ITD receives two national Roadway Safety Awards

Two Idaho highway safety projects earned National Roadway Safety honors at an awards ceremony today (Nov. 6) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recognized the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) for both its Highway Safety Corridor Analysis Project and its Winter Performance Measure (WPM) System. 

Highway Safety Corridor Analysis Project
To better target its dollars to where they might prevent the most injuries and save the most lives, ITD implemented an innovative, data-driven project called the Highway Safety Corridor Analysis Project. The project helped identify the highest priority locations in need of safety improvements throughout all districts and across all categories.

The process began with the identification of the highest-priority segments for safety examination. The second step was to identify specific locations within the priority segments where the density and severity of crashes for the previous five years was greatest.

Winter Performance Measure System
With so many miles of roadway to track, it can be difficult for transportation departments to quantify their effectiveness in winter-weather maintenance operations.  To help measure the success of winter maintenance efforts, ITD worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and with Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement, to develop a Winter Performance Measure (WPM) System.

As a result of this system, ITD now uses remote highway sensors to provide highway data that maintenance crews use to make informed decisions on when to apply highway treatments, which treatments to apply, and how much to apply. An automated system collects data from roadside sensors every 15 minutes and uses the information to plot and track trends that show ice and snow accumulation, air and pavement temperature changes, and surface friction (grip).

ITD’s WPM System is the only known tool of its kind and has generated widespread interest nationally and internationally.

“In these difficult financial times, it is refreshing to see state and local governments do what they can to ensure that their limited dollars are being spent in the most effective manner,” said Gregory M. Cohen, P.E., executive director of the Roadway Safety Foundation. “Both of Idaho’s award-winning programs can serve as a model for transportation departments worldwide.”  

National Roadway Safety Award recipients were evaluated on three criteria – innovation, effectiveness and efficient use of resources. Program categories included infrastructure improvements, operational improvements and program planning, development, and evaluation. 

Blue Ribbon Panel Judges included:  Philip J. Caruso, Deputy Executive Director for Technical Programs, Institute of Transportation Engineers; Gregory M. Cohen, P.E., Executive Director, Roadway Safety Foundation; William A. Crank, Senior Community Relations Manager, Michelin North America; Anthony Giancola, P.E., Consultant, formerly of the National Association of County Engineers; Michael Griffith, Director, FHWA Office of Safety Technologies; Tony Kane, Consultant, formerly of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and Richard Pain, Transportation Safety Coordinator, Transportation Research Board.

Roadway safety programs are a critical part of the nation’s solutions to saving lives and preventing injuries on the nation’s highways.  There were 32,367 people killed in traffic crashes on U.S. roads in 2011.

The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation present the biennial National Roadway Safety Awards to programs and projects across the nation exhibiting excellence in roadway design, operations and planning. The RSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization solely dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes by improving the safety of America's roadways.

FHWA announced the awards previously and the Transporter carried a preliminary story on Aug. 9. 

For additional information on RSF, please visit; on Facebook at; and on Twitter at @roadway_safety, #RoadwaySafetyAwards

Published 11-8-13