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Marketing Plan: Road Safety
This section describes the environment in which targeted RSA users are operating. Several different situations are summarized, including legislation, policy initiatives, and crash reporting limitations.
SAFETEA–LU was passed on August 10, 2005. There is a requirement in this law for states to report annually, as part of their HSIP, at least 5 percent of the locations on their public roads that are exhibiting the most severe safety needs. The law also requires that this report include remedies, costs, and impediments to implementing improvements at each of these locations. This requirement provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate RSAs into a state's overall safety process, since RSAs can identify comprehensive solutions to these severe safety problems beyond the traditional design approach.
RSAs also fit into FHWA's Risk Management Initiative. Risk is defined as a future phenomenon that may occur with a direct impact to a project or program's benefit or detriment. FHWA's Risk Management Initiative is about communicating transparently about resources and our risks. Through the Risk Management Initiative, the FHWA is encouraging Division Offices and state and locals partners to identify risks and mitigation strategies for their core work elements (responsibilities). An example risk event/threat statement related to safety is: If fatalities and injuries continue to occur at the current level/rate, then we will not be accomplishing our objectives, which will result in additional negative press and political pressure. RSAs are a mitigation risk response strategy.
Traffic safety is a result of the interaction of three factors: the vehicle, the driver, and the road. Crashes are very often attributed to more than just one of the causes. For example, a nighttime run–off–road collision may be attributed to both drowsy driving (human factors) and an unsigned, unmarked curve (road environment). Human factors play a part in about 95 percent of crashes, while the road environment affects about 28 percent of crashes. Clearly, the driver is the weakest link in the system, so the transportation safety profession must consider human needs in the design process. At the same time, even with collisions attributed purely to driver error or vehicle faults, a well–designed road can help to reduce the collision severity.
RSAs have been used successfully worldwide for a number of years to help agencies make systematic safety improvements to address the human and roadway factors that contribute to collisions. Globally, it is estimated that one million fatalities result from motor vehicle crashes each year. One simply cannot measure the impact an RSA program can have on communities and families. The potential for RSAs is unlimited. They can be conducted at any stage of the Road Safety Audit Marketing Plan 10 project development process, or on existing roads. Suggestions that come from RSAs can be applied to the project being examined, as well as future projects to improve safety. RSAs are a mechanism to "move the numbers" to reduce roadway deaths and injuries.
For years, many public agencies have been conducting what they call "road safety reviews." However, these road safety reviews are different from RSAs. A table showing the differences between these two processes is included in the appendices.
–Bernie Arseneau Director, Office of Traffic, Security and Operations
The market for RSAs is quite broad, since virtually all roadway owners can benefit from them. Specifically, federal agencies and state, territory, county, city, and tribal governments should be interested in RSAs. Within these agencies, the segments most likely to influence the adoption of RSAs are listed below. Because of limited resources, outreach should focus on selected agencies that can leverage their resources with those of the FHWA. These "focus agencies" also are identified below. As more resources become available, the list of focus agencies may expand.
Segments most likely to influence adoption of RSAs:
FHWA Leadership Team, HQ Office of Safety, Division Administrators, Division Safety and Area Engineers, Resource Center, Federal Lands Highway Division safety Engineers, Technical Specialists, and Design Teams
Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMA)
Engineers, planners, landscape architects, cultural resource specialists, maintenance, and enforcement; USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tribal councils, Tribal planning, Tribal public works, and Tribal public safety
Local Agencies & Organizations
Engineers, planners, MPO engineers/planners, public works directors, elected/appointed officials, lawyers/risk managers, Local Technical Assistance Programs/Tribal Technical Assistance Programs (LTAP/TTAP) Centers, Intertribal Association (ITA), Tribal Councils and agencies, the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), the public safety community (law enforcement, fire, emergency medical service (EMS)), the American Public Works Association (APWA), the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) , the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), the National League of Cities, National Association of Towns and Townships, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
State DOTs, Territories & Organization
Secretaries of Transportation/Chief Executive Officers, Management/chief engineers, designers, safety engineers, lawyers/risk managers, construction and maintenance personnel, Governors' highway safety offices, Public safety community (law enforcement, fire, EMS), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
FHWA, AASHTO, NACE, ITE, LTAP/TTAP, IACP, APWA
On the pages that follow is a table that summarizes primary RSA customers, their needs, and products to fill those needs. As progress is made regarding the listed audiences/customers, the RSA team can address the needs of secondary customers. Every audience/customer has a desire or need to reduce fatalities and injuries; specific needs to achieve those goals are listed in the chart.
How to Leverage Additional Resources/Partners
The RSA message can be conveyed in a variety of contexts, including:
Addressing Primary RSA Customers
There are a couple trends that may affect the implementation of RSAs. The first trend relates to emphasis on partners. The second relates to agency leadership.
In the past, the FHWA has concentrated its efforts on state DOTs and has produced products for, and in conjunction with, these DOTs. Now the FHWA is moving forward on efforts to improve facilities where a majority of fatalities are occurring: two–lane rural roads. To further these efforts, FHWA is partnering with additional groups to reach the local road agencies and tribal governments with jurisdiction over these rural roads. The FHWA also is hiring more non–engineers and providing training in diverse areas, and some of FHWA's customers are non–engineers.
In addition, in many of the targeted agencies, the person responsible for transportation safety is a road superintendent, the director of street maintenance, or a transportation safety official. These individuals can have diverse backgrounds, not necessarily engineering.
With these trends in mind, RSA marketing efforts need to serve those with traditional engineering backgrounds and non–traditional backgrounds. Nontechnical marketing communication tools (e.g., brochures, videos, PowerPoint presentations) should be created to communicate effectively with nonengineers. In addition, local agencies lacking transportation and/or safety professionals may need technical assistance.
This page last modified on 04/04/11