The goal of the Central Louisiana Highway Safety Coalition is to reduce the number of traffic related fatalities and serious injuries by developing and implementing a regional safety action plan that focuses on the specific problems and issues facing the Central Region. We focus on five emphasis areas: Infrastructure and Operations, Occupant Protection, Impaired Driving, Distracted Driving, and Young Drivers.
Infrastructure & Operations
Roadway departure and intersection are the leading contributing factors for fatal and serious injury crashed in Central Louisiana. The Rapides Area Planning Commission has collaborated with the DOTD district offices, as well as parish and local governments to develop and implement the Infrastructure and Operations action plan.
Roadway Safety Assessments
A Road Safety Audit (RSA) is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team consisting of members from the 4 Es: engineering, enforcement, EMS and education. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety
The number of bike and pedestrian fatalities is on the rise. From 2014-2018, there were 1,193 fatalities in Louisiana. The CHSC Infrastructure & Operations team works to implement a plan that provides data and countermeasures, as well as promotes bike/ped safety to combat this increasing issue.
For more information and resources on bicycle and pedestrian safety, please visit the LHSC website.
Rural and Local Road Safety
Twice as many crash fatalities occur in rural areas of Louisiana than in urban areas. The Louisiana SHSP team provides tools and resources specifically for local and rural road safety. Assistance from the Local Road Safety Program and the Louisiana Local Technical Assistance Program help local agencies address safety problems on the roads they own and operate.
Local Road Safety Plans
CHSC works along side the Rapides Area Planning Commission as well as parish and local agencies to create Local Road Safety Plans. These plans include gathering and mapping crash data, conducting Road Safety Audits, finding funding for local agencies, and offering low-cost and cost-effective countermeasures to make our locally owned roads safer for all forms of transit.
Seat belts save more than 13,000 lives every year. The CenLA Highway Safety Coalition joins national and statewide leadership in promoting safety messages on seat belt use, child car seats use and other occupant protection systems. Our coalition has several Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can check your car seat at no cost, as well as Certified CarFit Technicians to help make sure mature drivers are comfortable utilizing their vehicle's restraint system properly.
Child Passenger Safety
The proper child safety seat can reduce the risk of infants (under 1 year of age) being killed in a car crash by 71%, and toddlers (1-4 years of age) by 54%.
Nine out of ten car seats are not installed or used properly. A Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician can educate caregivers as well as properly install your car seat free of charge. The Rapides Area Planning Commission is a CPS Fitting Station with a Certified CPS Technician available by appointment. For a free car seat check, contact Destiny Kunefke at (318)487-5401.
Alcohol and car keys don't mix...
From 2014-2018, over 150 people in Central Louisiana lost their lives to drunk driving. In the US in 2018 alone, there were over 10,500 fatalities. These deaths are avoidable and unacceptable. CHSC joins the efforts with national, statewide and local agencies to prevent drunk driving using enforcement, education, and outreach.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 44 percent of fatally injured drivers in 2016 tested positive for drugs and over half of those drivers were positive for two or more drugs. Whether prescription drugs, legal, or illegal substances - if you feel different, you drive different.
dis·trac·tion /dəˈstrakSH(ə)n/ noun
1. a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
Cell phones, GPS, music, grooming, food... all of these contribute to the rising number of deaths on our roadways. Distracted and inattentive driving accounted for over 700 deaths in Louisiana in the last five years, and almost three times as many serious injuries.
Our coalition promotes safety messaging and outreach to educate the public on this dangerous behavior.
Over 25 percent of fatal crashes in our state involves a driver between the age of 15-24. Inexperience often leads to risk-taking behaviors, which can result in death and serious injury. The SHSP addresses these concerns with the implementation of a Young Driver Action Plan that seeks to educate teens and young adults on the risks of dangerous behavior behind the wheel, as well as change the culture to embrace and emphasize safe driving habits.
The number one cause of crashes with young drivers is the distraction of other teen passengers. A teen driver's chances of crashing go up by 44% when they have just one passenger under the age of 21. On the other hand, the chances of a crash go down by 62% for a teen who drives with an adult (age 35+) in the vehicle.
CHSC supports and participates with programs such as Sudden Impact that educate young drivers on the dangers of risky behaviors like distracted or impaired driving.
For more information on Young Driver resources and the GDL, visit:
Created with images by Nabeel Syed - "Rows of car headlights" • Ryoji Iwata - "crossing"