Goals

 To improve traffic safety, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) identified three areas of emphasis in their Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP):

  1. Impaired driving crashes
  2. Occupant protection
  3. Roadway departure and intersection crashes

To address these areas of emphasis, MDT staff prepared the business case to procure a Safety Information Management System (SIMS). MDT understood that they needed more robust safety analysis capabilities to more efficiently and accurately identify and analyze high-crash location hot spots on their road network, and to determine the most effective countermeasures to improve safety.

Goals

Challenges

Challenges

Montana is the fourth largest state by area, with nearly 13,000 miles of urban and rural roadways and an additional 62,000 miles of local roads and streets. In 2013, Montana also had the nation’s highest fatality rate for highway crashes (1.96 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled).* 

MDT had previously used a number of in-house safety software solutions for network screening, project selection, and other steps in the safety management process. These solutions required time-consuming manual processes to analyze crash and network data to identify hot spots because data came from multiple databases. In light of these technological limitations, a growing number of stakeholders requested the implementation of a more functional, robust, and user-friendly system that would support the integration of additional technologies.

* Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Solutions

Solutions

MDT implemented AgileAssets® Safety Analyst™ and Foundation to serve as the core components for the department’s new SIMS. 

The SIMS leverages the AgileAssets platform to provide a web-based solution that supports network screening and analysis using the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) framework and the application of Safety Performance Functions (SPFs) to determine the potential impacts of countermeasures. In addition, MDT found that the AgileAssets solution provides more flexibility and a better analytical framework than other commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions. 

MDT’s SIMS went live in 2014. 

Benefits

Benefits

The SIMS provides a framework to identify high-crash locations efficiently and accurately. This AgileAssets-powered solution is also timely, consistent, and complete. It provides accessible data and facilitates more streamlined analyses. 

The SIMS also enhances data access for users throughout the agency and other stakeholders across the state. It provides simple and intuitive querying capabilities and stores a host of other roadway characteristics necessary to accurately analyze safety performance. 

MDT is now able to complete more in-depth safety reviews of design projects, spending more time on higher-value activities. The SIMS also increases MDT’s ability to incorporate safety into additional departmental functions, including planning, maintenance, and operations.

MDT won a 2015 National Roadway Safety Award in the Program Planning, Development and Evaluation category from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). MDT also won a Montana Governor’s Award for the SIMS implementation.

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