Strategic Highway Safety Plan Transportation Safety Summit
On May 31, 2023, Executive Management from federal, state, regional, and local agencies involved in transportation safety convened in Sacramento for the 2023 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Transportation Safety Summit. In continuation of the conversations held during the SHSP 2022 Virtual Fall Regional Workshops, the Summit provided Executive Managers with an opportunity to connect with executives from organizations across the state that are engaged in transportation safety to strengthen partnerships, discuss best practices, and share their input on the implementation of the SHSP. Topics discussed during the Summit included transportation safety trends, challenges, and opportunities, as well as ways to strengthen the connections between safety planning, project prioritization, and investment decision-making. California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Secretary Toks Omishakin provided the keynote address, and the Fresno Council of Governments, Humboldt County, and the City of Fremont also shared best practices for saving lives on California's public roadways.
A few takeaways from the Summit are provided below: There was a significant number of attendees from State agencies, as well as local and regional representatives, that continued the conversation around challenges for transportation safety. The challenges discussed during the Summit validated those that were identified during the 2022 Virtual Fall Regional Workshops, including:
- Lack of funding
- Restrictive and/or competitive fund sources
- Lack of staff resources and expertise
- Lack of timely and detailed data
- Lack of buy-in (cultural change needed within the organization)
- Lack of collaboration/partnerships, particularly with local agencies, CBOs, and the tribes
- Lack of policy implementation support that recognizes different geographic contexts and needs, particularly for rural areas
- Lack of public education to help encourage mode shift and promote a safety culture
Summit participants collectively brainstormed possible strategies to address the above challenges, which are currently being discussed amongst the SHSP Steering and Executive Leadership Committees. Some key themes that emerged during the Summit include a desire for additional partnerships and sharing of best practices of transportation safety countermeasures, as well as a desire for improvement to data collection and analysis, all of which will enhance collaborative, performance-based decision-making. The input and recommendations received during the Summit will be categorized into three main areas: 1) possible new actions that can be included in the SHSP Implementation Plan, 2) enhancements to the overall SHSP and its processes, and 3) identification of policy-related challenges that are outside the purview of the SHSP, but that can be elevated to the appropriate partner agencies for additional consideration. The SHSP Team is excited by the momentum gained during this in-person event and will use it to further strengthen partnerships and achieve the Mission, Vision and Goal of the SHSP.
For questions regarding the 2023 SHSP Transportation Safety Summit, email SHSP.
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