Accident Reduction Program
Every time a traffic accident occurs, there is a significant cost to the public, including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses and motor vehicle damage. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a traffic accident in the United States in 2007 ranged from $7,500 for a non-injury crash to $65,000 for a crash with an incapacitating injury to $1.13 million for a crash resulting in a fatality.
How Bellevue Reduces Accidents
The City of Bellevue’s nationally recognized Accident Reduction Program is a dedicated, proactive and consistently applied program to cut the number of traffic accidents and the resulting costs to those who travel in Bellevue. The program implements projects at identified accident locations where solutions will have 1) measurable accident cost savings to the public, 2) acceptable system impacts, and 3) reasonable cost.
Program projects are identified by conducting an annual accident study throughout the city. The accident study identifies the intersections and corridors with the highest accident rates in the city. These locations are then assigned to traffic engineers to determine if appropriate countermeasures could address the accident concern. Projects are also identified by investigating citizen concerns received by the Traffic Engineering office.
The program results have been impressive. Since 1990, 60 individual projects have been implemented at intersections and within corridors, resulting in a public traffic accident cost savings of $2.4 million annually. Cumulative public cost savings within the program total more than $20 million. Bellevue has approximately 1,700 reported traffic accidents annually, and calculations indicate the program has reduced overall traffic accident occurrence in Bellevue by 10 percent.
In November 2003, the City of Bellevue received one of thirteen National Highway Safety Awards at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. This prestigious award, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation, honors outstanding roadway safety programs throughout the United States.