Rahn addresses FHWA’s National Safety Leadership Conference

News AASHTO Journal March 23, 2006
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Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn, who chairs AASHTO’s Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety, told about 125 safety staff of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that action on existing safety planning is a priority, even as improvement in the planning continues.

“Good plans with action are far more important than great plans that sit on the shelf with little to no action,” Rahn said in the national meeting held in Silver Spring, Md.

He encouraged the FHWA staff to work with each state on its unique safety issues and potential solutions, and encouraged the agency’s engineering staff to emphasize the complexity of crashes and the need to address all the “E’s”—engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical services. He also encouraged the federal agency to work with the states on system-wide solutions and systemic problems, not just on hot-spot areas.

For his own peers—the other state DOT directors—Rahn’s message was strong: “Every state DOT CEO has a moral responsibility to assume the responsibility for highway safety in his or her state; safety is in every state DOT CEO’s job description,” he said.

Also addressing the group was Tony Kane, AASHTO’s Director of Engineering and Technical Services and the ASSHTO staff leader for highway safety.

Kane, in response to a question, told the audience about ASSHTO’s collaboration with other state safety partners, including the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the American Alliance and the International Association of Chiefs of Police on such initiatives as comprehensive state safety plans, sound data systems and the strengthening of state highway safety laws and enforcement, including greater use of automated enforcement.

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