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Safety Edge: Steps to Implementing the Safety Edge

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Assemble Your Team

You cannot implement the Safety Edge alone, it takes a team. It is important to include representation from all disciplines that will take part in making this change to the paving practice and all those who will be impacted by it. Also consider stakeholder involvement from various levels of government, industry, and other organizations interested in improving highway safety and pavements.

Implementation will require persuasion and credibility. Look for team members with these qualities.

Decide on a Deployment Strategy and Develop an Implementation Plan

The three key messages to include in your Safety Edge strategy are the following:

  • Saves lives
  • Low cost
  • Improves durability

In developing your plan, consider these key items:

  • Extent of the problem: Are you able to identify the impact of edge drop-offs on crashes in your jurisdiction? To what extent is edge raveling contributing to pavement failures?

  • Current State of the Practice: What are agencies and the industry currently doing to address edge drop-offs and edge raveling in your State? Have agencies in your State already conducted a demonstration?

  • Include goals, performance measures, and outcomes. Where does your State fit with the national goals? When setting these goals, remember that Every Day Counts!

  • Which deployment model will work best for your State to achieve your goals?

    • Pilot and Phased
    • Pilot and Big Bang
    • Big Bang
  • Marketing and Communications: Who are your target audiences? Customize your outreach to communicate with them efficiently and involve them effectively in implementation.

  • Do a SWOT Analysis: Thinking through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) will help lay the ground-work for marketing the Safety Edge in your State.

  • Research: Others have travelled this road before you. Learn from their experience. Case studies, specifications, and policies are available to use as a starting point in your process.

Initiate Demonstration Projects

Demonstration projects are a part of most deployment strategies. A number of methods can be employed with these demonstrations, depending on your goals.

  • Open-House. This is an effective method to provide education to small audiences in conjunction with the opportunity to see the technology first-hand.

  • Internal Demonstration. The team may choose an upcoming project (in-house or contracted) to experiment with the Safety Edge. This can often be accomplished quickly to provide champions with the knowledge they need to pursue standards or showcase the technology more widely.

  • Workshops and Conferences. Initial exposure to the Safety Edge and its benefits can be facilitated through marketing materials, presentations, and various training opportunities. Where a paving demonstration is not possible for large groups, videos and exhibits with a Safety Edge device may substitute.

Request Needed Resources

The EDC Safety Edge Team has assembled a Toolkit to assist you in marketing and educating on the Safety Edge. Team members are also available to provide technical assistance virtually or on-site (on a limited basis and with appropriate notice).

Achieve Standard Practice

Making the Safety Edge a standard practice often begins with developing a specification. This may initially be developed in the demonstration project phase, and may include drawings and notes that are included in various project documents. To achieve the Safety Edge as a standard practice will typically require making this specification a part of standard documents, rather than special project provisions.

Developing a policy of when the Safety Edge will be included on paving projects is another decision in making it a standard practice. Initially, States may choose to include the Safety Edge only where shoulders are narrow. Or they may choose only to include it under certain paving conditions. As agencies gain more experience with the benefits, they should consider expanding the application to see increased benefits.

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration


Page last modified on August 12, 2013.
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