Regional Safety Initiative

The study of traffic crash statistics is an important part of Eastgate’s transportation planning process. A primary step to prevent future highway accidents is to gather accurate and detailed crash information. Identifying high crash locations is a necessary and important phase of planning improvements for roadway safety. Traffic accidents are a major concern due to the high costs associated with injuries and property damage. Another side effect is the roadway congestion caused by accidents.

Crashes are predominantly caused by driver error. Therefore, to reduce the rate of fatalities and serious crashes, mechanisms need to be developed to modify driving habits, such as: drunk driving, speeding, running red lights, weaving, failure to yield the right of way and following too closely.

Accident Reduction Methods

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety's mission is to reduce highway fatalities by making our roads safer through a data-driven, systematic approach which addresses the “4Es” of safety: engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services. Increasing awareness of the need for roadway safety infrastructure improvements is very important. We are striving to provide decision-makers with important information, tools and resources that will improve the safety performance of roadways. Safety should be considered first, every time and at every stage of a project. Make safety your first consideration in every investment decision.

Accident reductions can also be realized by physical improvements to traffic management (i.e. signalization and signage) and improved roadway geometry and carrying capability (i.e. added/wider lanes, banked turns, etc.). Eastgate has always championed safety upgrade projects that may complement the enforcement and education campaign, such as: signage, improved sight distance, intelligent transportation, additional guardrails, pedestrian crossings, pavement markings and signal upgrades.

Eastgate recognizes that a safe driving environment is inseparable from a well-designed roadway network. Engineering safety issues are symptoms of either poor initial design or deferred upgrades and maintenance. While there may be site specific safety solutions (i.e. skid resistant surfaces) the crashes are better understood as indicators of roadway network failure and solved in a larger sub-area context.

In an attempt to reduce the number of accidents, the State of Ohio administers a safety program to help fund projects at high accident locations. To help local communities receive safety funds, Eastgate maintains a large database of crash data. A regional safety plan was developed to identify high accident locations for each community in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.

Another tool used by Eastgate to identify and illustrate accident problems is the use of maps. Mapping the accidents enables Eastgate and our local communities to visualize a number of safety problems and identify potential safety projects. Eastgate often produces accident specific maps for Mahoning and Trumbull Counties (ie. fatal crashes, alcohol related crashes, motorcycle related crashes and deer related crashes).

Safety Funding Information

ODOT has three safety application processes. The Formal Safety Application is for any safety project that has 3 or more crashes per year over 3, 4, or 5 years and a 30% injury rate. That application is due August 30th every year. The local ODOT representative should be notified 3 months before the application deadline.

The Abbreviated Safety Application is for a safety project that has 3 or more crashes per year over 3, 4, or 5 years, a 30% injury rate, and with a cost of less than 250,000 dollars. Those applications will be reviewed on July 1st, September 30th, January 30th, and April 30th.

The Systemic Safety Applications are designed around preventing injuries and are based on changing criteria.

More information can be found here.

Safety Programs

Safe Routes to School High Priority Locations