The transportation of hazardous materials by highway presents special problems from the standpoint of safety, not because the chance of accident is greater but because the results of an accident may be much more severe than in a usual type of accident, with occasional catastrophic results. Although the total number of deaths annually is less than one percent of all highway fatalities, the emotional and therefore political impact of such accidents means that administrators must give the problem considerable attention. The situation is made more difficult by the great number of agencies involved at all levels of government. The need therefore is for a clear definition of roles and of responsbilities and for better communications among official agencies and with the public. It is recommended that states (1) adopt appropriate regulations covering all phases of motor carrier safety as well as hazardous material transportation; (2) identify administrative elements with responsibilities in this area, define the role of each, and develop effective communications; (3) develop an incident response capability; (4) provide effective enforcement; (5) provide training for all levels of personnel; (6) adopt a policy for safe routing of hazardous cargoes for statewide adoption; (7) develop an incident/accident reporting system for hazardous materials; (8) institute a public information program; and (9) include hazardous materials considerations in highway and bridge planning and design. Further research is needed to determine the optimum pattern for administration of a hazardous materials program; to develop appropriate training programs for administrative, enforcement, and emergency response personnel; and for a comprehensive study of risk analysis methodology and its application to current problems of route selection and choice of mode. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This was sponsored by AASHTO and FHWA in cooperation with the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Baldwin (DM)

    301 G Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Baldwin, D M
  • Publication Date: 1980-5

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References;
  • Pagination: 32 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00322676
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NCHRP PR20-7, T-16 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 15 1981 12:00AM