Updating ODOT's Safety Investigation Manual

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Researchers at Portland State University and Oregon State University have updated the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Safety Investigation Manual, materials and training resources to assist ODOT traffic investigators with highway safety project investigation, analysis, evaluation, and documentation.

David Hurwitz of OSU worked with Chris Monsere, Sirisha Kothuri and Jason Anderson of PSU to update the manual. The team revised and expanded worksheets used in the safety analysis process and prepared training materials in the form of videos, slide decks, and case study examples to help train ODOT employees and employees from transportation agencies around the state on current best practices.

A decade ago, the first edition of the Safety Investigation Manual was also developed by PSU (Chris Monsere) in collaboration with OSU (Karen Dixon). ODOT continues to look to the leading experts in transportation safety engineering at Oregon's public universities. PSU and OSU have a long history of working together on transportation projects, including addressing safety concerns for senior drivers and pedestrians, assessing bicycle detection and road user understanding of bicycle signal faces on traffic signals, improving safety and efficiency of protected/permitted right turns, and pedestrian safety at signalized intersections operating the flashing yellow arrow.

In addition to providing a comprehensive procedure for safety investigation at both intersection and highway segments, the manual also includes checklists and analysis procedures suitable for a variety of field and office safety investigations and assessments. A consistent approach to safety investigations is critical to ODOT’s Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP), which aims to eliminate fatal and serious injuries entirely by 2035.

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.

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