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Traffic Safety

INDOT's Office of Traffic Safety administers traffic safety programs that strive to meet state and federal safety goals of reducing the risk of death, or serious injury resulting from traffic crashes. Traffic Safety works to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes for all users of Indiana’s streets, roads, and highways on both the state highway system and local roads.

To report a concern about safety concerns on a state road, U.S. route or interstate please call 855-463-6848 or visit

Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)

Improving highway safety is vital to the health and well-being of every Hoosier. According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of unintentional death for people in the United States.

Looking beyond the personal tragedy of death and injury, healthcare costs and lost productivity due to traffic crashes contribute to a significant economic loss annually. The annual cost of Indiana traffic crashes is calculated in the billions of dollars.

Indiana’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, as required by title 23 U.S.C. § 148, identifies critical highway safety problems and opportunities for saving lives, reducing suffering, and economic losses resulting from traffic crashes. It also serves to coordinate the traffic safety activities of state agencies, municipal entities and private highway safety organizations. Indiana continually evaluates and periodically revises the SHSP.

The SHSP documents coordination of purpose, common data sources, cooperative problem identification, emphasis areas, and partnerships. The lead state agencies evaluate implementation action plans annually as part of federally required highway safety action plans and reports.

  • Highway Safety Improvement Program (Per 23 CFR 924)
  • Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Action Plan (Per 49 U.S.C. § 202)
  • Highway Safety Plan (Per 23 U.S.C. § 402)
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan (Per 49 CFR 350)

Highway Safety Improvement Program

The Highway Safety Improvement Program goal is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads through the implementation of infrastructure-related highway safety improvements. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST) continues and refines the HSIP.

Detailed provisions pertaining to the HSIP, such as qualifying projects and federal funding share, are defined in Section 148 of Title 23, United States Code (23 USC 148).

To ensure that application of the HSIP is organized and systematic providing the greatest benefits to safety, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has established a formalized HSIP process that consists of three major components: planning, implementation and evaluation. These requirements are contained in Part 924, Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 924).

HSIP Eligible Systemic Improvements

  1. Conduct inventory of traffic signs and upgrade warning and regulatory signs to meet MUTCD retroreflectivity requirements
  2. Improve the visibility of curves by upgrading curve warning signs and markings
  3. Improve visibility of unsignalized intersections by installing upgraded/new warning devices
  4. Install vehicle activated advanced warning systems at rural, unsignalized intersections
  5. Install new pedestrian crosswalk warning signs, flashing beacons or special pavement markings
  6. Install or upgrade pedestrian curb ramps and refuge areas at areas of high conflict between pedestrians and vehicular traffic
  7. Install pedestrian push button Countdown And Audible (APS) heads on traffic signals
  8. Make changes to yellow interval traffic signal timing or signal interconnect to improve safety
  9. Upgrade traffic signals to a minimum of one signal head per travel lane
  10. Install black backing plates with reflective border on all traffic signal heads
  11. Install UPS battery backup (emergency power) systems at traffic signal locations for continuous use during power outages
  12. Install emergency vehicle pre-emption systems at traffic signal locations to reduce response times and increase safety as the emergency vehicles pass through intersections
  13. Improve visibility of intersections by providing lighting
  14. Improve sight distance at intersections by installing slotted left turn lanes
  15. Install or upgrade passive or new active warning devices at railroad crossings
  16. Install railroad pre-emption systems at signalized intersections that are within the influence area of crossing railroad trains
  17. Install new centerline or edge line pavement markings on unmarked roadways
  18. Install raised medians for access control at intersections and roadway segments
  19. Add centerline and/or edge line rumble stripes (pavement markings over the rumble) to rural roads
  20. Complete road diet projects at locations that can be accomplished through the use of signs and pavement markings (Not Applicable to pavement reconstruction or geometric modifications)
  21. Add FHWA recommended High Friction Surface Treatments (HFST) to spot locations
  22. Upgrade guardrail end treatments to current standards
  23. Install guardrails or median barriers at locations where none existed previously
  24. Install median cable barrier systems on divided roads with grass medians
  25. Remove or shield permanent roadside safety obstructions

Local Highway Safety Programs

Local governments should be aware of the requirements that must be met when applying for HSIP funding for local projects. INDOT has prepared a guidance document for local public agencies outlining how they can participate in the HSIP. It is essential that public agencies planning to apply for this funding read and understand the guidance before beginning the project application process.

Rail-Highway Crossing Program (Section 130)

Section 130 is the common name for the federal highway-rail grade crossing safety improvement fund, which is a special set-aside component of the HSIP. This is of particular importance in Indiana, which has more at grade public rail-highway crossings than all but four other states. The Section 130 program identifies and upgrades safety devices at the at grade public rail-highway crossings in Indiana most at risk for crashes with road users.

However, more than half of the at grade public crossings already have train-activated warning devices, but too often motorists pay little or no attention or blatantly disregard warning devices at highway-rail crossings. Motorists may drive across rail crossings day after day and rarely see a train, only to be surprised when encountering one. Many deadly highway-rail accidents could be avoided if drivers would follow the posted warning devices. In the case of a crossing marked only with crossbucks and a yield or stop sign, slow or stop and look both ways before driving over a rail crossing.

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