Oct. 24, 2019 – Two Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) programs were honored today in a ceremony on Capitol Hill at the 2019 National Roadway Safety Awards. FDOT’s “Alert Today Florida” program to combat pedestrian and bicycle crashes, and its “Design-Build Push-Button Contract” innovation to sharply reduce the time necessary to make critical safety improvements were each recognized.
The National Roadway Safety Awards are a biennial awards program sponsored jointly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF). The awards recognize roadway safety achievements that move the United States toward zero deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.
“Today we honor seven projects with innovative solutions for reducing crashes and saving lives,” said Federal Highway Administration Executive Director Tom Everett. “We commend Florida and this year’s other winners for their success not only in saving lives on our nation’s roads, but also for maximizing the cost effectiveness of federal, state, and local funds that were used.”
Florida’s “Alert Today Florida” program seeks to reduce the state’s high fatality rate among its pedestrians and bicyclists. The program includes engineering projects, educational outreach events, paid advertising and high visibility enforcement activities. Analysis indicates that 18 lives have been saved, 324 injuries have been prevented, and 338 bicycle and pedestrian crashes have been avoided since the program’s initiation.
FDOT’s second award was for its “Design-Build Push-Button Contract” which has had great success slashing the time to get from “concept to concrete” for critical safety projects. This has resulted in safety improvements being constructed with as much as a 75% reduction in the concept-to-completion period, with many projects installed in just a few months, rather than taking three or more years.
Motor Vehicle crashes are among the nation’s leading killers, costing more than 37,000 deaths and nearly 2.7 million injuries in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“While our roads and vehicles have gotten safer over the years, clearly motor vehicle crashes still take a tremendous toll,” said Roadway Safety Foundation Executive Director Greg Cohen. “Unfortunately, deficiencies in our roadway environments still contribute to nearly one-third of all crashes, so making improvements to our roadway infrastructure is a critical part of reducing these devastating crashes.
“Our Roadway Safety Awards honor those who successfully identified dangerous issues in their systems, as the FDOT teams did, and applied the latest research and technology to implement effective and cost-efficient fixes. We congratulate and salute our winners and urge DOTs across the nation to look at these innovative solutions and replicate them wherever possible.”
The National Roadway Safety Award projects were evaluated on three criteria: Effectiveness, Innovation, and Efficient Use of Resources. The program honors outstanding projects involving infrastructure, operational or program-related innovations. The seven winners were selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.
The other awardees were: Arizona for its Wrong-Way-Driving (WWD) detection program that detects and then alerts drivers and police when a WWD vehicle is detected; Missouri for a program to install median U-turns; South Dakota for its high friction surface treatments to address road departure crashes in winter weather; and Virginia for two programs, one to better manage guardrails in critical areas and the other for development of its innovative statewide pedestrian safety plan.
Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges from a variety of disciplines. This year’s judges included: Bruce Hamilton, Managing Director, Roadway Safety Foundation; Ivan Horodyskyj, NOVA district engineer, Virginia Department of Transportation; Bernardo Kleiner, senior program officer/transportation safety specialist, Transportation Research Board; Norah Ocel, acting team leader—safety operations, FHWA; Brian Roberts, principal, BCR Consulting, LLC; Dr. Marie B. Walsh, director, Louisiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Terecia W. Wilson, Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, Clemson University.
For complete details on each of the winners, and for more information on the national awards program, visit http://www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadwaysafetyawards/.