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Accelerating Innovation

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EDC Forum

Innovative Technologies

Joseph  S. Toole

Why use the Safety EdgeSM?
Joseph S. Toole
Associate Administrator for Safety
Federal Highway Administration

Every year, State and local highway agencies resurface many miles of existing pavement with new surfaces. A smaller number of miles of pavement are rehabilitated, or completely replaced. In a few locations, brand new highways are constructed. What do these highway surfaces all have in common? An opportunity for innovation! The Safety EdgeSM is a paving technique that costs very little, improves pavement durability, and saves lives.

Dr. Anthony R. Kane, Ph.D.

Safety EdgeSM
Dr. Anthony R. Kane, Ph.D.
Director of Engineering and Technical Services
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

The need for strategies to reduce the prevalence of serious roadway departure crashes is evident in the data showing approximately half of all fatal crashes in the United States each year are related to roadway departures. State departments of transportation are working on systematic and targeted application of treatments that will reduce fatal crashes of all types, including such strategies as rumble strips which will address roadway departures. The Safety EdgeSM is another such strategy, which can help address crashes that occur when vehicles run off the road and are unable to safely return to the travel lane due to the shape of the pavement edge.

David Brand, P.E., P.S.

Barriers to Implementing Safety EdgeSM from a local perspective
David Brand, P.E., P.S.
Madison County Engineer
National Association of County Engineers
Roadway Safety Committee, Chair

Implementing Safety EdgeSM is as simple as finally making the decision to add the specification onto your next paving job. It sounds easy, and it really is. A few paragraphs and possibly a few a pay items is all it takes to specify a Safety EdgeSM.

Donna J. Hardy, P.E.

Safety EdgeSM
Donna J. Hardy, P.E.
Regional Safety Engineer
West Virginia Department of Highways

West Virginia has some of the most breathtaking views in the US. The curvy country roads make for an enjoyable scenic ride. However, those same roads can be treacherous if the errant vehicle leaves the roadway. Over 70% of West Virginia's fatalities can be attributed to vehicles leaving the roadway. It is the highest safety concern facing WV Highway Officials. Much guidance is given to the states on how to design and construct roadways with a forgiving roadside. The question that arises often in West Virginia is what do you do when you cannot achieve any of the aspects depicted in the ideal typical section?

Robert  Sperry, P. E.

Why use the Safety EdgeSM?
Robert Sperry, P. E.
Local Roads Safety Liaison
Iowa LTAP, Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE)

Several of the contractors' and inspection personnel recognized the goal of the Safety EdgeSM, but seriously doubted that it could really be of any significant value. However, "field tests" of the Safety EdgeSM (before final shoulder material was applied) usually changed their minds.

"I myself was a little skeptical about how well this would work and would it really make a difference; well I believe after testing it by running on and off the edge at different speeds and finding the ease of coming back on without being thrown into the other lane of traffic, I am a believer."


Page last modified on May 18, 2012.
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