Heavy Trucks: Appendix 2
Profile of State Agency Implementation Efforts
Heavy Truck Safety
Strategy Name and Number
12.1 C2: Promulgate Share-the-Road Information Through Print and Electronic Media.
Agency and Jurisdiction
Participants included the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, CO Motor Carrier Advisory Council, CO Motor Carriers Association, CO State Patrol, Evans Police Dept., FMCSA, Greeley Police Dept., and Weld County Sheriff's Office. Funding for the project was provided by the CO Dept. of Transportation, the FMCSA, and NHTSA.
Weld County in NE Colorado, an area of flat terrain and farmland, was identified as having the most large truck crashes in the state. A research project was undertaken to analyze and document the problem. A five-year retrospective crash analysis was conducted. In 1998, for example, 20% of large truck crashes in Colorado occurred in Weld County - an amount well out-of-proportion to the amount of truck traffic in the area. Because of rapid population and truck travel growth in the county and its principal city, Greeley, there was a concern that it would continue to be a high-truck-crash area.
The problem analysis found that truck drivers were principally at fault in 43% of all crashes studied, 41% of injury crashes, but only three of 22 fatal crashes (14%). Common crash types included rear-end, right angle, and non-collision (e.g., rollover). A Geographic Information System (GIS) was employed by the Weld County Sheriff's Office to document and map the locations of major crashes. Major crash contributing factors related to road familiarity, driver age and experience, intersection design, access points (e.g., entrances, driveways), driver inattention, and traffic violations.
Goals and Objectives Established
The program initially focused on Weld County, but was designed as a state-wide model for addressing large truck safety, with the goal of significantly reducing large truck crashes and fatalities. The CO Motor Carrier Advisory Council, consisting of representatives of the participating government and industry organizations, agreed that a comprehensive approach involving both the public and private sectors was required to impact the problem.
Description of Strategy Implemented
Interventions were identified and explored for the various types of contributing factors listed above, and included Safety Management "Circuit Riders," a "Size Matters for Safe Driving in Weld County" media campaign, public outreach and education, targeted enforcement activities (both truck inspection and traffic enforcement), and engineering enhancements. The "Size Matters" information materials developed for campaign included safe driving tips for both truck drivers and car drivers. Most materials were produced in both English and Spanish. The safe driving tips for car drivers included the following (also see accompanying graphic):
- Don't cut in front of trucks.
- Stay out of the "No-Zone."
- Avoid tailgating.
- Wear your seat belt.
- Cut down on distractions.
- Always drive defensively.
Summary of Implementation Effort (Lessons Learned)
The 3-year pilot program systematically assessed the truck crash problem and selected multiple engineering, enforcement, and education strategies for implementation. Because the program involved so many different organizations, there was a strong "buy in" by the major elements of the truck and bus safety community in Colorado. A formal pilot evaluation plan has been developed and is being implemented, and funding is being sought to expand the program statewide.
Summary of Results
This was a very successful pilot program that served to both mobilize and focus the efforts of many different key organizations in Colorado. The program was based on a detailed analysis of five years of truck crash data in Weld County, which served as the testbed for the program. In the area of education, the program developed distinctive and attractive "Size Matters" brochures, posters, and other materials, and implemented a public awareness campaign involving television, radio, and print ads. The education efforts were complemented by variety of engineering and enforcement strategies. If sufficient funds become available, a comprehensive statewide program will be implemented based on the Weld County model.
Contact Person and Information
Points-of-contact in Colorado include Ms. Patricia Olsgard, Colorado Motor Carriers Association, (303)433-3375, and Ms. Stephanie Olson, CDOT Highway & Traffic Safety Division (303)757-9465.