Safety Sidekick Newsletter

Vol. 13
September 2018
This month, the Safety Center wants to encourage you to (1) learn one new fact about modern roundabouts #RoundaboutsWeek, (2) start a dialogue in your state on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures, and (3) register for the upcoming National Summit on Rural Road Safety!
  • To help celebrate National Roundabouts Week (Sept. 17-21, 2018), the Safety Center encourages all our readers to learn more about modern roundabouts! For instance: 

Modern roundabouts dramatically reduce severe crashes - that's why they are a Safer Choice


To find out many more fun facts, driving tips, safety facts, and myths about the modern roundabout continue reading the article on roundabouts below. 

  • Are roadway departure crashes a challenge in your area? Then the Safety Center would encourage you to learn more about the upcoming Everyday Counts (EDC-5) Innovation on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures and how it could help your agency. While the EDC program is a state-based model, we would encourage local agencies to start a dialogue with their state about your local challenges and the potential benefits of this innovation to your area of the state. To learn more:
    • Visit the Reducing Rural Roadway Departures Webpage
    • View the recording (coming soon) of the orientation webinars previously held on Sept. 12th and 13th.
    • Attend the upcoming Safety Center webinar (co-hosted by NACE, NLTAPA, and FHWA) on Roadways Departures on Oct. 4th from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Mountain. (registration opening soon)
  • Don't forget to register for the upcoming Second National Summit on Rural Road Safety! We hope to see you all there!
Keep reading to find out more about the two initiatives mentioned above, as well as the most recent stakeholder spotlight, new resources, and conference announcements.


Steve Albert
National Center for Rural Road Safety
Safety Center Update
Stakeholder Spotlight: Scott Davis

Scott Davis is the most recent of our Stakeholder Team members to be featured in our spotlight. Scott is currently the Chair of the National Association of County Engineers' (NACE) Safety and Technology Committee- a group that has been working hand in hand with the Center to develop and conduct educational opportunities for not only NACE members, but the safety community at large.

Scott, who lives with his wife and two daughters in the pacific northwest, is the Traffic Engineering and Operations Manager for Thurston County in Washington. He became interested in safety partly because it is part of his professional responsibilities as a county traffic engineer, but he says this coincided with the with the birth of his first daughter.  Scott shares that "driving a small infant home for the first time made me reflect upon on how I drive, the impact of my behavior to others and mostly importantly the health and welfare of my family.  This reflection also led me to re-think priorities and focus at work and truly led me down a different and safer path."  His work with Louisiana Local Technical Assistance Program Director and former National Local Technical Assistance Program Association (NLTAPA) President, Marie Walsh, further entrenched him in the safety community. Marie also serves on the Center's Stakeholder Group. The involvement of representatives from organizations such as NACE and NLTAPA with the Center has proved to be a successful partnership in promoting safety on rural roads- often with a grass roots approach and often to small local and tribal agencies. For this type of work, Scott has been recognized with the David P. Brand Safety Award by the National Association of County Engineers (2018).

To read more, click here.

Safety Center Blog
Did You Attend Our First Summit? Register Now for the Second One - We're Bridging the Gap!

Rural communities provide food, energy, resources and much more to keep America running. In 2016, attendees at the National Working Summit on Transportation in Rural America helped define the future for "Moving Rural America" by articulating the key transportation safety issues facing rural areas, culminating in a call to action of "On the Road to Zero, We Cannot Ignore Rural."

The National Center for Rural Road Safety, in collaboration with the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), is hosting a  second summit in December 2018. This event will continue to move the rural conversation forward and will focus more intently on safety solutions and "Bridging the Gap."
  1. How do we create awareness and a unified voice for rural areas?
  2. What rural-specific solutions exist and how do you implement them within rural constraints?
  3. How do we look at rural safety without peering through an "urban lens?"
  4. More importantly, how do we shift rural safety culture to get us to zero?
Don't miss the opportunity to collaborate with others who are interested in transportation safety. The agenda allows for plenty of participation in the safety conversation! Well over a dozen different stakeholder groups were represented at the first summit- this time around, let's spread that reach even further. Rural road safety has many considerations where your input and enthusiasm can be cultivated into real progress on the road to zero.

Registration is now open! For more information about the 2nd National Working Summit on Transportation in Rural American, check out the Safety Center August Blog

School's In Session... Is Your State Making the Grade?

It's back to school time, which is a great reminder that there are often improvements needed to encourage safe and healthy walking and cycling to and from school. Safe Routes to School is still eligible for funding under the 2012 federal transportation bill, MAP-21. This is an important consideration for communities - it's a resource that can enhance the livability of their neighborhoods while supporting an active lifestyle for children.

Learn more about the new Safe Routes to School Fact Sheet and how your state fared in the 2018 Safe Routes to School National Partnership nationwide report card in the September Blog.

FHWA National Dialogue on Automated Vehicles in Seattle Focuses on Highway Data Needs
Source: Federal Highway Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration held the third {August 1} in its series of national dialogue meetings with key stakeholders to discuss automated vehicles and the implications for U.S. highways, including adaptation to the new technologies as they advance and are integrated onto U.S roads.

"As automated vehicle technology becomes more widespread, it's important that we prepare our nation's highways to accommodate technological change and new ways of travel," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson.  "An infrastructure of the future will require flexibility and responsiveness for the benefit of the traveling public."

The national dialogue meetings are being held across the country to engage a diverse group of stakeholders from industry and the public sector to understand the key areas of interest and concern.

The discussions in the Seattle meeting focused on how participants envision the use, management, and collection of data to improve the overall functionality of the roadway system and enable the safe operation of automated vehicles.

The participants included digital and high-tech industry leaders along with stakeholders involved in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of U.S. roads.

FHWA is hosting several of these national dialogue meetings throughout the year.  The first two were held in Detroit and Philadelphia in June, and focused on the effect of automated vehicles on the country's infrastructure systems and planning and policy.  Others to follow in Chicago, Phoenix, and Austin will explore multimodal safety, infrastructure design, traffic operations, and freight.

The insights received during the sessions will inform national research, policy, and programs and aid in the development of a national transportation community for automation.  More information is available from FHWA's
National Dialogue on Highway Automation website

Pedestrian Engineering Countermeasures Survey  

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Institute of Transportation Engineers, as part of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project, is soliciting input from transportation professionals regarding the identification of safety effectiveness of pedestrian treatments. This survey is part of a FHWA project to determine the safety effectiveness of medium to low-cost pedestrian engineering countermeasures in reducing non-motorist fatalities and injuries at controlled and uncontrolled intersections.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please click this link:

The survey should take you less than 15 minutes to complete.  Please feel free to forward this invitation to others in the community who may be interested in participating. We plan to close the survey on October 4, 2018.

 If you have questions regarding the project, please contact Ann Do ( ) or Jeff Shaw ( ) of FHWA. If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact me at .

Traffic Safety Scholars Program Scholarship Available

The TSS Program provides awards of up to $1,000 to help full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of fields defray the cost of attending the nation's largest gathering of traffic safety professionals, which will be held March 31-April 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. A flyer detailing the application process can be viewed here; please help us get the word out by sharing it with students, posting it in high traffic areas and/or forwarding it to others in your network who may know of a worthy applicant. Application deadline is November 18, 2018.  For complete details, visit the Lifesavers Conference Website TSS Page.

America Walks Announces New Road to Zero Program 

America Walks is a pedestrian advocacy group committed to mobilizing individuals, organizations and businesses to increase walking and walkability in America.  They are partnering with the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (UNC HSRC) to implement a collaborative pedestrian safety learning program for ten mid-sized cities. The selected mid-sized cities (50,000-250,000 population) will participate in a program centered around shared learning and peer support to systematically work through the development of an action plan, prioritize action steps, exchange ideas with peer cities, and strengthen local and regional support. Please check here for additional information.

Emergency Medical Services Traffic Cash Data Dashboard

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a new emergency medical services dashboard that shares traffic crash data for health and safety related analysis.

The NEMSIS tool, or National EMS Dashboard system, includes information about type and time of EMS response and time taken to transport patients to healthcare destinations. The information is derived from the 25 million entries made into the national EMS Database each year.

Collecting and using EMS data is used by service providers, planners, and researchers in their decision making processes to improve safety, patient care, and operations. Interested in how EMS crash data is used? Watch this informational video here.

FHWA Designates First National Roundabouts Week Roundabouts

The Federal Highway Administration has announced the first National Roundabouts Week - the third week of September (17th-21st).  The purpose of National Roundabout Week is to raise awareness about roundabouts and to provide a national platform to share the successes that state, local and tribal transportation agencies have had with them. FHWA asks that you promote Roundabouts through highlighting:
  • Roundabouts to save lives and prevent injuries
  • Basic rules of the road at roundabouts
  • Dispelling common roundabout myths
  • Interesting roundabout trivia
  • Highlighting successful roundabouts from around the U.S.
  • Recognizing new roundabouts opening during or around NRW
If you don't already, be sure to friend FHWA on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and follow them on Twitter (@USDOTFHWA).

The Right Plan for a Safer Community  

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Transportation Planning for Small and Medium Sized Communities (ADA30) Committee sponsored the 16th National Tools of the Trade Conference August 22-24, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri. Pam Beer and Danena Gaines, of Cambridge Systematics, conducted a workshop titled "The Right Plan for a Safer Community" during the Road Safety Plan/Safety Communication session on behalf of the National Center for Rural Road Safety. The goal of the workshop was to help road safety practitioners maximize opportunities to improve safety by bringing people together to solve problems, and communicating solutions to individuals who make the decisions.

Danena Gaines presented information on the process and importance of Local Road Safety Plans, a new FHWA proven safety countermeasure. Participants discussed action steps to develop a plan in their communities. Practitioners agreed a critical aspect of developing a local safety plan is effectively working with local elected officials and decision makers to identify traffic safety challenges and potential solutions. Pam Beer discussed why transportation safety is important to elected officials and presented strategies to communicate technical information to elected officials and decision makers. The workshop concluded with a role play activity where participants demonstrated what can happen at a meeting with an elected official. Each pair of participants conducted role play with a county engineer presenting information on efforts to improve older driver and pedestrian safety and a skeptical elected official .

Upcoming Trainings and Events
Upcoming Safety Center WebinarsTrainings

September 2018 - Utilizing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for Rural Road Safety
Date: September 25, 2018
Time: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Mountain/1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern

This webinar will provide an overview of the Safety Center's newly released  Rural Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Toolkit , as well as, highlight Rural ITS case studies from Iowa and Colorado.  

For more information or to register, click here.

October 2018 - Rural Roadway Departures
Date: October 4, 2018
Time: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Mountain/1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern

Are roadway departure crashes a challenge in your area? If so, this three-part webinar series is for you! In part 1, attendees will get a summary of the rural roadway departure safety problem, a description of the EDC-5 innovation focused on rural roadway departure reduction, and a discussion about rumble strips - one proven safety countermeasure.

Check the Safety Center trainings page for registration to open soon!

October 2018 - Rural Aging Road User
Date: October 23, 2018
Time: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Mountain/1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern

The safety of all road users must be considered on the "Road to Zero". In this webinar, we will explore the safety needs, challenges, and countermeasures for the rural aging road user. The webinar will begin with an overview, continue with a case study from Florida DOT, and finish with an explanation of the ChORUS website (a resource for planning and designing for the aging road user).

Check the Safety Center  trainings page for registration to open soon!

TTAP Online Training: Valuable Workplace Skills Development on Your Schedule 

The Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) is pleased to extend its core curriculum beyond the in-person classroom and at times that meet busy work schedules. TTAP's new online classes are offered as either a 2-hour self-paced option (currently available on-demand) or a 4-week instructor-led option (classes start October 7). Both options offer a certificate of completion for either 2 or 6 contact learning hours.

In addition to online classes in planning and procurement and maintenance and operations, TTAP currently offers an online safety class in low cost safety improvements. The class is designed to provide tribal organizations with practical and effective ways to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities. Register today to develop work-based skills and bring new knowledge and innovative approaches to your workplace.

Information about TTAP online classes can be found here. Check back often as new classes will be released frequently.

Register for 2-hour self-paced safety training at: 

Register for 4-week instructor-led safety training at: 

National Safety Council Congress and Expo

The NSC Congress and Expo is the world's largest annual event dedicated to workplace safety. This year the event will be held in Houston, TX on October 20-26, 2018. 

National Rural ITS Annual Conference and Exhibit

The National Rural ITS Annual Conference will provide participants a one-stop resource focusing on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) implementation in local communities and the opportunity to hear new and thoughtful perspectives from a wide variety of ITS topics.
This year the event will be held in Fort McDowell, AZ on October 21-24, 2018. 

The National Center for Rural Road Safety will be hosting a session on Monday Oct. 22 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM on "Utilizing ITS for Rural Road Safety." If you are attending NRITS, please join us to learn more about our newly released Rural ITS Toolkit.

Rural communities provide food, energy, resources and much more to keep America running. In 2016, attendees at the National Working Summit on Transportation in Rural America helped define the future for "Moving Rural America" by articulating the key transportation safety issues facing rural areas, culminating in a call to action of "On the Road to Zero, We Cannot Ignore Rural."

The 2nd summit will continue to move the rural conversation forward and will focus more intently on safety solutions and "Bridging the Gap."
  1. How do we create awareness and a unified voice for rural areas?
  2. What rural-specific solutions exist and how do you implement them within rural constraints?
  3. How do we look at rural safety without peering through an "urban lens?"
  4. More importantly, how do we shift rural safety culture to get us to zero?
Join this conversation in Savannah, Georgia in December 4-6, 2018.  We need your perspective and expertise to successfully articulate rural transportation safety needs and solutions.

To register for the Summit, click here.
Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting will be held January 13-17, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C. The information-packed program is expected to attract more than 13,000 transportation professionals from around the world. A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the spotlight theme for the 2019 meeting: Transportation for a Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future. 

What's Hot Off the Press?      
High Friction Surface Treatments FAQ

The Federal Highway Administration has created a Frequently Asked Questions for High Friction Surface Treatments repository online. This page features plenty of information about the safety impacts of HFST for motorists, motorcyclists, and cyclists. 

Rural Two-Lane Crash Factors Report

Understanding the Causative, Precipitating, and Predisposing factors in Rural Two-Lane Crashes is now available from the Federal Highway Administration. This report determines the potential use of alternative safety data sources and approaches for identification of predisposed factors on horizontal curves at unsignalized intersections on rural roadways.

Evaluation of Colored VMS Boards

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued a report on the evaluation of the visibility and comprehension of a series of alternate variable message signs to provide sign design guidance.


TRB has produced a tool that can help states identify curve information using GIS roadway maps. The CurvePortal for Automated Identification and Extraction of Horizontal Curve Information can be found here.

Safety Data and Analysis Fundamental Training 

The National Highway Institute has a new web-based Safety Data and Analysis Fundamental Training course available online. Safety Data and Analysis Fundamentals helps transportation professionals understand safety data and collection methods, including how to interpret safety data and use it to support key decision-making efforts. 

Contributing Authors
Janet Leli,  Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Omid Sarmid, Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Jaime Sullivan, Western Transportation Institute
Karalyn Clouser, Western Transportation Institute