Implementing safety toolkit on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana

Abstract

Indian Reservations have suffered from high crash rates that lead to fatal and incapacitating injuries for years. Among numerous issues, resource gap, rustic nature of the reservations, cross jurisdictional issues, and scarce crash data, act as obstacles in an effort to reduce the number of these fatal and serious crashes. Numerous organizations have recognized the importance of addressing issues on Indian reservations and improving roadway safety. Wyoming Technology Transfer Center / Local Technical Assistance Program (WYT2/LTAP) center developed a safety toolkit for tribal communities to ascertain high-risk crash locations and determine the low-cost safety improvement countermeasures. This safety toolkit acts as a guideline providing information, field examples, and resources in key topic areas to improve roadway safety through the use of the five-step methodology from Wyoming Rural Road Safety Program. These steps included compiling and crash data analysis, level I field evaluation, combined ranking, level II field evaluation, and benefit-cost analysis. In this study, the safety toolkit was implemented on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (FPIR), Montana, to provide the tribes with a real-life example. This study reveals that low- cost safety countermeasures have significant impacts in reducing the number of fatal and serious injury crashes on the FPIR. This methodology with slight modification can be applied to other Indian reservations or similar entities to improve roadway safety.

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