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Roadway Safety

The Roadway Safety Program partners with engineers, contractors, and local and regional governments to ensure all state highways are built to meet the highest safety standards.


​What is a Safety Corridor?

Safety corridors are stretches of state highways where fatal and serious injury traffic crash rates are higher than the statewide average for similar types of roadways. To reduce the number of these incidents, the stretch of the road is designated as a "safety corridor" and becomes subject to heightened enforcement and double fines for traffic infractions, if signed. Drivers may also be asked to turn on headlights during the day, reduce speed and refrain from passing.

Safety Corridor Program Goal

The goal of the Safety Corridor Program is to identify corridors with high rates of serious and fatal injury crashes and reduce these crashes in the short-term through the use of partnerships with engineering, enforcement, education and emergency service. Each component contributes to the mutual goal of reducing serious injury crashes by encouraging drivers to change poor behaviors within safety corridors and drive safely.

Safety Corridor Designation Criteria

  1. The five year average of the local fatal and serious injury crash rate is at or above 150 percent of the latest statewide five year average for a similar type of roadway (as determined by the ODOT Crash Analysis and Reporting Unit).
  2. The initial Designation Team agrees that the corridor length is manageable from an enforcement and education (media coverage) standpoint. The segment of highway must be similar in nature. Two to 10 miles in length is preferable. Rural sections may be substantially longer than urban sections.
  3. State and/or local law enforcement agencies commit to making the corridor a patrol priority.
  4. There is a multi-disciplinary stakeholder group that meets on a regular basis (at least annually, as defined in the charter). Stakeholders are defined as those individuals, groups, and agencies that have expressed a current interest in the safety corridor and are considered to have valuable input in the process.

There is no fixed limit to the number of safety corridors that can be designated simultaneously in each ODOT Region. However, each ODOT Region may limit the number of safety corridors that can be effectively managed based on the resources available.

If a Designation Team or a Stakeholder Group seeks an exception to the Designation Criteria they must provide justification for the request and it will the be elevated within ODOT for the final decision.

4 Es For a Successful Safety Corridor

The following four elements are the core of the Annual Safety Corridor Plan:
Annual review of traffic control devices (signing, striping, pavement markings, and delineation) on the corridor for compliance with current standards and assuring proper visibility and legibility.
A minimum of four quarterly traffic safety public information campaigns planned and accomplished through paid or volunteer efforts for the corridor. This may be a combination of print, radio, TV, cable, billboards, theater ads, presentations to local schools, civic groups, etc.
Annual commitment from the enforcement agencies noting the corridor remains an active patrol priority for their jurisdiction(s).
Emergency Services
Identification should be made of all medical service providers and their contact staff name and telephone numbers within the corridor area including ODOT, OSP, local agencies, ambulance services, fire, hospitals, etc. Specific EMS communication or vehicle access issues should be identified and documented.

How to Request a Safety Corridor

Safety Corridor designation is a significant investment of limited resources. All requests are taken seriously. Requests for designation of a stretch of state highway as a safety corridor may come from many sources. Examples include:
• Concerned citizens
• Legislators
• Neighborhood groups
• Local traffic safety committees
• School safety groups

Safety Corridor Guidelines

Oregon Safety Corridor Program Guidelines
Jan 2017 vs Dec 2006 Corridor Guideline Comparison Sheet 
2016 State Highway Safety Corridor List

Oregon Truck Safety Corridors

State safety officials focus truck enforcement efforts where higher than average truck crashes occur. Traffic violations in Truck Safety Corridors are not considered in a special zone and, therefore, do not carry double fines. More information about the Oregon Truck Safety Corridor Program.

​Road engineering has the ability to directly impact the rates of crashes and overall traffic safety. Continuing education and access to latest research and recommendations is critical to building safe roads and reducing the rate of injuries and fatalities on Oregon roads.

Visit the links below to learn about available classes and workshops.
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Saving us from ourselves: Human factors and the design of safer roads
Alison Smiley, Ph.D.
Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota

Sam Johnston
Interim Program Manager
503-986-4195 (Salem)

Nicole Charlson
Interim Safety Corridor Program Manager
503-986-2763 (Salem)

Transportation Safety Division
ODOT-TLC Building, MS 3
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302-1142

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