Motorists traveling four stretches of highway across Kansas will see increased traffic safety messaging and new signage as part of a new Safety Corridor pilot program the Kansas Department of Transportation helped launch.
[Above image via the Kansas DOT]
The agency noted in a statement that this new Safety Corridor pilot program is a five-year initiative to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in four selected safety corridors. Increased law enforcement, traffic safety education campaigns, low-cost engineering improvements and a review of emergency response issues are part of the comprehensive approach of the program’s goals.
The Kansas DOT added that the four highway corridors in this pilot program – which will run until 2028 – were chosen based on a history of fatal and serious injury crashes, availability of additional law enforcement and input from local transportation safety partners. From 2016 to 2021, over 500 crashes occurred on these corridors resulting in 35 deaths and 68 serious injuries, the agency pointed out.
The four corridors include: I-135 in Sedgwick and Harvey counties, from 53rd Street in Park City to Exit 34 in North Newton; U.S. 24 from Pottawatomie County, from St. Mary’s west to Manhattan; U.S. 83/50 in Finney County, from Plymell north through Garden City and west to the Holcomb exit; and U.S. 69 in Crawford County, from the U.S. 400 junction north through Frontenac and Pittsburg to the U.S. 160 junction.
The Kansas DOT noted that this Safety Corridor pilot program is a strategic initiative of the Drive To Zero or DTZ Coalition – an executive-level body representing state and federal agencies, advocacy organizations, the private sector, and the Kansas legislature – and, as such, groups within the DTZ Coalition will support the program with initial and long-term safety messaging to area communities and their organization’s customers.
Several state departments of transportation have also collaborated on the creation of similar safety corridors to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries along specific highway stretches. For example, in January, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol established a Distracted Driving Safety Corridor along a section of I-77 between state Route 18 and state Route 21 in northern Summit County – one of several corridors the Ohio DOT and OSHP have created over the last few years.