Road safety

Louisiana road safety plan highlights impaired driving and reckless behavior

According to a staff report from the Plaquemine Post South, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DTOD) and the governor’s office released a plan to improve safety on state roads. “The Highway Safety Strategic Plan (SHSP), updated every five years, identifies priority areas, strategies and tactics to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads in the state.”

The article notes an increase in the number of road deaths over the past year. “Preliminary data shows that 971 people lost their lives due to car accidents in the state last year. This is a 17% increase from 2020, when there were 828 deaths.

The mentioned strategies mainly focus on unsafe behaviors of drivers. The article quotes Col. Lamar Davis, Louisiana State Police Superintendent, as saying, “The Louisiana State Police is working closely with our public safety partners to strengthen law enforcement. and provide public safety education; however, we need every motorist to partner with us. This means avoiding distractions while driving, maintaining a safe speed, ensuring that every passenger is properly restrained, and never driving while impaired.

Meanwhile, the plan does little to address infrastructure, road design or speed limits, all factors that can affect the likelihood of fatal crashes and injuries. The document touches somewhat on infrastructure issues, mentioning “roadway/lane departure, intersections, and non-motorized users.”