Nouran Hakami


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Director: Xueming (Jimmy) Chen

Second Advisor

Mr.James C Smither

Third Advisor

Dr.Bryan Green


Measured by the level of transportation safety, the Commonwealth of Virginia stands out from all the States because despite increased need for mobility, it manages to maintain its safety indices at exceptionally good levels. In many respects we can attribute this success to the comprehensive Strategic Highway Safety Plan of Virginia (SHSP), which is, as concluded from the analysis of its analogues, among the best in the US. The programs and policies described in this document embrace all aspects of transportation safety and create a harmonious system. To assess the effectiveness of the SHSP, this thesis used correlation and regression analysis based on statistical data from the years 2004 – 2011 in Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) documents.

The performed calculations showed very positive trends with gradual reduction, in crash and death rates. It was also found that citizens would use private vehicles more often in the future without making conditions worse on the highways. Instead, drivers tend to be more careful and responsible. Analysis also reveals a rising level of drunken driving incidents, a finding substantiated by literature review, chiefly planning reports and economic analysis. The current transportation policy I does not adequately address this issue. The correlation between allocation of funds and performance indicators showed it would be more effective to invest in research projects on safety rather than in “safety” itself (i.e. construction of roads). Unfortunately, in difficult times, governments usually cut research projects.

Finally, Virginia is on the verge of a new transportation era, when the structure of driving cohorts will change, and decisions about building new highways will have to be balanced between technical and ecological considerations.


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Date of Submission