The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a requirement and major component of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Its purpose is to significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries from traffic crashes on public roads in the United States and its territories. This, as defined in the United States Code, 23 USC 148. In Puerto Rico, the HSIP receives 25% of the federal funds allocated to the ACT ($30M annually). This is under the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS) ZP-30 program for road safety improvement projects.
Puerto Rico, in compliance with this regulation, developed and implemented the 2014-2018 SHSP and the 2019-2023 SHSP. The SHSP is a five (5) year plan, which has counted with the participation and collaboration of road safety delegates from different sectors of the country. It is through this Plan that the main road safety issues and opportunities to achieve the purpose of the HSIP, as well as other transportation plans, have been identified and analyzed.
In Puerto Rico, the first cycle of the SHSP had a one-year period and was in fiscal year 2013. This was an interim plan developed by a technical team between the Commission for Traffic Safety (CST), the Highway and Transportation Authority (ACT) and the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP). The interim SHSP was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on April 18, 2013. This was the first step in aligning the efforts of a road safety plan in Puerto Rico.
The 2014-2018 SHSP was then developed in July 2014 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU was signed by the leading agencies in road safety in the country: DTOP, ACT, CST, the Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Police. In addition, federal agencies FHWA, NHTSA and FMCSA signed the MOU as a sign of their support and commitment to Puerto Rico. The 2014-2018 SHSP promoted that initiatives to reduce traffic crashes be coordinated among road safety delegates, thus fostering a participatory and collaborative process. So much so that, in 2016, the union of the third sector was formally presented as ALIANZA, which is composed of AARP, MAVI, Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Planificación, ITE and Fundación MAPFRE. The purpose of this alliance is to promote, from the third sector, public policy and design educational campaigns to improve mobility, accessibility and safety on the country’s roads. On the other hand, the 2014-2018 SHSP was based on nine (9) areas of emphasis, while the interim SHSP defined only four (4).
The new 2019-2023 SHSP is the step to ensure continuity to the work done for the last five years and to continue in compliance with the aforementioned federal regulation. This plan is intended to be more agile, with a reduction in the areas of emphasis, so as to maximize resources and work on strategies and actions more focused and directed to achieve the established goals. The following figure shows a summary of the most important events during the development and implementation of the SHSP.
Improve the safety, mobility and accessibility of all people using the road network of Puerto Rico by working together and integrating the efforts of the 4Es.
One of the fundamental elements of the SHSP is the collaboration of all sectors of the country. The SHSP is comprised of state and federal government entities, non-profit organizations, municipalities, academia and the private sector. Since the beginning of the development of the SHSP, entities representing the four pillars of road safety 4Es have made their ideas, knowledge and experiences available to the country in order to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Puerto Rico. The collaboration that these entities employ allows for the sharing of varied thoughts and visions in the formulation of strategies and actions in order to achieve the established goals in the best possible way. The entities, agencies and organizations, among others, that are part of the SHSP can be found in the “Delegates” section.