U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Public Roads
This magazine is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information.
Public Roads Home | Past Issues | Subscriptions | Article Reprints | Guidelines for Authors: Public Roads Magazine | Sign Up for E-Version of Public Roads | Search Public Roads
| Current Issue |
Back to Publication List        
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-21-002    Date:  Winter 2021
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-21-002
Issue No: Vol. 84 No. 4
Date: Winter 2021


Internet Watch

Helping Locals Develop Local Road Safety Plans

by Hillary Isebrands and Jerry Roche

Approximately 40 percent of the Nation's roadway fatalities occur on locally owned roads—an average of 12,000 deaths each year. Local road safety plans (LRSPs) offer a proven safety countermeasure that can help address the issue. Local agencies can use LRSPs to identify at-risk locations on their roadways and deploy cost-effective safety solutions.

Home page of FHWA's Local Road Safety Plan Do-It-Yourself website. Source: FHWA.
The Local Road Safety Plan Do-It-Yourself site offers a highly visual interface with many videos, downloads, and examples to provide the right information at the right time.

The Federal Highway Administration recently unveiled a unique website to help local agencies reduce serious and fatal crashes on their roadways. The Local Road Safety Plan Do-It-Yourself website (available at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/LRSPDIY) includes resources that local agencies and their partners need to create and implement these plans in order to save lives.

Expanding FHWA's Reach

FHWA, in cooperation with the National Association of County Engineers and the National Local & Tribal Technical Assistance Program Association, has spent the last 5 years helping local agencies create these plans, but with more than 23,000 local agencies in the country, it is impossible to deliver in-person training to each one. Consequently, FHWA developed the website to connect with all local agencies efficiently.

The LRSP website comprises a delivery method to simulate a personal, hands-on workshop experience to guide agencies through the LRSP development process: identifying stakeholders, using safety data, choosing proven solutions, and implementing solutions.

LRSPs have proven to be successful in small and large agencies alike. The plans all include some common steps, but they are tailored to reflect each community's needs. FHWA's new site explains how. A quote attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt provides inspiration for deploying LRSPs: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Site Features

Each page has an introduction video in the center that explains the primary objectives of that step. Along the right sidebar there are additional videos, such as Local Agency Insights, which feature practitioners sharing their experiences in developing local road safety plans.

Each page includes a Tools and Resources section with a wealth of information in the form of guides, templates, tools, tutorials, training, examples, and helpful links. The site went live on October 1, 2020, and is being updated periodically with additional content.

"Our goal is to connect FHWA to America's 3,000 counties and 20,000 cities and towns that could benefit from a local road safety plan," says FHWA Administrator Nicole R. Nason. "This innovative new tool includes everything local agencies need to develop a local road safety plan to help reduce fatalities on their local roads."

For more information, contact Hillary Isebrands at hillary.isebrands@dot.gov or Jerry Roche at jerry.roche@dot.gov.

Hillary Isebrands, P.E., Ph.D., is a senior safety engineer/team leader on the Safety and Design Technical Service Team in FHWA's Resource Center.

Jerry Roche, P.E., is a transportation specialist on the Safety Design Team in FHWA's Office of Safety.



Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101