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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - Summer 2010 Download Newsletter pdf
[2.7 MB, 12 pgs.]

Summer 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 4

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AASHTO Releases New Report on Safety Performance Measurement

Safety Performance Measures Report cover

A new report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) looks at performance measurement for safety. The report, the third in a series of reports on transportation performance measurement, examines the use of fatality data for measuring performance across states. To compensate for the shortcomings in fatality statistics, however, the study also examines changes in fatality rate over time. Using threeyear averages of fatality rates based upon Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems (FARS) data, comparisons of fatality rates across states were made. Six states whose changes in fatality rate were below the national average were scrutinized.

The report is a departure from previous AASHTO policy. In the past, state departments of transportation have strongly resisted the idea of comparative performance measurement. Within the last few years, AASHTO members have changed their position, recognizing the reality that: performance measurement will be a prominent feature of the next reauthorization; comparisons across states will be made by Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation and others; and performance measurement has positive benefits.

The report further investigates the selected six states and identifies 24 best practices that contributed to fatality reductions in those high performing states. Many of the recommended practices focus on behavioral strategies such as enactment of primary seat belt laws, use of LELs to promote aggressive enforcement of safety laws, and strong safety messaging. The report acknowledges the performance measures developed by GHSA and NHTSA and urges support for their implementation. The report also makes recommendations for improving comparative performance measurement for safety in the future.

The report is available in an electronic format for $60 ($50 for AASHTO members) at the following link: aspx?ID=1532.