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South Carolina Transportation Safety Planning Forum

It's Time to Make Safety a Priority. SCPF Transportation Safety Planning Forum

Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia Confernce Center

September 25, 2003

Sponsored by

The South Carolina Department of Transportation

The Federal Highway Administration

The LPA Group, Inc.

Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.

Fisher Communications, Inc.


Injury is the leading cause of death in the US from about six months to 45 years of age, and because it so disproportionately strikes the young, it is also the leading cause of lost years of productive life. Motor vehicle injury is overwhelmingly the largest component of these losses.

Safety improvement requires progress toward reducing the crash experience of motor vehicle drivers and other more vulnerable road users. The US provides a model for what can be accomplished. Over the past 30 years, the record is nothing short of miraculous, yet we still experience more than 40,000 deaths annually, and close to three million suffer injuries. Over the past few years the number of motor vehicle related fatalities has remained essentially unchanged. The human and economic consequences of these crashes are unaffordable and unacceptable. In the absence of substantial progress, more than 400,000 people will die on the roadways over the next ten years at a cost of nearly two trillion dollars. The majority of motor vehicle crashes are predictable and preventable; the carnage is unnecessary.

The major focus and commitment in the US over at least the past two decades has been on vehicle crash worthiness and driver behavior. Yet, the effectiveness of those strategies appears to have plateaued in terms of reducing the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities. Although there have been gradual decreases in terms of fatality and injury rates, and despite dramatic increases in safety belt use and decreases in the proportion of alcohol-related fatal crashes, the raw number of deaths and injuries has changed little for almost a decade. US Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta has issued a "Call to Quarters." He set a national goal of reducing fatalities from the current rate (1.5 per million vehicle miles of travel [VMT]) to 1.0 by 2008.


In 1998, Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century or TEA-21. For the first time, this legislation requires state departments of transportation (DOTs)and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to incorporate safety and security as priority factors in their respective transportation planning processes and activities. Prior to TEA-21, safety was sometimes a prominent factor in project development and design, but this legislation calls for safety consciousness in a more comprehensive, systemwide, multimodal context. It implies collaboration with the safety communities, transit operators, local jurisdictions and others.


To initiate discussion on the TEA-21 safety-planning factor, approximately 40 experienced professionals convened in Washington, DC in May 2000 to explore the independent planning processes and to identify data, tools, partners and other resources that are currently available or in need of development for implementing the safety requirement. They discovered there is a lack of dialogue, coordination and communication between safety and transportation planners and that safety integration is a nontraditional role for planning agencies. The participants concluded that while it may be unwise to merge the safety and planning processes because of the many different timeframes and funding criteria, it is highly advisable for all segments of the road safety community to work collaboratively by establishing common safety goals, sharing information and designing complementary programs. Furthermore safety integration should include a multidisciplinary focus, e.g. planning, education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services, as well as multimodal components, such as rail, transit, commercial vehicle and non-motorized modes of travel. [1]

Each statewide and metropolitan planning process shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.


The Washington meeting identified several action steps for promoting safety conscious planning (TSP), and an ad hoc working group, the Transportation Safety Planning Working Group (SCPWG) was formed to provide guidance and track progress. One of the recommended initiatives was to encourage a series of forums bringing representatives of the various interests together to discuss strategies for sharing resources and working collaboratively. The Working Group intended for each forum to be tailored to the needs of the individual jurisdictions. This is accomplished through a pre-forum planning meeting with the forum's leaders.


A key factor in the successful implementation of safety conscious planning is defining it in such a way that makes sense to all organizations involved in transportation planning and safety. The SCPWG has struggled with defining the concept over time and each of the Forums has contributed essential components to the understanding.

Transportation Safety Planning is a comprehensive, systemwide, multi-modal, proactive process that better integrates safety into surface transportation decision making.

SCP requires a change in the planning culture and mandates new ways of thinking. While this may be uncomfortable for some people, it is necessary. In the future safety improvements will require strategies that prevent crashes from occurring. This planning requires "outside the box" thinking at its best. (See Appendix A for frequently asked questions and answers about SCP.)

SCP Forum Accomplishments

The forums have generally resulted in proactive safety initiatives at some level. Kathy Hoffman, FHWA Office of Safety, provided a sample of accomplishments that have resulted from the SCP Forums and encouraged the participants to accomplish beyond their predecessors. She addressed successful achievement from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Iowa DOT and Michigan DOT. For example, following the MARC Forum, decisions were made to:

Planning It Safe in South Carolina

Transportation Safety Planning, ... a proactive approach for the prevention of motor vehicle crashes and unsafe transportation conditions. Improving safety on our highways. A planning meeting for the South Carolina forum took place on August 28, 2002 at the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). More than 25 transportation and safety partners attended the meeting. While many jurisdictions prefer a smaller group at the planning meeting, the South Carolina experience shows what can be accomplished by including all the partners from the beginning. The overwhelming support and turnout for the Forum surely began with the enthusiasm generated during the well organized and orchestrated planning meeting. The purpose was to articulate the objectives, outline an agenda, develop a participant list and address the logistical and process issues for conducting the event.

Strategic Factors

Many factors place South Carolina in a strategic position to define and implement safety conscious planning. The following represents only a partial list of the State's many accomplishments over the past few years.

  1. The SCDOT's strategic plan lists safety as the number one goal.
  2. The Budget Control Board provides administrative and technical support to state officials and agencies. The staff maintains a data warehouse. Their services include collecting, analyzing and mapping the data. At present the system contains crash data and linkage with EMS and hospital outcome data. Future plans call for adding roadway data. Data sharing is not an issue in South Carolina.
  3. SCDOT is providing the SC Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies that investigate traffic collisions with GPS and other electronic equipment to more accurately identify crash locations and characteristics.
  4. The Safety Department within the DOT plays a leadership role in a variety of partnership activities to enhance road safety in South Carolina. A positive working relationship exists with the Office of Highway Safety (located in the Department of Public Safety) and a wide variety of other entities at all jurisdictional levels.
  5. The State EMS Office is a longstanding, active partner in safety programs and activities.


The forum objectives developed by the planning group were as follows:


The SC Planning Meeting represented a broad cross section of the planning and safety communities. The participants mentioned representation from within their own agencies and associations and also suggested many other partners that might be considered for inclusion. The brainstorming results are presented below and provide a clue as to the eventual turnout of over 200 people at the Forum. (Appendix B lists the Forum participants.)

Planning staff from SCDOT, MPOs and COGs

Targeted MPO, COG and community leaders

SCDOT Traffic and Utilities Engineering and Safety Office

Budget Control Board (Office of Research and Statistics)

SCDOT District Engineers

Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Injury Prevention Division

DHEC Emergency Services Division

Emergency room and trauma personnel Coroners

Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol and Office of Highway Safety)

State Infrastructure Bank

Disabilities and Special Needs Board



Health and auto insurers

Safe communities coalition directors

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Palmetto Cycling and Pedestrian Association

Palmetto Conservation Foundation

No single agency can solve the highway safety problems of the state; it will take all of us working together.

David Wilkins, Speaker
SC House of Representatives

Key legislative committee staffs

Department of Education and school officials

Association of Counties

Municipal Association of South Carolina

Sheriff's Association

Law Enforcement Officers Association

Safe Kids

Environmental groups

State Transport Police

FHWA, Division and Headquarters



Planning, design and construction consultants

Trucking Association


The planning meeting also served the purpose of gaining commitments to accomplish the list of tasks proposed. Four teams -- logistics, data resources, goals and objectives and themes and messages - led the preparations for the Forum. Participants serving on the teams represented all the "E's" of safety, including engineering, emergency medical services, enforcement, education, economic incentives, as well as the private sector and safety advocacy groups.

  1. Terecia Wilson, SCDOT Director of Safety and Ron Patton, SCDOT Director of Planning, co-chaired a task force to determine forum logistics, administration and a final agenda. (The Forum agenda can be found in Appendix C.)
  2. Pete Bailey (data issues) and Reggie Hall (goals and message themes) worked with the chairs to prepare materials in advance of the Forum. The meeting participants agreed that the following background documents were essential to a successful event:
    1. A best practices cookbook on data elements, access and use.
    2. Draft safety goals to focus the deliberations.
    3. Draft political and media messages for consideration during the Forum.
  3. SCDOT Planning and Safety finalized the participant list, sent "save the date" notices and a formal invitation.
  4. FHWA provided resources to stage the Forum, such as meeting rooms, equipment and refreshments.
  5. SCDOT identified and recruited breakout group facilitators. FHWA assisted as requested.
  6. FHWA provided a Forum report to document the proceedings.
  7. SCDOT followed up on commitments and proposed action items.

The extensive work accomplished by the Chairs and the support teams was evident during the Forum. The handouts were attractive, complete, user-friendly and professional in appearance; all presenters were well prepared and supported by a pre-programmed computer system with their presentations, pre-scripted introductions, table tents and other accoutrements that professionalize a meeting; the support staff was amazing in their preparedness and ran the conference smoothly throughout the day. In summary, the audience of more than 200 was relieved of distractions and enabled to focus on the work at hand.

Safety Consciouis Planning: Partnerships for Success

The South Carolina Forum began with a demonstration of the federal/state partnership that exists in the State. In addition to SCDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at both the federal and the division levels, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), all modes within the US Department of Transportation, were represented on the dais.

South Carolina's Safety Statistics: Room to Improve

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT Director of Safety, began the Forum by describing the status of safety in South Carolina.

"We are here because every day, on average, three people die in highway tragedies in South Carolina. Over 1,000 fatalities have been reported during each of the last five years - a first since crash records have been kept in South Carolina. During the last decade in South Carolina, 9,648 people have died in traffic crashes on the State's highways. Based on 2002 statistics, one out of every 3,900 South Carolinians will be killed in a crash. Traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages 0 - 19 in South Carolina. During the last five years, more than 870 children in this age group have died. While, we are seeing some reductions, we have much work to do."

In addition to providing overall crash statistics, Wilson put a face on the issue to remind everyone that safety is more than a technical, financial and political issue - it is also a human issue.

"We are here today because of Angela Marie Sheffield, a pedestrian who was killed on US 321 in Lexington County on January 1, 2003; Dale Wilson, of Pineville, South Carolina, who died in a three-vehicle collision, when one vehicle crossed the center line and side-swiped another vehicle; Willie Edward Brown, Jr., of Lancaster, South Carolina, a motorcyclist killed in a collision with a truck; Patrick Wayne Torbush who lost control of his vehicle on a rural road in Horry County, ran off the road, and was killed; Scarlet Olivia Weathers of Bowman, South Carolina who was killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler; James McCurley of

Anderson, South Carolina who was killed in a 3-vehicle collision in Anderson County; and the list goes on. These are our neighbors, our friends, co-workers, family members whose lives ended tragically on one of South Carolina's highways."

South Carolina's traffic crash record is among the worst in the nation as demonstrated in Figure 1 and Table 1. The death rate, or the number of traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, is 48% higher than the national mileage death rate. South Carolina's rate is 2.2 versus the national rate of 1.51 and the death rate has been fairly stagnant over the last decade.

Figure 1: Mileage Death Rate: A Comparison

Mileage Death Rate SC vs US 1993-2002. Click image for source text.

Figure 2: South Carolina Traffic Injuries (1993 - 2002)

South Carolina Traffic Injuries 1983-2002. Click image for source text.

In addition to the fatalities, a large number of South Carolinians are injured on the roadways. Figure 2 shows that more than 50,000 people are injured in preventable crashes every year, which adds up to 548,462 people, over a half a million, in the last decade.

Based on the current state population, one out of every 79 citizens was injured in a crash in 2002, or stated another way; someone was injured in a crash every 10.2 minutes. This is truly a public health epidemic. Comparing SC to the rest of the nation, it is obvious that the time is more than ripe for a renewed focus and commitment to improving the State's crash statistics.

Table 1: How does South Carolina measure up?
South Carolina National Ranking
Land Area #40
Population #26
Mileage Death Rate #3
DUI Fatality Rate #1
Ethanol Consumption #14
Beer Consumption #9
Spirits Consumption #25
Wine Consumption #34
Motorcycle Fatality Rate #1
Bicycle Fatality Rate #2
Pedestrian Fatality Rate #4
Percentage of Fatalities Involving Speed #6

On the Horizon

The federal government representatives from FHWA, FMCSA and NHTSA explained their agencies' roles, responsibilities and commitments to safety, which is the number one goal in the US DOT's strategic plan and reauthorization proposal. The individuals discussed reauthorization of the highway bill, which is expected to occur in 2004 since TEA-21 expired in September of 2003. The Administration's bill is expected to maintain and strengthen the requirement to address safety as a priority transportation planning factor. In addition, the proposal contains a provision that encourages all states and MPOs to create a comprehensive transportation safety plan. The proposed comprehensive safety plan has the following characteristics:

Strategic: Considers the results of existing State transportation and highway safety planning processes and other environmental considerations such as available resources, current levels of safety, public and political support, past successes and future opportunities.

Data driven: Focuses on data analysis to identify high incident locations and future sites with promise, prioritize and select programs and projects and evaluate results.

Comprehensive: Addresses engineering, education, enforcement and emergency services. The idea in SAFETEA is to not only begin a comprehensive planning and implementation process, but also to establish a sustainable system for ongoing effort.

Collaborative: Based on a collaborative process that includes the State Department of Transportation, the Governor's Representative for Highway Safety, persons responsible for administering section 130 of Title 23 (hazard elimination and rail grade crossings) and other state and local safety stakeholders, including Operation Lifesaver.

Integrated: Incorporates and assimilates the goals, objectives and alternative strategies of agencies and organizations with responsibility for the successful implementation of safety strategies.

Although it is not possible to know with certainty what the proposal will contain when it is passed or how it will be interpreted, transportation planners in SC might assume that the proactive approach associated with the Forum will place them a step forward in thinkig about safety in the planning processes.

Overview of the Current Planning Process

Patrick Tyndall, SC FHWA Division Environmental Program Manager, discussed the transportation planning process in terms of long range and short term plans. He wondered out loud, "Where do roads come from?" and answered the question by denying that that there is a giant cage with a stork on top of the DOT building!

He also clearly portrayed the competing interests in planning for safety - congestion relief, capacity expansion, economic development, environmental protection and public involvement. He posed the question, "How do you choose one project over the other?" To this audience, safety may seem like a secure answer but he challenged the participants to acknowledge that capacity, economic vitality and environmental protection are also citizen priorities, and the public involvement process may dictate that priorities other than safety take precedence. Tyndall concluded his remarks with a charge to the audience building on a theme set earlier in the day, "Between now and 4:30 PM meet and dialogue with five people who don't do what you do." The entire SC Forum was built on this theme and many of the speakers reiterated the challenge. The idea was to create connections that would last beyond the Forum.

photo of a traffic sign: Safer Roads Ahead, Our Shared Vision Transportation planning was discussed from a range of interests: rural and urban MPOs, emergency medical services, transit, motor carrier safety and highway safety. The presentations demonstrated a plethora of processes and activities in planning for safety. They also showcased the challenge of coordinating the activities associated with the planning function. For example, the speaker representing a rural MPO pointed out that while they have responsibility for not only the road planning function, they also must address motor freight, pedestrian, bicyclists, etc. However, most of their planning effort is devoted to the highway element. Also, while they are beginning to use crash data more, they still don't use it to inform the planning process but rather focus their safety efforts at the design stage.

On the other hand, as the transit spokesperson said, "South Carolina is on the cutting edge in transit and transit is on the cutting edge for improving safety." Although he acknowledged the challenge of marketing transit to the citizens of a rural, southern state, progress is being made to move a percentage of the traveling public off the highways and onto the transit system, which is the safest mode of travel in surface transportation.

Imagine the hurdles that must be overcome to focus the rural MPOs planning efforts on transit improvements! Virtually all of the speakers mentioned the competing priorities they face as well as the shortage of resources to accomplish their basic mandates.

The conference handouts included a folder containing a number of South Carolinian transportation and safety plans so the participants could follow up and learn in more detail how the various processes operate. The handout contained:

Data and Planning Tools

The final panel discussion focused on the data that supports safety planning. To address safety issues, decision makers and advocacy groups need accurate, timely information. South Carolina is fortunate to have access to a number of good data sources. The South Carolina Highway Safety and Transportation Planning Guide, while not an all inclusive data source, describes key data resources and databases that contain safety information useful to all transportation and safety planners. The data and data resources contained in the Guide are essential for developing, planning, monitoring and evaluating effective safety and transportation programs.

The Partners

The Data Task Force accomplished outstanding work in collecting, analyzing and documenting the information in a handout. The agencies involved in the work included the State Departments of Transportation, Public Safety, Motor Vehicles, Health and Environmental Control, Budget and Control Board and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.

The Data

In the Guide, each data element is briefly described and, in many cases, the collection procedures are outlined. Information for the appropriate contact person who manages the data is also provided. The data systems and contact persons change frequently. The safety partners plan to put the Guide on the web so it can be updated as changes occur. In some cases, the information goes beyond to describe services provided by the agencies and how the data are used.

The data elements available to support safety planning are outlined in Table 2.

Table 2: South Carolina Safety and Planning Data

Source/Department Data Elements
Logmile: point and sectional physical roadway characteristic data
Traffic Counts: counts for every road that carries a functional classification higher than a local
Mileage Reports: centerline mileage totals by county and road system
SCDOT Maps: hurricane evacuation, statewide (wall and fold), county and city
Other Items: roadway additions to state highways, truck weight and pavement condition data
Public Safety
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS): a census of all fatalities that occur on SC roadways
Safetynet: truck collision information
SC Collision and Ticket Tracking System: tracks collision and citation data
Traffic Collision Master File: contains records of reportable collisions
Motor Vehicles
Customer Data: type (personal/commercial), name, address, social security number, date of birth, race, gender, height, weight, driver license number
Vehicle Data: make, model, year, vehicle identification number, tag number, title/registration/financial responsibility data
Driver Data: status/points, suspension, violation, accident and license data, driver photo and signature
Emergency Medical Services
Pre-Hospital Patient Care System: patient treatment descriptions
Trauma Registry: treatment and procedures associated with patients who meet the eligibility requirements of trauma centers
EMT and Provider System: eligibility/certification of technicians and equipment data
Office of Research and Statistics[2]
Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES): linkage between medical and financial outcomes of motor vehicle collisions
Health Care Utilization: inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, ambulatory surgeries, home health visits
Decennial Census and Population Estimates: Bureau of Census Data
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services
School Age Surveys and Adult Surveys: self-reported drinking and driving behaviors
Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program Client Database: information on anyone convicted of DUI. [3]

William Bloom, SCOT Director of Planning and Research, provided an impressive summary of the data information by discussing the CRISOS program and showing how data were used to identify the problem and design solutions. The data are also used to evaluate the results. CRISOS stands for Crash Reduction by Improving Safety on Secondary Roads, a program to address the most dangerous secondary roads in the State. Bloom provided a primer on problem identification to show how the sites were identified.

  1. Re-state the problem in quantifiable terms.
  2. Identify appropriate data sources.
  3. Determine the credibility, reliability, validity and authenticity of the data sources.
  4. With the limitations determined, assimilate the various data sources into a combined source of detailed analysis.
  5. Prepare a report based on the combined source and input from others. Include specific recommendations for action.

Action Planning

We need your brainpower and insights this afternoon because, for the first time, we will work together to:

  • Set safety goals,
  • Develop recommendations for how to incorporate safety into the planning process,
  • Identify solutions and strategies,
  • Create messages and themes to improve safety.

Ron Patton, Director
Planning and Environmental

During the afternoon sessions, SCDOT divided the participants into four discussion groups with a geographic and professional cross sections represented in each group to the extent possible. The objective was to focus discussion in the four areas that the planning committee believed important for making rapid safety improvements on South Carolina's streets and roadways. The objectives were as follows:

  1. Create a theme or umbrella message for the new initiatives that result from the Forum. The idea is to generate attention and enthusiasm through a general campaign and to establish a theme that all agencies, organizations and individuals will support.
  2. Establish safety goals that everyone agrees to support and incorporate into their safety planning strategies and activities.
  3. Identify the resources, strategies, tools and other requirements for fully incorporating safety into the South Carolina transportation planning processes.
  4. Identify and prioritize those countermeasures that will have the most immediate impact on safety.

Each of the groups was supported by extensive preparation prior to the Forum to ensure that the recommended action steps were strategic and realistic. The groups were charged to brainstorm solutions and consider commitments they and their organizations could support.

Group 1: Adopting Safety Messages/Themes/Communications

The purpose of this group was to brainstorm ideas for safety messages, build a consensus and begin to think about methods for incorporating the message(s) into their agencies' existing public information programs.

The group's deliberations were informed by previous meetings of the subcommittee assigned this task. The subcommittee presented four suggestions for consideration:

  1. Dying to drive
  2. Stop the slaughter.
  3. Chill before you kill.
  4. Highways or Dieways; the choice is yours.

The group's consensus was that the 2nd choice is too negative and the 3rd is too hip. The remaining alternatives were kept for further review. Other ideas generated by the brainstorming session are as follows:

Following a discussion, the members voted and produced the following results. [4]

  1. Highways or Dieways (13) [5]
  2. Drive as if your life depended on it. (4)
  3. Drive smart. Don't make me call your mama. (4)
  4. Have you driven safely today? (3)

Group 2: Setting Safety Goals and Objectives

Group 2 began with a discussion focused on the steps in a goal setting process.

  1. Analyze the crash, demographic, roadway and other available data.
  2. Gather additional information through communication and collaboration among transportation and safety organizations, elected officials, the public and other safety stakeholders.
  3. Use internal and external experience and instincts as well as the results from research and evaluation activities.
  4. Realistically address economic and other resource considerations.
  5. Set goals and select performance measures.

The goals developed by a Forum Goals and Objectives Team prior to the meeting were used as a starting point for discussion.

  1. Reduce South Carolina's mileage death rate from 2.24 in 2002 to the Southeastern average of 1.43 by 2008.
  2. Reduce the number of traffic fatalities from 1,053 in 2002 to 785 by 2008 or slightly more than 25%.
  3. Reduce the number of traffic crash injuries experienced by 3% annually to 46,200 by 2008.
  4. Reduce South Carolina's current traffic crash rate from 2.28 in 2002 to 1.88 by 2008.
  5. Endorse and support as appropriate, efforts to increase funding for state and local traffic law enforcement, safety improvements to highways and enhanced EMS and first responder capabilities.
  6. Strongly support the passage of primary safety belt legislation in South Carolina.
  7. Reduce the crash involvement of young drivers (15-24) to more closely reflect that of the general driving population by 2008.
  8. Reduce the involvement of 21-34 year old males in alcohol related crashes to the average for all drivers by 2008.


GOAL #1: The consensus of Group 2 was that the fatality rate goal should be set at zero. Most were uncomfortable saying any number of deaths is acceptable. They agreed that intermediate goals could be established and reviewed annually but that the ultimate goal should be set and announced as zero.

GOAL #2: Adopted

GOAL #3: Adopted

GOAL #4: While the majority believe that setting a crash rate goal is desirable; they feel that this area needs more research and discussion. For example, the threshold for a reportable crash in South Carolina is $1,000.00; should the number of crashes be based on the reports or should all crashes be imputed from the data?

GOAL #5: Adopted

GOAL #6: Adopted [6]

GOAL #7 and #8: The group consensus is that these goals should not be restricted to the younger age groups but rather they should reflect all drivers.

The group finally recommends that a task force representing all the transportation and safety partners as well as public officials, be established to set additional goals and continually review progress. Specific examples suggested for continued review and goal setting are older drivers and motorcyclists.

Group 3: Integrating Safety into the Planning Process

Group 3 reviewed and discussed current safety programs within SCDOT which include hazard elimination, rail grade crossing and incident management. The discussion then turned to action planning with the following recommendations established to improve the current process:

  1. Develop a better system for identifying points of contact to ensure that citizen calls are directed to the appropriate official.
  2. Provide proper maintenance and clearing procedures to improve sight distance. Identify locations where proper maintenance has not occurred and implement appropriate remedies.
  3. Develop training and identify funding sources for pedestrian and bicyclist programs.
  4. Share data with the MPOs and COGs.
  5. Include rail signal/gate and hazardous elimination projects in the five year and long range plans.
  6. Enable better information transfer among agencies to assist with locating appropriate services.
  7. Involve the trucking association in the planning process.

Group 4: Promising Countermeasures and Solutions

The format for Group 4 was to address specific countermeasures suggested in the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. [7] South Carolina is at the top of the scale in its fatality rate in part because of the vast rural areas. For one thing, the emergency vehicles are unable to respond as quickly in rural areas; however, driver behavior figures prominently as well. Forty percent of South Carolina's fatalities are alcohol related where in other states this rate is as low as 19%. Speed is associated with 30% of the US fatalities, but in SC that figure is 47%. SC has a lower safety belt use (66%) than the national average (79%) and 2/3 of the fatally injured persons are unbelted. In 48% of SC's fatalities the driver ran off the road and in 12.5% a head-on collision occurred.

Based on the statistics, Group 4 discussed four countermeasures designed to address the State's most serious problem areas. They focused on crashes related to driving impaired, speeding, running off the road and hitting other vehicles and fixed objects head-on. The group reviewed the AASHTO recommendations in each area and proceeded to develop recommendations for proposed action. In each category, the first and second recommendations reflect the groups' primary and secondary recommendations.

Alcohol Countermeasures

  1. Establish stronger and more coherent legislation: define impaired driving in a single law and create a realistic alcohol license revocation law. The members feel that these initiatives would effectively address the fact that 60% of the cases are overturned. Improving the legislation may also reduce officer downtime at DUI stops, which is quite lengthy compared to other jurisdictions.
  2. Increase the number of law enforcement personnel deployed to traffic, including not only police officers but also special prosecutors.
  3. Include alcohol education in school curriculums beginning in the early grades.

Aggressive Driving and Speeding

  1. Increase the number of enforcement personnel.
  2. Craft and pass a combined aggressive driving statute.
  3. Modify speed limits in appropriate areas and improve signal light timing.
  4. Create and implement an education and enforcement campaign where aggressive driving is identified, such as on I-85 and I-95; [8] otherwise, deploy enforcement personnel on non-Interstate highways because they tend to have the best safety ratings anyway.


  1. Add shoulders to all arterials and rural roads.
  2. Add edge striping to all roads.
  3. Install rumble strips on secondary roads.
  4. Improve signage to alert drivers to curves and/or install reflective posts.
  5. Remove fixed obstacles.
  6. Implement measures to control and prevent deer/vehicle conflicts.
  7. Provide education on how to recover in a run off road crash.

Head-on Crashes

  1. Install flexible stop sticks or pole median barriers. [9]
  2. Install center line rumble strips.
  3. Study the crash causation factors in head-on collisions, e.g. impaired drivers, fatigued drivers, etc.
  4. Install raised striping and/or reflectors on center lanes. [10]
  5. Widen the medians.
  6. Construct and designate passing lanes.


Terecia Wilson and Ron Patton discussed next steps and promised to identify methods for follow up to ensure that the suggestions and recommendations are considered and implemented if resources can be identified; committed to look for a continuing means of communication among the different entities represented at the forum; and graciously thanked the speakers and guests and demonstrated special appreciation for the audience.

In just the amount of time we've been here today, the nation has experienced 32 fatalities and 2086 injuries. Working together we can stop this carnage in South Carolina.

Terecia Wilson, Director
SCDOT Office of Safety

Appendix A

Frequently Asked Questions about Transportation Safety Planning

What is the vision? Transportation planners working collaboratively with surface transportation safety planners and practitioners, experts in data management and analysis and other groups to include safety as a key planning factor and performance measure in all transportation plans and programs

What is the goal? To prevent the human and economic consequences of surface transportation-related crashes

When does SCP happen? During the development of transportation plans at the statewide, metropolitan, regional, local and tribal levels

Who is responsible? Planners in all surface transportation modes at all levels, transit agencies, highway and motor carrier safety professionals, elected officials, developers and land use planners, political decision makers and the public

What do planners need? Crash data, partnerships with experts who use crash data to identify safety problems, research to improve and develop analysis tools, and public and political support for considering safety in planning on an equal par with congestion management, air quality and other priority issues

What is the result? A reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities, congestion mitigation, environmental protection and major cost savings

What can I do?

What is the relationship between Transportation Safety Planning and a Comprehensive Safety Plan? SCP addresses the planning process and plays an integral role in the development of a comprehensive surface transportation safety plan.

Appendix B

Participant List

SC SCP Forum
First Name Last Name Agency E-Mail
Kim Alexander Clemson University
Anna Amos SC Department of Public Safety - STP  
Cat Angus SC Department of Transportation
Janet Arrington Myrtle Beach Police Department
Joyce Babin SC Department of Transportation
Geni Bahar iTRANS Consulting, Inc.
Frank Ballentine Cayce Department of Public Safety
Roland Bart SC Department of Transportation
Sherry Barton SC Department of Transportation
Ems Baskin SC Department of Transportation
John Baxter Federal Highway Administration  
William Beck SCDOT
Catherine Blackwell Federal Highway Administration
Stan Bland, Jr. SC Department of Transportation
William Bloom SC Department of Transportation
Lisa Bolinger SPATS MPO
Ernie Boughman Parsons Brinkerhoff
Jones Bowen Tri-Development Center of Aiken County
Jake Brewbaker SCDPS - Office of Highway Safety
Bruce Brigman Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.
Deborah Brown SC Department of Public Safety
Robert Bryan Florence Police Dept.
Cyril Busbee, Jr. SC Department of Transportation
Jennifer Buster SC Dept. of Disabilities & Special Needs
Darryl Butler Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
James Cagney SC Department of Transportation
Amy Caldwell SCDPS - Office of Highway Safety
Natalie Cappuccio Palmetto Cycling Coalition
Donna Carter MADD - SC
Lou-Ann Carter Department of Health and Environmental Control
Jim Catoe SC DHEC EMS Division
Carl Chase SC Department of Transportation
Robert Cogdell Campobello Police Dept.  
Erin Coker Clemson University Center for Safety Research & Ed
Todd Cook SC Department of Transportation
Anthony Cousar Sumter Police Department
Janice Cowen Operation Lifesaver  
Bob Cox American Medical Response
John Craddock Colleton County Sheriff's Office
Rebecca Creighton SC Department of Transportation
Philip Cromer Municipal Association of SC
Christopher Cushman Beaufort Police Department
Charles Daniel Benedict College/Project Impact
Barney Derrick SC Department of Public Safety
John DeWorken S.C. SenateTransportation
Paul DiMascio Motorcycle Safety Foundation  
Chetna Dixon Federal Highway Administration
Rolf Dolder S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
Robert Dubnicka The LPA Group Incorporated
Allen Easler Saluda Behavioral Health System
Robbie Ervin FLATS, Florence County
Daniel Fanning TBE Group, Inc.
Kevin Fisher Fisher Communications
David Fleming Clemson University
Jimmy Forbes GRATS  
Bryan Fraley Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
Brian Fulmer SC Department of Transportation
Kathy Funderburk O.B.C. Safe Kids Coalition
Anne Futch SC Department of Transportation
John Gaither SC Department of Transportation
Fabian Gawel Colleton County Sheriff's Office
J.J. Gentry SC House of Representatives
Michael George SC Department of Public Safety
Kathy Gibson Clemson University  
Yvonne Gilreath BCD Council of Governments
Amelia Glisson SC Department of Transportation
Douglas Graczyk Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.
J.A. Graves Cheraw Police Department  
Joel Griffith Cayce Department of Public Safety
Victor Grimes SCDHEC - Div of EMS
Eddie Gunn Office of the Governor  
Michael Hall Darlington County Sheriff's Office
Reggie Hall SC Farm Bureau Federation  
Frederick Hamer Batesburg-Leesville Police Department
Ed Harmon SC Department of Public Safety
Kathy Harper Children's Advocacy/Greenville SAFE KIDS
Brett Harrelson SC Department of Transportation
Tina Hembree SC Department of Transportation
Susan Herbel Transportation Safety Solutions
Andy Heyes St. Matthews Police Dept.  
William Hildebrand Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office
Pete Hipps Santee-Lynches Regional COG
Kathy Hoffman Federal Highway Administration
David Holeman Chesnee Police Dept  
Connie Hoover SC Department of Public Safety
Gloria Howell SC Department of Transportation
Steve Hurley MADD
Craig Hutchinson Horry County Police Dept.  
Melanie Jackson SC Department of Transportation
Diane Janicki SC Department of Transportation
Richard Jenkins SC Department of Transportation
David Jirousek Lowcounty Council of Governments
Susan Johnson SC Department of Transportation
Tom Johnson SC Department of Transportation
Charlie Jones CRM West/FLVOR
John Jones Greenville City Police
Bill Jordan SCDOT Office of Planning
Tony Kane AASHTO
Margaret Kherlopian S.C. DAODAS
Dale Kittles Greenville County Sheriff's Office  
Peter Knudsen GRATS  
Gray Koonce SC Department of Public Safety
Bob Kudelka SC Department of Transportation
Yon Lambert Palmetto Conservation Foundation
Bob Lee FHWA - SC Division Office  
David Lee SC Department of Transportation
Dean Legge LSCOG
Ed Leibfarth National Safety Council - SC Chapter
James Lewis Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.
Timothy Lindberg SC Department of Transportation
Joyce Lipscomb Spartanburg Public Safety Dept.
Joe Lipshetz Union County EMS
Terri Long Greenville County Safe Communities
Joel Lourie SC House of Representatives
Joe Loveless Sumter Police Dept
Wilma Magyar Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.
Allen Mance SC Dept of Disabilities & Special Needs
John Marler Greenville County Sheriff's Office  
Neal Martin SC Dept. of Health & Environmental Control
Kinzie Masingill Midlands Safe Kids
Maurice Masliah iTrans Consulting, Inc.  
Haila Maze BCD Council of Governments
Michael McGuire Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.
Kim McHone Saluda County Emergency Medical Services
Maurice McKenzie ANATS  
Kevin McLaughlin SC Department of Transportation
Charles McNair Cayce Department of Public Safety  
Donna Melcher Motorcycle Safety Foundation  
Elaine Melvin Dept. of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services
Carisa Miller Clemson University
Robert Miller City of Barnwell Police Department  
Ron Mitchum BCD Council of Governments
Ralph Mobley Richland County Sheriff's Dept.
Scott Montgomery N. Myrtle Beach DPS
Edward Moore SC Department of Transportation
Louise Moore SCDOT Office of Planning
Eric Moran National HWY Traffic Safety Administration erick.moran@NHTSA.DOT.GOV
George Morris Bamberg Police Department
David Morris Federal Highway Administration
Mark Murray Moncks Corner Police Dept.  
Albert Neal University of South Carolina  
Roosevelt Nelson Sumter County Sheriff's Office  
Nick Nichols Laurens Coroner's Office  
James Nix Moncks Corner Police Dept.
Cathy Norman York County Sheriff's Office  
Karren Norris Tri-Development Center of Aiken County  
H.B. Othersen Medical University of South Carolina
Luanne Pace SC Department of Transportation
Jennifer Paddock SC DHEC EMS Division
Virginia Patterson SC Department of Public Safety
Vivian Patterson SC Department of Transportation
Ron Patton SC Department of Transportation
Tim Pearson North Augusta Department of Public Safety
Janine Peccini GSATS, Waccamaw COG
G.B. Peralita SCDPS - SC Highway Patrol
Philip Pidgeon Clemson University Center for Safety Research & Ed
Derek Piper Parsons Brinkerhoff
Melissa Poole SCDOT - Holly Hill Maintenance
Pete Poore SC Department of Transportation
Robert Pratt SC Department of Transportation  
Arlene Prince SC Department of Transportation
Don Prue AAA Carolinas
Keith Purdy Southern Bartender Service
Paul Raad CRM West/FLUOR
David Randall Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
Don Rhodes State Transport Police
Derrell Rice SCDOT Office of Planning
Phil Riley SCDPS - Office of Highway Safety
Samuel Riley Greenwood Sheriff's Office
Heather Robbins THE LPA GROUP, INC.
Debbie Robinson SC Department of Transportation
Anthony Robinson SC Department of Public Safety
Paul Roper Spartanburg Public Safety Department
James Rouse Allendale Police Department  
Scott Russ Greenville County Sheriff's Office  
Wayne Schuler COATS  
Debbie Sellers MADD
Les Sharff Simpsonville Police Dept.  
Reginald Simmons Sumter City-County Planning Commission (SUATS MPO)
Alonzo Smith SC DHEC - EMS Division
Bridgett Smith Newberry County EMS
Dwayne Smith Anderson Area Medical Center
Charles Smoak, Jr. SC Department of Transportation
John Stevens Department of Disabilities & Special Needs  
John Stevens Disabilities & Special Needs
Stephen Strohminger ARTS  
Col. H.A. Stubblefield SCDPS - SC Highway Patrol
Colette Swann SC Department of Transportation
A.A. Taylor Greenville County Sheriff's Office  
Amanda Taylor SC Department of Transportation
Bud Thames Mt Pleasant Fire Dept.
Curtis Thomas FMC Safety Administration  
Willie Thomas. Greenwood County EMS
Rob Thompson SC Department of Transportation
Roy Tolson SC Department of Transportation
Dennis Townsend SC Department of Transportation
Sue Townsend Aiken County Government
Robert Tribble Oconee County Sheriff's Office  
Myers Truluck SC Department of Transportation
Patrick Tyndall FHWA - SC Division Office  
Mary Tyrell SCB&CB - Office of Res. & Statistics
Tami Upchurch SC Department of Public Safety
David Valentine Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
Dan Wagner SC Appalachian COG
Eleanor Walters Clemson University Center for Safety Research & Ed
Capers Wannamaker St. Matthews Police Dept  
Jerry Watkins SC Department of Transportation
Bryan Webb SC Department of Transportation
Robert Webb SC Department of Transportation
Richard Werts SC Department of Transportation
Bruce White State Farm Insurance
Vivian Wiley Hazel Pittman Center (Chester Commission)
Bryan Wilkins Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
Debbie Williams SC Department of Transportation
Vivica Williams Berkeley County EMS
Denise Williams Greenville County Safe Communities
Terecia Wilson SC Department of Transportation
Robert Winn, Jr. MUSC-MEDUCARE
Allison Wright SC Insurance News Service
Bill Wright Lexington County Sheriff's Dept  

Appendix C

South Carolina Forum Agenda


Columbia Conference Center

Columbia, South Carolina

September 25 2003 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. Registration Opens

9:30 a.m. Opening Session   Transportation Safety Planning: Partnerships for Success

Terecia Wilson Director of Safety, SC Dept. of Transportation

Robert L. Lee SC Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration

Curtis Thomas SC Division Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Erick Moran Regional Representative, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 What is Transportation Safety Planning?

Kathy Hoffman Transportation Specialist Federal Highway Administration

What Format will be Followed Today?

Ron Patton Director of Planning & Environmental, SCDOT

Panel Discussion: Overview of the Current Planning Process

Moderator Ron Patton, Director of Planning & Environmental, SCDOT

Panel Members:

Planning Office SCDOT

Patrick Tyndall Environmental Program Manager, FHWA, SC Division Office

Daniel Wagner Community & Regional Planner, Appalachian Council of


Tom Johnson Program Coordinator, Mass Transit Division, SCDOT

Alonzo Smith Director, EMS Division, SC Department of Health and

Environmental Control

Sgt. Don Rhodes Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program

Coordinator, SC State Transport Police, SC Department of Public Safety

Phil Riley Associate Administrator, Office of Highway Safety,

SC Department of Public Safety

*********MORNING BREAK*********

 Panel Discussion: Data and Planning Tools

Moderator Terecia Wilson, Director of Safety, SCDOT

Panel Members:

William Beck Chief, Road Data Services, Traffic Engineering, SCDOT

Tami Upchurch Manager, Planning & Research, Office of Highway Safety, SC Department of Public Safety

Victor Grimes Program Information Coordinator, EMS Division, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control

Rolf Dolder Manager, Applications Development, SC Department of Motor Vehicles

Elaine D. Melvin SC Department of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services

Mary Tyrell Office of Research and Statistics, Budget and Control Board

William Bloom Director of Research & Statistics, SCDOT


Luncheon Special Presentation: "Why Do We Need Transportation Safety Planning?"

Introduction David Morris, Safety Engineer, SC Division Office, FHWA

Special Guest John Baxter, Director, Office of Highway Safety Design, FHWA

Instructions for Afternoon Sessions David Morris, FHWA

1:45 p.m. Afternoon Discussion Groups

Group One:Adopting Safety Messages/Themes/Communications

Moderators Dan Fanning, Vice President, TBE Group, Inc.

Reggie Hall, Communications Director, SC Farm Bureau Federation

Kevin Fisher, Fisher Communications, Inc.

Recorder Anne Futch, IT Manager I, SCDOT

Group Two: Setting Safety Goals and Objectives

Moderator Susan Herbel, President, Transportation Safety Solutions Consultant for National Working Group on Transportation Safety Planning

Recorder Catherine Angus, Alcohol and Drug Program Manager, SCDOT

Group Three: Integrating Safety into the Planning Process

Moderator Ron Patton, Director of Planning & Environmental, SCDOT

Recorder Melissa Poole, Administrative Assistant, District 7, SCDOT

Group Four: Promising Countermeasures and Solutions

Moderator Tony Kane, Director of Engineering and Technical Services, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Recorder Susan Johnson, Special Assistant, Division of Strategic Planning, Finance, & Administration, SCDOT

********Afternoon Break********

3:15 p.m. Group Reports Facilitator Susan Herbel

Recorder Catherine Angus

4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

Ron Patton, SCDOT Director of Planning and Environmental

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT Director of Safety

4:30 p.m. Adjournment

SCDOT and its partners in the Federal Highway Administration wish to thank the following companies for their sponsorship of the South Carolina Transportation Safety Planning Forum:


Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.

Fisher Communications, Inc.

********South Carolina Transportation Safety Planning Forum********


Aiken Safe Communities

Clemson Cruisers Program

Data Panel Group

Operation Lifesaver

Palmetto Conservation League


SCDOT Safety Office

SCDOT Work Zone Safety Program

Wilbur Smith and Associates, Inc.

Numerous groups and individuals have been involved in planning for the South Carolina Transportation Safety Planning Forum. On behalf of SCDOT and our partners in the SC Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration and the Washington Office of the Federal Highway Administration, we extend our special thanks and appreciation for their commitment of time and resources to the following:

Logistics Team

Marie Bracanovich, SCDOT

Bonnie Cramer, SCDOT

Anne Futch, SCDOT

Amelia Glisson, SCDOT

Susan Herbel, Consultant

Daniel Hinton, FHWA

Kathy Hoffman, FHWA

Mark Hooper, SCDOT

Gloria Howell, SCDOT

Melanie Jackson, SCDOT

Ron Patton, SCDOT

Emily Reese, SCDOT

Debbie Robinson, SCDOT

Colette Murray Swann, SCDOT

Rob Thompson, SCDOT

Myers Truluck, SCDOT

Patrick Tyndall, FHWA

Robert Webb, SCDOT

Debbie Williams, SCDOT

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT

Safety Goals

William BLoom, SCDOT

Amelia Glisson, SCDOT

Ed Harmon, SCDPS

Stuart Litman, SCDPS

Ron Patton, SCDOT

Sgt. Don Rhodes, SCDPS

Phil Riley, SCDPS

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT

Safety Messages and Themes

Dan Fanning, TBE, Inc.

Kevin Fisher, Fisher Communications, Inc.

Reggie Hall, Farm Bureau

Ed Harmon, SCDPS

Luanne, Pace, SCDOT

Pete Poore, SCDOT

Colette Murray Swann, SCDOT

Lynn White, Aiken EMS

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT

Data Group

William Beck, SCDOT

William Bloom, SCDOT

Jimmy Earley, SC DMV

Victor Grimes, SC DHEC

Stuart Litman, SCDPS

Elaine Dowdy Melvin, SC DAODAS

Myers Truluck, SCDOT

Mary Tyrell, SC Budget & Control Board

Tami Upchurch, SCDPS

Terecia Wilson, SCDOT

[1] Authority under TEA-21 officially ended on September 30, 2003, which means that the highway bill must be reauthorized for the next several years. The Administration's reauthorization proposal includes a provision that encourages all states and MPOs to create a comprehensive safety plan. The characteristics of the planning process outlined above are generally compatible with the proposed legislation although the multimodal component is not specified. The reauthorization is sponsored and supported by a large number of transportation and safety organizations and associations, which increases the likelihood of its passage.

[2] The Office of Research and Statistics, a Division of the Budget and Control Board, also provides services to other agencies including geo-coding and data linkage.

[3] In South Carolina, any person convicted of DUI must complete the ADSAP program before the driver license is reinstated.

[4] The number of votes each theme received is recorded in parentheses.

[5] This is not a new theme in South Carolina. The advantage to using this umbrella theme is that it already enjoys name identity and recognition; however, it needs to be "freshened up" by perhaps incorporating some of the other ideas and broadened to reach younger groups and children in appropriate ways.

[6] The members tried unsuccessfully to revise the wording of this goal to distinguish lobbyists from state employees. The final vote is to leave the goal as it is currently stated.

[7] To support implementation of the Plan AASHTO, in cooperation with NCHRP, has developed an assessment tool, a suite of safety management tools referred to as the Integrated Safety Management Process and 22 guidebooks for implementing specific countermeasures.

[8] The discussion noted that cable barriers prohibit crossovers on the Interstates, making enforcement more difficult and in many cases impossible.

[9] It was noted that this probably will not provide a physical deterrent but it may alert drivers and focus attention.

[10] Some of the solutions may actually create safety problems, e.g. slippery paint on reflectors may cause motorcyclists to slip, skid and/or crash.

Updated: 11/2/2011
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