The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) recently released its recommendations for “Developing an Effective Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Program” to address rising pedestrian fatalities as well as the safety of people not in vehicles but who utilize the roadways.
“This includes bicyclists and others who might not only walk, but roll, and are at a distinct and dangerous disadvantage when crossing a road or being in a road with vehicles and trucks,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said in a letter to the heads of state DOTs across the country.
The document includes 19 recommendations assembled by ATSSA’s Traffic Signals Committee that ATSSA believes “will help put VRUs on a more equal footing with vehicle‐based travel, not only in terms of safety, but as a means of effective and efficient travel mode.”
The first four of the recommendations are:
1. Develop and maintain a specific program to track, monitor, and mitigate pedestrian and bike crashes in their area of responsibility and jurisdiction as issues related to VRU crashes are different from vehicle crashes.
2. Develop and implement a VRU network plan that works to provide effective and efficient crossings that interconnect the entire community with VRU-compatible travel spaces.
3. Adopt a program for existing streets and streets under design or consideration to develop and implement guidelines and standards for effective and efficient VRU crossing treatments that account for desired lines of travel and include consideration of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program.
4. Conduct a systemwide condition assessment of VRU infrastructure.