The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a statewide, coordinated, comprehensive, traffic safety plan that provides the framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public streets and highways. It establishes overall goals and objectives as well as objectives and strategies within each of seven key emphasis areas. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan is a working document designed to cover the years 2006 through 2010.
Maryland’s SHSP was developed initially in 1999 and modeled after a national plan developed by experts in various aspects of highway safety under the leadership of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The current version reflects the SHSP requirements embodied in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the federal transportation reauthorization legislation enacted in 2004.
“Traffic safety is public safety” and, as such, it requires the commitment and effort from a wide variety of stakeholders. Designated as the lead agency in the development of the SHSP, the State Highway Administration (SHA) has worked to achieve broad involvement in the safety planning and implementation processes. An Executive Committee, comprised of state cabinet-level secretaries, federal officials, and the top leaders of public and private sector organizations with a stake in traffic safety, oversees the effort. A Steering Committee, an assembly of representatives from state, local, and federal agencies and safety organizations, provides the hands-on direction for the development of the SHSP and its implementation. These committees selected seven emphasis areas, two of which were further divided into nine subareas.
The emphasis areas and subareas are:
- Reduce Impaired Driving
- Improve Information and Decision Support Systems
- Eliminate Hazardous Locations
- Keep Vehicles on the Roadway
- Improve Safety at Intersections
- Create Safer Work Zones
- Make Walking and Crossing Streets Safer
- Increase Occupant Protection
- Improve Driver Competency
- Reduce Distracted Driving
- Enhance Safety for Older Drivers
- Develop Safe Young Drivers
- Improve Motorcycle Safety
- Make Truck and Bus Travel Safer
- Curb Aggressive Driving
- Improve Emergency Response System
To generate involvement in, and interest and enthusiasm for, this critical planning initiative, the state convened a Traffic Safety Summit, at which more than 320 participants with diverse backgrounds, interests, and expertise provided input to the development of objectives and strategies for each of the emphasis areas/subareas. Guided by safety data and organized into emphasis area/sub-area teams, the participants generated over 168 strategies, which later were condensed by the Executive and Steering Committees to a final list of 69 priority strategies that, when implemented, will save lives and prevent injuries.
Maryland’s overall traffic safety goal, as stated in its SHSP, is to eliminate motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on its streets and highways. In addition to the individual objectives developed for each of the emphasis areas/subareas, two overall objectives were adopted by the committees:
- To reduce annual motor vehicle fatalities to fewer than 550 by 2010, which would represent slightly more than a 10 percent reduction from the 614 in 2005 and which would meet the national goal of 1.0 fatalities or fewer per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT).
- To reduce annual motor vehicle injuries to fewer than 50,000 by 2010, which would represent nearly a 10 percent reduction from the 55,303 injuries in 2005
Currently, emphasis area/subarea teams are preparing and carrying out Action Plans, critical activities to implement the most important strategies. The SHSP provides the framework for Maryland to apply the best solutions to solve its most critical highway safety problems. The continued active involvement of both committees and the emphasis area/subarea teams, along with the unwavering focus on the measurable objectives set forth in the SHSP, ensures top-down support throughout the five-year life of the plan, promises effective implementation of the plan, and supplies the guidance to reach the Destination: Savings Lives.
The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) can be reached by clinking on Strategic Highway Safety Plan below.
Strategic Highway Safety Plan (PDF, 2.08MB)
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