The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a major component and requirement of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), requisite of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) (23 USC Part 148). The SHSP is a 5-year comprehensive plan that establishes Puerto Rico’s goals, objectives and safety emphasis areas. It was developed by the PRHTA in a cooperative process with multiple local, State, Federal, and other public and private sectors safety stakeholders. The SHSP allows these highway safety stakeholders to work together in aligning goals, leverage resources, and collectively address highway safety challenges.
The mission of the SHSP is to enhance the safety, mobility and accessibility of all people using the roadway network in Puerto Rico, by working together and integrating efforts known as the 4Es: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Response. With a goal of Zero Deaths, the PRHTA has achieved a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes, since the implementation of the first SHSP from 2014 to 2018.
CSA was contracted on February 2014 to assist the PRHTA in developing and implementing the SHSP from 2014 to 2018. The original contract was amended to extend the services until May 31, 2021. CSA’s team was able to develop the SHSP in full compliance with federal regulations, thus allowing the PRHTA to obligate highway safety funds. Additionally, the integrated efforts with other safety stakeholders resulted in a significant reduction in fatalities in our roadway system. The number of fatalities was dramatically reduced from 344 in 2013 to 279 in 2016, a goal established for 2018. This goal was also achieved in 2017 with 290 fatalities. In terms of the 5-year moving average (MA) of total fatalities, the established target for 2018 was 318, and this target was achieved in 2017 with the value of 306.
Some of the key contributions of CSA’s team are summarized here:
- Integrating multiple public and private entities with the same objective of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in our highway network.
- An aggressive communication/outreach plan.
- Signed Memorandum of Understanding among the leading public agencies in Puerto Rico representing the 4Es.
- Modifying the process for selecting highway improvement projects toward a data driven approach.
- Working closely with the Traffic Safety Commission and the Puerto Rico Police to improve the crash database.
- Actively participating as part of the Traffic Record Coordinating Committee.
- Developed a procedure and the associated implementation of Road Safety Audits.
- Development and maintenance of the webpage ww2.carreterasegurapr.com, including valuable information regarding highway safety.
- Multiple communication strategies, including newsletters.
- Creation of “Alianza” (Alliance for Accessibility, Mobility and Safety in Our Public Ways). These organizations are AARP, MAVI, SPP, ITE-Puerto Rico Section and the MAPFRE Foundation.
- Performing “Before and After” studies to determine the effectiveness of the highway safety improvements.
- Multiple “High Crash Location Reports” to identify spots, corridors and sections of roadway with higher crash density.
- Delivery of all SHSP reports/studies on time and in full compliance with federal regulation.
For additional information regarding the SHSP, please visit: https://ww2.carreterasegurapr.com
Many of CSA’s San Juan office resources participated in one way or another in several of the initiatives/events under the SHSP, from Emphasis Area meetings to the Annual Highway Safety Summits. For all of them, our appreciation and thanks for their excellent work. We all have the satisfaction of being able to reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes in Puerto Rico. Special thanks to:
- Gloria Reyes – Project coordinator and former PRHTA’s coordinator for the development of the SHSP
- Joangelli González – Project Coordinator