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Traffic Safety Countermeasures

Communities create countermeasure to mitigate traffic-related incidents.


Does Your Community have a Traffic Safety Plan?

Historically, communities participating in traffic safety coalitions were referred to as safe community coalitions. Community members and professionals joined partnerships to prevent injuries and fatalities at the local level. Membership ideally was comprehensive, community-based and inclusive, incorporating citizens, law enforcement, public health, medical, injury prevention, education, business, civic and service groups, public works offices, traffic safety advocates and other stakeholders that could provide program input, direction, and involvement in the community.

These groups looked for data driven causes for the majority of injuries and fatalities. Injury/Fatality data and associated economic costs at the national level consistently pointed to traffic crashes and local data analysis pointed to the same. It was clear, and continues to be clear that a concentrated focus needs to be directed to traffic safety.

Elements of Community Traffic Safety Programs

  • A community traffic safety program uses an integrated and comprehensive injury control system with prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation partners as active and essential participants in addressing community injury problems.
  • The community has a coalition/task force that is comprehensive and community-based with representation from citizens, law enforcement, public health, medical, injury prevention, education, business, civic and service groups, public works offices, and traffic safety advocates that provides program input, direction, and involvement in the community traffic safety program.
  • The community conducts comprehensive problem identification and uses estimating techniques that determine the economic costs associated with traffic related fatalities and injuries within the context of the total injury problem.
  • The community conducts program assessments from a “best practices” and a prevention perspective to determine gaps in highway and traffic safety and other injury activity.
  • The community implements a plan with specific strategies that addresses the problems and program deficiencies through prevention countermeasures and activities.
  • The community evaluates the program to determine the impact and cost benefit where possible.

Resources to Help Start Your Community Traffic Safety Coalition

Every community is unique. There are literally dozens of activities that could be considered. Resources exist that share experiences of some of the traffic safety coalitions throughout the U.S. Available on a CD and online, the following materials and resources offer guidance on how to get started. They also document many of the outstanding achievements communities have made thus far.

The items listed below are available on the Startup ToolKit CD:

  • Getting Started: A Guide to Developing Community Traffic Coalitions Guide offers community practitioners help to implement the Safe Communities model.
  • Living in a Safe Community Doesn’t Happen by Accident Brochure discusses the four defining factors of a community traffic safety coalition.
  • It Wouldn't Hurt to Live in a Safe Community Brochure describes why individuals and organizations should be involved in community traffic safety.
  • Marketing Presentations Use Power Point presentation to market to community and key stakeholders on traffic safety problems and solutions.
  • Technical Assistance Folios Technical assistance folios of community traffic safety coalition building authored by individuals working at the local level.

This contains community traffic safety information and related materials contributed by community practitioners and partners. 

The Economic Costs of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000
This booklet gives details of the costs of motor vehicle fatalities, injuries, and property damage crashes and more. Available for download here and on the Startup ToolKit CD.

2013 Countermeasures That Work
This guide provides an overview and starting point for readers to become familiar with the behavioral strategies and countermeasures in each program area. It includes countermeasures that have the most evidence of effectiveness as well as those that are used most regularly by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO's). Available for download here and on the Startup ToolKit CD.










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Building a Coalition
First Six Months - roadmap to building a coalition

- this guide helps communities and core groups navigate an established roadmap to successfully build a coalition. Your coalition helps prevent and reduce traffic-related injuries in your community. See the First Six Months.

Implementing a traffic safety coalition - is a time line for the development process that documents the inception of a traffic safety coalition by looking at the first three months, the first year, on to annual evaluations. 


U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)