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SOUTH DAKOTA PROGRAM TO REDUCE ROADWAY DEPARTURE CRASHES IN WINTER WEATHER WINS NATIONAL ROADWAY SAFETY AWARD





For immediate release: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605.773.3265

 

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) was honored last week in a ceremony on Capitol Hill with a National Roadway Safety Award for the success of its “High Friction Surface Treatment” (HFST) program to address road departure crashes in winter weather.

 

“Safety is always our number one priority, so I’m thrilled that DOT’s innovative approach to reduce crashes during the winter has been recognized at the national level,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We will continue working to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our state highways.”

 

The National Roadway Safety Awards are a biennial awards program sponsored jointly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF). The awards recognize roadway safety achievements that move the United States toward zero deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.

 

South Dakota’s HFST program involved installations in 15 locations in the Blacks Hills region of the state, which together averaged 21 winter weather-related crashes each year.  In the two winters following the installations, there was a total crash reduction of 78 percent.

 

“The Department of Transportation continues to successfully apply the latest research and technology to implement effective, cost-efficient, and life-saving fixes to our state’s infrastructure,” says Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist. “I congratulate our team on finding innovative solutions to improve safety and mobility on our state highways.”

                 

The National Roadway Safety Award projects were evaluated on three criteria: Effectiveness, Innovation, and Efficient Use of Resources. The program honors outstanding projects involving infrastructure, operational or program-related innovations. The seven winners were selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.

For complete details on each of the winners, and for more information on the national awards program, visit http://www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadwaysafetyawards/.

--DOT—

Photo: left is Tom Everett, the Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration, center is Dustin Witt, SDDOT Highway Safety Planning Engineer, and on the right is Gregory Cohen, Executive Director of the Roadway Safety Foundation. Photo courtesy of Lon Anderson, West Virginia