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Building Safe Communities

Safe communities help transportation safety issues

The U.S. Department of Transportation has made a clear commitment to the philosophy that communities are in the best position to affect improvements in motor vehicle and other transportation-related safety problems. We know that when a community takes ownership of an issue change happens.

The Safe Communities approach represents a new way community programs are established and managed. All partners participate as equals in developing solutions, sharing successes, assuming risks, and building a structure and process to continue improvement of community life through the reduction of injuries and costs.

A Safe Community expands resources and partnerships, increases program visibility and establishes community ownership and support for transportation injury prevention programs. As the Safe Community concept addresses all injuries, transportation and traffic safety becomes positioned within the entire injury problem.

In addition, the Safe Communities approach emphasizes the need to involve the medical, acute care and rehabilitation communities. These groups need to be actively engaged as integral partners in preventing injuries.

Four main characteristics define Safe Communities:

  1. Injury data analysis and (where possible) data linkage

  2. Expanded partnerships, especially with health care providers and businesses

  3. Citizen involvement and input

  4. An integrated and comprehensive injury control system

The Safe Community approach provides exciting opportunities for transportation safety programs, as well as many payoffs for safety and injury control advocates as we move forward and focus on reducing injuries and saving health care costs.

Because it wouldn't hurt to live in a Safe Community, contact the Safe Communities Service Center for more information.

(Source: US Department of Transportation)