Institutionalizing Safe Systems and Safety Culture in the Transportation Planning Process

Conventional transportation planning and policies, and engineering and design standards operate under the assumption that people can safely use the roadway system that is in place. However, over the last 10 years, severe crash numbers have not seen any significant rates of improvement and in 2020, a year when people drove less and walked and biked more, traffic fatalities increased by about 8 percent. The 2015 NCHRP Report 811: Institutionalizing Safety in Transportation Planning Processes: Techniques, Tactics, and Strategies produced a transportation safety planning (TSP) process framework to help planners at state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) integrate safety into the different aspects of the transportation planning process (public engagement, stakeholder coordination, goal and objective setting, data analysis, performance management, project prioritization, and monitoring and evaluation). The goal was to give planners practical guidance on how to address transportation safety in the context of their current responsibilities. Because planners are required to take a holistic view of the entire system and foster partnerships with the public, elected officials, and other transportation and safety stakeholders, they sit in one of the best positions and have ample opportunities to consider a Safe System approach during the transportation planning process and influence safety culture. This research will help planning and safety professionals more fully understand the relationships between transportation planning, safe systems, and safety culture with insights that can be used to target fatality reduction programs and projects. The objective of this research is to investigate the opportunities and challenges for MPO and DOT planners and safety partners to integrate safety culture and safe system elements into the planning process. The products of this research should include final materials for use by transportation planning agencies to integrate safety culture and the Safe System approach into planning decisions.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-171

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20220607
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01846781
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-171
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 23 2022 3:03PM