907.1 Safety Program Guidelines
Each year, Missouri receives federal funding to support traffic safety efforts across the state. The majority of this funding is distributed to MoDOT’s districts to be used for initiatives and projects aimed at MoDOT’s goal of reducing fatalities and disabling injuries on Missouri highways. The purpose of this document is to provide specific information regarding the application of those funds to Missouri’s safety program and the projects associated with it. These guidelines supersede any previous documents pertaining to using safety funding on transportation projects.
Criteria for Safety Project Funding
By federal rule, federal highway safety funds can only be used on safety-focused engineering projects and all safety projects must have a “relationship” to Missouri's Strategic Highway Safety Plan. All projects utilizing federal safety funding (on or off the state system) must meet one of the following criteria:
- 1. Proactive Measure: Systemwide Solutions. Missouri’s current Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP – “Missouri’s Blueprint Save More Lives”) designates systemic strategies vital to the reduction of fatalities and disabling injuries in highway crashes. In addition, other systemic strategies may be identified in the future that can be used systemwide to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries. Some examples of engineering strategies include new paved shoulders, rumble strips and systematic sign upgrades. These proactive solutions must be chosen by the district in a systematic approach to improve safety in their region.
- 2. Reactive Measure: Severe Crash Experience. Projects meeting this criterion must provide a corrective improvement to a location with disabling injury &/or fatal crash experience (severe crash experience). This severe crash experience may be demonstrated in the High Severity Crash Location lists or discovered through emerging safety needs with fatal and/or disabling injury crash experiences. If a roadway is functionally classified as a rural major or minor collector or a rural local road with severe crash experience in the previous 5-year period, it is classified as a High Risk Rural Road (as per MAP-21). Focusing on severe crash experience is a guiding principle of “Missouri’s Blueprint to Save More Lives”. Countermeasures using federal safety funding must specifically address the severe crash issue.
- 3. Safety Assessment / Safety Needs Identification. Safety needs can be identified as a result of a Road Safety Assessment, which focuses on specific locations or corridors to identify potential safety issues and countermeasures. A Road Safety Assessment can be completed from the analysis of one or two people or can involve a larger team of safety experts. Innovative and creative safety countermeasures can be implemented to remove or minimize the safety concern (these may or may not have an identified crash reduction factor).
As part of the Safety Program oversight, Central Office will conduct periodic Safety Quality Assurance reviews in the districts including safety project review.
Support Documents for Engineering Safety Improvements
The following documents are used to identify effective safety strategies and to help guide safety improvement decision-making.
- 1. Missouri’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Missouri’s Blueprint Save More Lives is the guiding document for roadway safety in the state. The Blueprint details the most frequent severe crash types and effective strategies to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries. It is vital for each district to work in cooperation with their regional Blueprint coalition during problem identification and the development of countermeasures. Efforts to address issues identified in the key strategies (“Necessary Nine”) are preferred.
- 2. High Severity Crash Location Lists. This set of lists focuses on fatal and disabling injury crash frequency. It can be used to help identify locations in the state with greater potential for severe crashes.
Distribution of Highway Safety Funds
Safety Program Funding (Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Open Container Transfer Funds)
Each state fiscal year, federal highway safety funds are distributed to MoDOT’s seven districts based on a Commission-approved formula. All engineering projects utilizing federal safety funding must be included in the STIP. MoDOT must submit an annual HSIP report to FHWA listing all projects that have used safety funds and their effectiveness. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FHWA also audit the expenditures/projects for the use of the “Open Container” funds during the management review (completed every 3 years).
Safety funds are used for projects on all public roads that are consistent with our strategic highway safety plan (Missouri’s Blueprint to Save More Lives). Safety funds should be used on the following proactive measures:
- 1. Installation of 2-ft. paved shoulder and edgeline rumble strips on rural minor roads with an AADT greater than 1,800. For rural minor roads with less than 1,800 AADT to be eligible for safety funding of paved shoulders and edgeline rumble strips, there must have been at least 1 fatal or disabling injury crash per 5-mile segment in the previous 5 years (0.04 serious crashes per mile per year).
- 2. Improve the top 200 curves (list based on serious crash experience). Strategies would include paving with a high friction surface treatment, adding rumble strips, improving superelevation and installing interactive warning devices.
- 3. Improve the top 30 rural expressway intersections (list based on serious crash experience). Strategies would include J-turns and offset left- and right-turn lanes.
- 4. Address policy objectives that impact safety. Strategies would include the installation of chevrons on horizontal curves as well as the upgrade to “flashing yellow arrow” signal indicators.
- 5. Deploy innovative strategies that are coordinated with Central Office Traffic & Highway Safety Division. Strategies could include (but not limited to) high friction surface treatments and wrong-way driver countermeasures.
- 6. In Missouri, approximately 25% of the traffic fatalities occur on the local road system (not a state maintained highway). In addition, 66% of those non-state system fatalities occur within 14 counties. MoDOT is working with those 14 counties to develop county specific strategic highway safety plans. Funds should be reserved in the STIP and once those plans are completed, a portion of our safety funds should be used to assist with the implementation of those plans. Those counties are: Jackson, St. Louis City, St. Louis, Greene, Jefferson, St. Charles, Clay, Franklin, Jasper, Boone, Platte, Newton, Buchanan and Cole. Contact Central Office Traffic & Highway Safety Division for status of these county plans.
- 7. Under the current federal funding program (MAP-21), maintenance of signing and striping to meet the retroreflectivity guidelines established in the MUTCD are eligible for safety funding. Since this is a new area for using safety funds, additional information and coordination with FHWA will be required before using funds for this strategy.
As districts develop safety plans to use safety funds, a member of Central Office Traffic & Highway Safety Division will be a part of the team (either Traffic Liaison Engineer – Safety, Traffic Safety Engineer, or a designee). It is recommended that each district have a 3-5 year safety plan. Central Office Traffic & Highway Safety Division will also approve any safety project prior to including it on the STIP. This will ensure proper oversight of the safety funds is maintained.
New projects will require a SIMS (STIP Information Management System) form to be submitted, and a job number should be requested to charge expenses. On the SIMS form, you will be required to provide justification for the “Safety” categorization (see Criteria for Safety Project Funding), a benefit/cost ratio for the project if not using a system-wide safety solution (benefit equals the number of fatalities and disabling injuries being reduced by project), the improvement category (defined by FHWA), the relationship to SHSP (both the Emphasis Area and Strategy), the observed safety problem, and the safety countermeasure. In addition, each safety project identified by the district shall require one of the following three items be indicated on the SIMS form:
- 1. Project is a Systemwide Safety Solution (proactive measure)
- 2. Location is identified on High Severity List (reactive measure)
- 3. Safety countermeasure identified from Road Safety Assessment
Once completed, the effectiveness of safety projects will be tracked by the district with before/after evaluations. The results of these district studies will be compiled by Central Office Traffic and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration each year as part of Missouri’s Highway Safety Improvement Program report. The report will be shared with all MoDOT districts and divisions to help facilitate good decisions in order to continue reducing fatalities and disabling injuries in Missouri.