for safety needs specific to your community. The FHWA has created a roadmap for local agencies to follow that lays out each step necessary to complete a plan that makes sense for your municipality and ultimately helps you achieve the goal of safer roadways.
In addition, to further assist local agencies in preparing an LRSP, the FHWA has recently created a new “do-it-yourself” website with videos, step-by-step guidance and examples from communities that have created a plan. That website can be found here.
One of the benefits of a Local Road Safety Plan is that it provides an opportunity for various municipal stakeholders to come together and find solutions as a team. This is an important component, as it helps to build better communication across local agencies and provides a holistic approach to safety concerns. Public Works, first responders, tree wardens, planners and others may all be looking at the same issue from varying perspectives, so why not find a solution together? Many communities have found that approach to be a driving force behind project implementation, and it makes sense. The more people that are supportive of a project, that have had their opinions heard and addressed, the more likely a project is to succeed. Even if you are not sure about what roadway safety issues your community is facing, start by creating a team to get the conversation underway.
If the idea of creating an LRSP on your own seems daunting, don’t be discouraged! Besides the resources on the DIY website, I am available to help. Anyone who is interested in creating a plan for their community can contact me and I will assist you with getting started. Developing a Local Road Safety Plan for your town or city is the first step in the right direction, and every step is one closer to keeping our communities safe by reducing serious injury and fatal crashes. We are all in this together!
For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at firstname.lastname@example.org.