Idaho safety partners collaborate on Strategic Highway Safety Plan

Meeting Idaho’s goal of being the safest transportation system in the country requires strategy, leadership and collaboration.

ITD’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS) will step closer to that goal when the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) emphasis groups and OHS program managers gather for a Nov. 29 SHSP workshop.

“We’re asking emphasis groups to generate fresh thinking and creative strategies in support of ‘Toward Zero Deaths, Every Life Counts’ – the foundational concept upon which the SHSP is built,” said ITD Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings. “The strategies within the SHSP complement ITD’s goals for improving safety, mobility and economic opportunity.”

The OHS identified 11 safety emphasis areas based on crash data and associated economic costs:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Safety restraints
  • Impaired driving
  • Intersection crashes
  • Youthful Drivers
  • Lane-departure crashes
  • Emergency response
  • Motorcycles
  • Commercial motor vehicles
  • Vulnerable users (Mature Drivers, Bike/Pedestrian)

At the all-day workshop, safety advocates in these small groups will work to identify strategies and find solutions toward eliminating traffic deaths and injuries.

Many crashes relate back to the choices we make, and to what Jennings calls the “DIA principle” – driving distracted, impaired or aggressively.

“The charge before us is to implement strategies that help Idaho’s citizens arrive safely at their destination,” said Jennings. “Everyone has a role to play in traffic safety and all can make a positive difference. Our safety partners help lead the way.”

Last updated in 2009, the SHSP includes strategies to address behaviors, infrastructure improvements, and enforcement countermeasures to eliminate crashes, traffic deaths, serious injuries, and the economic losses associated with preventable traffic crashes. The goal is to reflect current safety issues and solutions in the SHSP update.

Idaho’s SHSP planning process has received national recognition, and is often referred to for other states planning for safety initiatives.

Programs implemented by these groups include Click It, Don’t Risk It! to improve seatbelt use, Put It Down to counter distracted driving and to address teen driving behaviors.

Published 11-23-2012