Florida to Adopt ‘Safe System’ Traffic Safety Approach

The concept focuses on road design and policy that reduces the likelihood of severe injuries and deaths.

1 minute read

October 27, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


View of palm tree-lined boulevard in Miami, Florida with white PT Cruiser driving by.

dougholder / Adobe Stock

Florida is moving toward a ‘Safe System’ approach to traffic safety as road fatalities in the state rise, reports Susan Giles Wantuck for WUSF. According to Pei-Sung Lin of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, the approach acknowledges that humans make mistakes and aims to reduce the likelihood that those mistakes will be fatal.

For example, since crashes at higher speeds are more likely to result in serious injuries and deaths, designing roads with roundabouts, low speed limits, and other traffic calming features can improve safety by forcing drivers to slow down. “[F]or bike riders and pedestrians, a crash at 15 miles per hour, instead of one at 45, may be one they can survive.”

Lin also explains that “redundancy is crucial.” The article adds, “What that means is safe people, safe roads and the latter can be accomplished by providing ‘clearer signage, pavement markings, regular pavement friction, clear traffic control devices ... that also will contribute to protection of our users.’”

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