Speeding is a contributing factor in about one-third of all fatal traffic crashes in the United States and costs society an estimated $40 billion annually1. Speeding dilutes the effectiveness of other priority traffic safety programs, including efforts to reduce impaired driving, increase safety belt use, and improve pedestrian and motorcycle safety. Speeding and speed-related crashes occur on all road types, from limited-access divided highways to local streets. Drivers speed in all types of vehicles. Speeding is a local, State, and national problem. Reducing speeding will require concentrated and coordinated engineering, education, and enforcement efforts by all levels of government and by many private sector organizations.
In response to this safety problem, a National Forum on Speeding was held in Washington, DC, on June 15-16, 2005. The forum was sponsored by the American Association of State highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Transportation Research Board (TRB) hosted the meeting. The invitation-only working meeting had three goals:
The meeting began with presentations on speed issues in the United States and speed management programs in Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. Participants then met in breakout groups to identify, discuss, and recommend safety countermeasure strategies, policies, and research needed to address the speeding problem. All participants then met together to draft a consensus action agenda.
This report summarizes the forum’s discussions, recommendations, and the action agenda developed by forum participants. After a brief background section, the report describes the action agenda and includes comments and discussion from the breakout and general sessions. This is followed by a list of other issues mentioned in the breakout sessions. Many of these may be worthy of inclusion in the action agenda, but the limited time available for discussion at the forum did not permit them to be fully considered. Short summaries of the eight invited presentations follow. Full PowerPoint presentations are available on NHTSA’s website2. The forum agenda and participant list are included as Appendices.
The forum’s major conclusion, supported vigorously by all participants, is that speeding is a critical highway safety issue that requires and deserves high priority and adequate resources. The Forum participants unanimously recommended that a smaller coordinating group, representing all key stakeholders, be appointed to follow up on the forum’s action agenda and to provide additional detail where needed on the forum’s recommendations. The forum’s sponsors agreed to provide opportunities for further communication among the participants.
The statements and conclusions in this report are the collective views of the forum’s individual participants. With the exception of the unanimous conclusion and recommendation above, they do not necessarily represent the views of any participant. The statements and conclusions in this report do not necessarily represent the views of any organization that sponsored or participated in the forum.
2 DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2003/809771.pdf