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Strategic Highway Safety Plan

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Traffic Engineering


Highway fatalities and serious injuries are at unacceptably high levels in the United States. In Massachusetts, and in many places around the country, the number of fatal crashes steadily increased through 2004. In an effort to reverse this trend and to reduce severe injury and fatal crashes, each state was required to prepare a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users and this continues under Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).

Purpose of SHSP

The purpose of an SHSP is to identify the State's key safety needs and guide investment decisions to achieve significant reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The SHSP brings together all highway safety partners in the State and draws on their strengths to align and leverage resources to collectively address the State's safety challenges. The most important benefit of an SHSP is that statewide goals and safety programs are coordinated to most effectively reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.


An SHSP provides a comprehensive framework, and specific goals and objectives, for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. This statewide document, was developed by MassDOT in a cooperative process that included input from public and private safety stakeholders. The SHSP is a data-driven, strategic plan that integrates the four E's - engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS). The SHSP establishes statewide goals, objectives, and key emphasis areas developed in consultation with Federal, State, local, and private sector safety stakeholders.

MassDOT SHSP Impact

In the years since the first Massachusetts SHSP was prepared in 2006, Massachusetts experienced a steady decline in the number of traffic-related crashes throughout the Commonwealth. Comparing the five-year averages from SHSP implementation in 2006 (2002-2006) to current (2007-2011), fatalities dropped by 19 percent and serious injuries (hospital stays for nonfatal traffic injuries) also declined by 19 percent.

Massachusetts completed a revised SHSP in September 2013 and is now actively implementing the various strategies..


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