Safer Roadways + Attentive Drivers = Fewer Crashes

By Brian Armstrong
A century ago, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency. In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare, the first engineering licensure law was enacted in 1907. Now every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting Professional Engineers (PEs) the authority to sign and seal engineering plans.
Professional Engineers put the welfare and safety of the public above all other concern. This is certainly the case for the PEs that dedicate their professional lives to designing roadways and bridges in Kansas.
Kansas is to be commended for its investment in the transportation system. Studies show that increased investment in road and bridge improvements at the local level saves lives. Making road lanes and shoulders wider, adding medians and roundabouts, making steep roadways and sharp curves smooth and improving bridges are just a few of the improvements that have been shown to cut fatalities significantly.
Highway safety information from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
• Every $100 million invested in highway safety improvements will result in approximately 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.
• Approximately 500 people are killed annually in crashes at rail-highway crossings.
• About 12,000 people are killed annually in traffic crashes involving collisions with a fixed object such as a tree, guardrail, utility pole, curb or light pole.
As we continue to improve the safety of Kansas roadways, please do your part in driving them safely. Buckle up, drive the speed limit, put your phone in the glove box and pay attention!
With Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day on October 10, 2010, please help educate people on what we can do to reduce transportation fatalities and crashes on American highways!

Brian Armstrong, P.E., is the President of the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers

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