It is SRPEDD’s goal to make every facet of our transportation system as safe as possible for motorists, as well as all other users.  Safety is considered the foremost element of any project’s importance in the SMMPO region.  SRPEDD considers safety problems to be pre-existing conditions that merit maximum considerationon for corrective measures.

The majority of traffic crashes are caused by driver error.  Driver error can be influenced by inadequate road design or ineffective traffic controls.  One of the tasks of transportation officials is to identify locations where crashes occur in excessive numbers and investigate their causes. Further study can give a clearer understanding of the reasons for frequent crashes.  With sufficient data it is possible to determine if the transportation network, its design, condition, traffic controls, etc. are contributing factors. Remedial steps can then be taken to correct the problem.  Any number of physical improvements, new or improved equipment and technologies, or increased police enforcement can improve the safety of our region’s transportation system.

Too often, local road and intersection modifications are made based on public pressure (e.g. multi-way stop control, speed limit changes, crosswalks, pavement markings, etc.). Frequently, a person involved in a crash demands that local officials implement such modifications to address a perceived problem.  In some instances, the suggested modification does not address the problem and can actually worsen it.  Sometimes those suggestions are implemented without regard to appropriate engineering standards.  Local and state officials must listen to the general public’s opinion on traffic safety issues, but ultimately, decisions on improvements must be made with sound engineering judgment.  This will ensure that recommended improvements will be successful to improve a problem, instead of worsening it.

Click Chapter 6: Safety Management of the Regional Transportation Plan to download and/or view the entire document.



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