AASHTO Journal, 09 October 2015
The association’s Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety awarded the 2015 AASHTO Safety Leadership Award to the Iowa Department of Transportation, citing the success shown by a continued decline in the state’s traffic fatalities.
The announcement said the Iowa DOT “demonstrates its leadership in safety through its commitment to pilot new programs and strategies, continue supporting successful activities, and communicating the safety message throughout the state and the DOT.
“Strong leadership throughout the DOT has been key to its safety success, seen in the continued decline in fatalities in Iowa.”
Eleven state DOTs submitted applications for this year’s competition. The annual award recognizes a state that has made significant improvements in safety by showing leadership in safety, strong safety partnerships and strategic planning, and innovation in safety.
Committee Chairman Rudy Malfabon, secretary of Nevada DOT, presented the award Sept. 27 at the annual meeting in Chicago to Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino.
The award citation listed a number of Iowa efforts to improve roadway safety, including expanded use of intelligent transportation systems and sponsoring innovative safety research.
It also said that “a traffic safety communications program is key to the success in Iowa,” noting that “public awareness of traffic safety strategies” would be a key to improving driver behavior.
For instance, the Iowa DOT uses a “Message Monday” program to post traffic safety messages on dynamic message boards along roadways across the state. “Staff are encouraged to develop creative messages that help start conversations about safety, increase visitors to social media sites, and increase media attention on safety,” the announcement said.