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New 2017 Strategic Highway Safety Plan released

Maine has just released its new Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). This release happens to be very timely. Maine’s traffic fatalities have been on the rise the last three years after seeing improvement over the prior ten plus years. Many other states have seen similar increasing trends during this time of improving economy and lower gas prices. These latter two factors are resulting in increased travel and therefore additional crash potential, but that alone does not explain sharp increases in fatalities, particularly for pedestrians and motorcyclists.

Traffic safety is a top priority for Maine state agencies and our safety stakeholder groups. Safety aspects that need to be addressed are varied, and are continually being addressed at different agencies and stakeholders. To avoid overlapping efforts or differences in our public outreach messaging, a documented/coordinated plan that involves key partners is warranted. That’s where a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) plan comes in. Strategic areas were reviewed by the SHSP team and updated in this newest edition to reflect our current safety initiatives. This is a comprehensive plan (p 7 lists topics the plan addresses) and involves a variety of stakeholders (p 11 lists the core participants).

The SHSP provides for:

• A documented plan of action

• Safety focus area champions are identified to lead the effort in specific areas

• Ongoing communication between the multi-agency team members

• Coordinated effort that insures consistent approach and messaging in those areas that need to be addressed through multiple perspectives : Enforcement, Engineering, Education/Outreach and Emergency Response/Incident Management

• Continuing data-driven group evaluation and identification of the state’s priority safety needs

• Assessment of the benefits that the strategic efforts have produced and any needed supplemental actions those safety performance results may indicate.



Posted on Feb 06 2018

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