Safety Scans: A Successful Two-Way Street

The United States often benefits from technology and information exchanges with experts from around the world. This article discusses some of these collaborative efforts and the lessons learned from them that can be applied to transportation safety in the United States. One method for information exchange is the International Technology Scanning Program, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Scan tours visit best-in-class countries to explore and evaluate innovative technologies and practices that could significantly benefit U.S. highway transportation systems. Another avenue for learning from the best-in-class is through the involvement of U.S. transportation professionals in the road safety technical committee of the World Road Association. Five lessons learned from the scans and World Road Association activities are highlighted in the paper. First, a top-down commitment by a country's leaders is essential to making a difference in reducing fatalities. The second lesson from the international community is the value of a "safety systems" approach, which involves identifying causal factors of crashes so that specific strategies can be implemented in response. The third lesson is the importance of a collaborative process that reaches out to all agencies. Fourth, highway safety strategies should be based on a business approach, which supports strategies that are data-driven and results-oriented. Finally, there are many new and innovative concepts, such as a systematic road assessment program and a self-organizing roadway, that offer opportunities for broader application in the United States. For each of these lessons, examples are given to show how they are being applied in the United Sates and internationally.


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  • Accession Number: 01010481
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2005 11:57PM