Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)

The 2020–2024 California Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) has been developed using the data findings and input from regional outreach events to determine effective strategies to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries. The SHSP Implementation Plan will identify specific actions to implement the strategies based on the framework of the SHSP document.

The 2020-2024 SHSP Pivot

In summer 2020, state transportation leaders recognized a bolder and more focused approach was necessary to combat the rise in fatalities and serious injuries that have occurred on California roadways. This important change being referred to as The Pivot includes several changes that warrant highlighting and will also result in an updated SHSP document with the supporting Implementation Plan released in Spring 2021. Information on new Guiding Principles and focus on High Priority Challenge Areas are provided below. 

Guiding Principles

The following four Guiding Principles have been incorporated into the 2020–2024 SHSP to further improve safety: 

1. Integrate Equity

The SHSP integrated  equity into all aspects of the plan to address institutional and systemic biases. This will ensure that the processes, strategies and outcomes of the SHSP serve all, but particularly vulnerable and traditionally underserved populations.

2. Double Down on What Works

The SHSP focuses on implementing proven safety countermeasures that are highly effective in reducing fatalities. These include the technical resources from the Federal Highway Administration’s Proven Safety Countermeasures as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Countermeasures That Work.

3. Accelerate Advanced Technology

As technology development rapidly increases, the SHSP encourages advanced technology in and on our roadways by forming new partnerships with technology providers, health and safety groups, manufacturers and government partners to prioritize safety.

4. Implement a Safe System Approach

The Safe System Approach aims to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users through a holistic view of the roadway system. Learn more about the Safe System Approach from FHWA (PDF).

High Priority Challenge Areas

The following areas have been identified as high priorities in California because they represent the greatest opportunity to reduce fatalities and serious injuries across the state:

  • Lane Departures
  • Impaired Driving
  • Aggressive Driving / Speed Management
  • Pedestrians and Bicyclists
  • Intersections

What Is the Strategic Highway Safety Plan?

An SHSP is a statewide data-driven traffic safety plan that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic accident fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. In coordination with federal, state, local, and private sector safety stakeholders, the SHSP establishes goals, objectives, and challenge areas.

Federal Regulations Require that the California SHSP includes:

Consultation with a variety of stakeholders. 

At present, there are over 400 identified stakeholders assisting with the SHSP Update process, including: federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies and organizations including police departments, regional transportation agencies, tribal governments, and private stakeholders.

Analysis and effective use of crash data. 

California has or uses multiple crash data systems including Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), the National Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS), and the Crash Medical Outcomes Data (CMOD) Project, modeled on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES).

Plans to address the 4Es of traffic safety.

Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. Some safety issues like vehicles running off of the roadway involve engineering challenges.  Treating accident injuries involves emergency services issues like improving training for first responders, and ensuring that responders have the right equipment. Some safety issues, like texting while driving, involve multiple areas like education, reminding drivers that texting is not worth it, and enforcement, citing drivers for texting while driving.

Consideration for the safety of all public roads, and all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. 

New federal regulations have also expanded the SHSP to include tribal roads.

A program of projects or strategies to reduce or eliminate safety hazards.

The SHSP is not just a set of goals, developed and forgotten. It is a continuous process, with focused teams studying safety problems, searching for answers, and developing programs to improve traffic safety.

Implementation and evaluation.

The SHSP includes review of the last SHSP and the emphasis or challenge areas developed by that SHSP. How much have we done to improve traffic safety?  What strategies worked? Which need to be improved?

2020–2024 SHSP Development

The 2020–2024 California Strategic Highway Safety Plan began its development in fall of 2018 with a review of collision data trends and the successes of the 2015–2019 SHSP. By early 2019, data findings were determined and general guidance on the vision of the 2020–2024 SHSP were established. Outreach events were held in six regional locations across the state in April 2019 to engage local stakeholders on safety strategies. An outreach webinar was also held in May 2019 to provide another opportunity for stakeholder feedback. Each event included presentations from statewide representatives and an overview of statewide and regional data and then an open-house format allowing for interactions between attendees and experts.  

The documents used at the regional outreach events are provided below.  


SHSP Contact Information

For questions or participation, please email:

Sign up to receive the quarterly SHSP E-Newsletter