In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) mandated that states develop and maintain six transportation management systems, one of which was a Safety Management System (SMS). As defined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) a SMS is "a systematic process which increases the likelihood of reaching safety goals by ensuring that all opportunities to improve highway safety are identified, considered, implemented as appropriate, and evaluated in all phases of highway planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations"
In response to the mandate, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) began to develop a SMS. The National Highway Designation Act of 1995 made development of this management system optional, but ODOT recognized the benefits and has continued to develop a Safety Management System, comprised of the Project Safety Management System (PSMS).
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted in 2005, further increased federal funding for safety improvements through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). SAFETEA-LU required all states to develop a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and identify a strategic approach to addressing the states most severe safety concerns.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) enacted in 2012 further the goals of SAFETEA-LU expanding the requirements of states to regularly update their SHSP’s and advance the capability of their safety data collection, analysis and integration. In addition MAP-21 introduces the establishment of performance goals for safety to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation
(FAST) Act that went into effect in December of 2015 maintains the focus on
safety and keeps intact the established structure of the safety program. The
FAST Act requires states to set performance measures in terms of reduction of
fatalities and serious injuries.
These management systems take different forms in different states but each has the goal of reducing deaths and injuries due to vehicle crashes. The Traffic-Roadway Section administers Oregon Department of Transportation’s Project Safety Management System (PSMS). A goal of the Traffic-Roadway Section is to provide leadership and direction to improve the safety of Oregon’s Transportation system. The PSMS is designed to improve the safety of the transportation system by assisting decision makers to allocate transportation safety resources.