Gov. Blagojevich directs IDOT to spearhead statewide safety
IDOT to develop Illinois’ first comprehensive highway safety plan
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the Illinois Department
of Transportation (IDOT) will develop the state’s first-ever Comprehensive
Highway Safety Plan (CHSP). IDOT will host the first of two Illinois Highway
Safety Summits in Springfield on Monday, March 7th.
“We want to bring together major traffic safety stakeholders in Illinois and
brainstorm on how best to develop and implement a Comprehensive Highway Safety
Plan,” Gov. Blagojevich said. “More than 1,300 people were killed on Illinois
highways last year. Our goal is to reduce that number to 1,000 people or less
and the CHSP will help move us in that direction.”
IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety and Bureau of Safety Engineering will be
responsible for developing and implementing the CHSP. They are bringing together
public and private transportation professionals, state and local law enforcement
officials and others to determine what needs to be included in the plan.
A CHSP brings together safety organizations, state and local agencies to build
upon existing resources and provide a more coordinated safety effort. It will
focus on what are referred to as the four E’s of highway safety: Engineering,
Enforcement, Education and Emergency Services. The American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials encourages all states to develop a CHSP as
a way to reduce traffic fatalities.
“Through the enactment of the primary seatbelt enforcement law signed by
Governor Blagojevich in 2003, we were able to reduce the number of people killed
on Illinois highways last year by almost 100,” IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin
said. “We feel that by bringing all of the parties together under a coordinated
CHSP, we will be able to make even more progress in the future.”
Preliminary numbers indicate that in 2004 there were 1,356 people killed on
Illinois highways, compared to 1,454 in 2003. The annual economic loss due to
traffic crashes in Illinois is estimated to be $10.5 billion.
A second safety summit for development of the plan will be held later this month
in Springfield. Approval of the plan is expected later this year and
implementation is expected to begin in the fall or winter of this year.