March 8, 2021
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The U.S. Department of Transportation issued nearly $3.3 million in cooperative funding agreements via its Safety Data Initiative to state, local, and tribal governments on June 10 to develop and deploy innovative data tools and information to improve roadway safety.

[Above photo by the Virginia DOT.]

The awards follow a notice of funding opportunity issued in November 2019 that attracted 40 eligible project proposals.

USDOT explained in a statement that its this funding also complements existing safety data improvement programs at the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by focusing on improving data tools practitioners use to inform their policy and decision-making.

Several state departments of transportation received funds from the USDOT for a wide range of initiatives, including:

  • The Connecticut Department of Transportation: it will receive $453,000 to develop a tool to improve the state’s behavioral safety decision-making by integrating crash and roadway information with data on citations, toxicology, and hospital injury data. It will also quantify the costs and benefits of behavioral safety countermeasures to inform decision-making.
  • The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration: it will receive $358,500 to develop and implement a data analytics and visualization dashboard using mobile device location data and electric scooter trip data available from the City of Baltimore to better understand pedestrian, bicycle, and electric scooter travel volumes and their exposure to risk.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Transportation: it will receive $429,100 to expand an existing crash data portal to help transportation practitioners identify higher risk roadways and risk factors in order to better target roadway safety improvements and develop publicly available analytic tools and data visualizations.
  • The North Carolina Department of Transportation: it will receive $384,500 to develop an artificial intelligence tool for automated analysis of existing video log data that would extract roadside hazards – such as trees, embankments, and steep slopes – on all rural roads in the state, to help identify roadway segments in need of infrastructure safety improvements.
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation: it will receive $232,500 to develop a systemic safety analysis tool, which would identify and visualize locations with higher levels of risk that would benefit from eight low-cost roadway safety countermeasures, allowing for the implementation of these countermeasures at many sites with similar roadway features.
editor@aashto.org

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