Office of Traffic and Safety
Likely in no other way do the citizens of Maryland and visitors to the state rely on State services as they do in their daily travel. The Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS) plays a major role in assuring that State highways operate safely and efficiently. OOTS provides a wide range of traffic engineering, traffic operations, and traffic safety support to SHAs Districts and other units that enable them to carry out their highway responsibilities. It also houses SHAs motor carrier agency and serves as the lead agency for Marylands traffic safety programs.
Among the many OOTS functions are the following:
- Establishes standards and guidelines for the installation of traffic control devices (traffic signs, traffic signals, pavement markings, etc.) on all streets and highways in Maryland.
- Provides guidance within SHA and to local highway agencies on the use of traffic measures, the design/installation of highway lighting, the design of highway features and roadside furniture.
- Conducts traffic planning and engineering studies; provides technical assistance to highway agencies regarding such studies, traffic signal timings, operational capacity of specific streets and roads, etc.; provides technical assistance and training to government agencies, utility companies, and private firms in the control of traffic through work zones.
- Develops special programs to facilitate the safe movement of traffic, particularly during abnormal conditions, such as the weekend summer traffic to and from the Eastern Shore and when incidents cause freeway closures.
- Designs, constructs, and maintains traffic signal installations on State and US numbered highways (except in Baltimore City and parts of Montgomery County).
- Designs and installs special traffic signs and highway lighting on State, US , and Interstate numbered highways.
- Identifies locations in need of safety and/or operational improvements, and provides technical counsel in the development of solutions to the identified problems.
- Regulates motor carrier operations; manages commercial vehicle size, weight, and safety enforcement programs; reviews the proposed routing of, and issues permits, for the transport of oversize and overweight loads.
- Provides the Statewide leadership and coordination for Marylands overall highway safety program; develops and monitors the implementation of traffic safety programs, projects, and activities; establishes teams to address specific components of the traffic safety program (e.g., impaired driving, occupant protection, young and older drivers, etc.); and administers the highway safety grant programs (e.g., "402" for States and communities and "410" for impaired driving.
OOTS is physically located in SHAs Hanover complex at 7491 Connelley Drive in Hanover, Maryland 21076. Its Traffic Sign and Traffic Signal Shops also are housed at this location.
To carry out its many functions, OOTS is organized into a Directors Office and five divisions. These units and their detailed functions are :