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OCR for page 18
SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES should be applied with caution, carefully considering the attributes cited in the guide and relating these attributes to the specific conditions for which the strategies are being considered. Implementation can proceed with some degree of assurance that there is not likely to be a negative impact on safety and very likely to be a positive one. It is intended that as implementation of these strategies continues under the SHSP, appropriate evaluations will be conducted. As more reliable effectiveness information is accumulated to provide better estimating power for the user, any given strategy labeled "tried" can be upgraded to a "proven" one. Experimental (E)--Those strategies representing ideas that have been suggested, with at least one agency considering them sufficiently promising to try them as an experiment in at least one location. These strategies should be considered only after the others have been determined not to be appropriate or feasible. Even where they are considered, their implementation should initially occur using a controlled and limited pilot study that includes a properly designed evaluation component. Only after careful testing and evaluations show the strategy to be effective should broader implementation be considered. It is intended that as the experiences of such pilot tests are accumulated from various state and local agencies, the aggregate experience can be used to further detail the attributes of this type of strategy, so that it can be upgraded to a "proven" one or be identified as ineffective and not worthy of further consideration. Related Strategies for Creating a Truly Comprehensive Approach The strategies listed in Exhibit V-1 and described in detail in the remainder of this section are considered unique to work zones or are discussed in terms of their attributes specific to work zones. To create a truly comprehensive approach to the highway safety problems associated with work zones, agencies should consider including a variety of strategies as candidates in any program planning process. Appropriate strategies may be of five types: Public Information and Education (PI&E) Campaigns--Many highway safety programs can be effectively enhanced with a properly designed PI&E campaign, which includes coordination with media outlets. The primary goal of PI&E campaigns in highway safety is usually to reach an audience across an entire jurisdiction (or a significant part of it). However, it may be desired to focus a PI&E campaign on a location-specific problem, such as an individual work zone in a corridor with a history of severe crashes. While this approach is relatively untried compared with areawide campaigns, use of roadside signs and other experimental methods may be tried on a pilot basis. Within this guide, PI&E campaigns, where application is deemed appropriate, are usually used in support of some other strategy. In such a case, the description for that strategy will suggest this possibility (in the exhibits, see the attribute area for each strategy entitled "Associated Needs"). In some cases, where PI&E campaigns are deemed unique for the work zone emphasis area, the strategy is explained in detail. V-4

OCR for page 18
SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES Enforcement of Traffic Laws--Well-designed and well-operated law enforcement programs can have a significant effect on highway safety. It is well established, for instance, that an effective way to reduce crashes and their severity is to have jurisdictionwide programs that enforce an effective law against driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving without seatbelts. When that law is vigorously enforced with well-trained officers, the frequency and severity of highway crashes can be significantly reduced. Enforcement of traffic laws should be an important element in any comprehensive highway safety program. Enforcement programs, by the nature of how they must be performed, are conducted at specific locations. The effect (e.g., lower speeds, greater use of seatbelts, and reduced impaired driving) may occur at or near the specific location where the enforcement is applied. This effect can often be enhanced by coordinating the effort with an appropriate PI&E program. However, in many cases (e.g., speeding and seatbelt usage) the impact is areawide or jurisdictionwide. The effect can be either positive (i.e., the desired reductions occur over a greater part of the system) or negative (i.e., the problem moves to another location as road users move to new routes where enforcement is not applied). Where it is not clear how the enforcement effort may impact behavior, or where it is desired to try an innovative and untried method, a pilot program is recommended. Within this guide, where the application of enforcement programs is deemed appropriate, it is often in support of some other strategy. Many times, that other strategy is targeted at either a whole system or a specific location. In such cases, the description for that strategy will suggest this possibility (in the exhibits, see the attribute area for each strategy entitled "Associated Needs"). Since there are situations where enforcement programs can be designed or enhanced specifically for work zones, there are strategies that discuss this in detail. Strategies to Improve Emergency Medical and Trauma System Services--Treatment of injured parties at highway crashes can have a significant impact on the level of severity, survival rate, and length of time in which an individual spends treatment. This is especially true when it comes to timely and appropriate treatment of severely injured persons. Thus, a basic part of a highway safety infrastructure is a comprehensive and well-based emergency care program. While the types of strategies that are included here are often thought of as simply support services, they can be critical to the success of a comprehensive highway safety program. Therefore, for this emphasis area, an effort should be made to determine if improvements can be made in how emergency medical services interact with work zones, especially for programs that are focused upon location-specific (e.g., corridors) or area-specific (e.g., rural areas) issues. Strategies Directed at Improving the Safety Management System--There should be a sound organizational structure in place, as well as an infrastructure of laws, policies, and so forth to monitor, control, direct, and administer a comprehensive approach to highway safety. It is important that a comprehensive program not be limited to one jurisdiction, such as a state DOT. Local agencies often have jurisdiction over a large portion of the road system and are responsible for its related safety problems. They know, better than others, what the problems are. As additional guides are completed V-5