Transforming Safety with SS4A Funding: A New Approach

By: Miovision Team | Dec 14, 2023
Transforming Safety With SS4A Funding - Miovision

With nearly $1 billion allocated so far to 746 projects, The Safe Streets for All (SS4A) Grant Program has opened new roads for transportation safety funding. Now it falls on transportation officials to spend it effectively.

Funding has traditionally been allocated toward reactive measures that study historical crash data. At Miovision, we’re in favor of a more proactive approach. We are advocating for the use of video-based data collection to conduct near-miss studies that provide the insights needed to drive change.

Traffic professionals have a responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities provided by SS4A funding. Keep reading to learn what we recommend and why.

The Importance of the Safe Streets for All Program

The idea behind SS4A funding is to provide municipalities with the financial resources they need to adopt a Safe System Approach. This philosophy, put forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation, provides a guiding framework that is meant to both help prevent crashes and limit the damage when they occur.

The approach stands on six core pillars:

  • Death and serious injuries are unacceptable

  • Humans make mistakes

  • Humans are vulnerable

  • Responsibility is shared

  • Safety is proactive

  • Redundancy is crucial

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There are five primary objectives to be followed when looking to act with these pillars in mind: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and post-crash care.

Unfortunately, most current road networks are falling short. Traffic crashes are a global leading cause of death, meaning the pressure is mounting for traffic professionals to build safer road networks for all methods of transportation.

SS4A funding is the financial backing needed to make change. After totaling $800 million in 2022, it rose to $1.2 billion in 2023 and could reach $6 billion in total—but those funds only mean something if they’re spent wisely.

It starts with being proactive.

A New Perspective on Safety Initiatives

The traditional approach to safety studies is reactive in that committees and groups address safety concerns after crashes have happened. Significant time is needed to collect accurate data that warrants drastic changes on roads using this approach. Additionally, while this approach can identify problem areas in road networks, it can’t be regarded as a preventative solution considering nearly 43,000 Americans died in auto crashes in 2022.

Traffic professionals already know where their high-risk intersections are—devoting all your SS4A funding towards simply re-identifying them is a missed opportunity. Rather than investing in tired systems with obvious limitations, we are proposing the incorporation of near-miss analysis backed by the industry-redefining Miovision Scout® Plus to help you pinpoint how, where, and for whom these high-risk intersections are dangerous. This will allow traffic professionals to focus on deploying countermeasures that are specific to the types of risk and the locations of those risks in the roadway.

Deployed Scout Plus devices serve two purposes: collecting video for identification of near-miss analysis and providing traffic count data for the same locations in a non-intrusive and safe manner for travelers and deployment teams. This is a major concern and limitation of other common data collection methods like road tubes, loops, and induction plates, which require deployment teams to operate in the roadway rather than safely outside of it.

Introducing an Innovative Approach to Transportation Safety

There’s never been a more opportune time to rethink and embrace a more innovative approach to transportation safety than now.

By investing in data-driven analysis that identifies near misses and potential hazards at these intersections, traffic professionals will be able to more accurately devise high-impact, low-cost safety countermeasures such as adjustments to signal operations, signage, and striping.

At Miovision, we define near-miss events based on speed, impact angle, temporal separation, user vulnerability, and order of interaction. These events are proven to be reliable predictors of the severe crashes we’re looking to prevent.

Easily deployed, the Scout Plus camera is a non-intrusive alternative that uses AI algorithms and cellular connectivity to capture and gather data including safety studies, volume and intersection counts, speed, and more.

The device’s instant onboard video processing and automatic uploading of Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) counts and Speed data make it easy for office workers to access and validate results immediately. This unique feature negates the need to enter roadways to lay tubes, facilitating a safer experience for workers as well as drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Unlike other data collection methods, Scout Plus data is auditable and verifiable for all study types to ensure accuracy.

Miovision’s Safety Studies Process

When it comes to conducting safety studies with Scout Plus, the approach we take at Miovision can be understood as a five-step process.

  1. Action Plan: A road safety plan is developed by the agency or consultant, or, optionally, by Miovision experts.

  2. Gather Video: Video is captured on location for 60 hours over a few days by an agency or contractor with Scout, Scout Plus, or other video collection equipment.

  3. Risk Identification: Miovision then produces a risk diagnostic report by measuring near-misses with AI.

  4. Implementing Changes: Agency staff or local consultants decide the most appropriate changes to mitigate the identified risks, which are implemented by the agency.

  5. Monitoring: Optional: another report can be run afterwards to measure the risk reduction achieved.

Miovision’s Commitment to Vision Zero

Our goal is to empower cities and agencies to adopt more proactive solutions to identify risks, implement tailored safety measures, and create environments where accidents are preventable. These types of predictive near-miss studies can be facilitated with Scout Plus; let’s examine the results.

Studies conducted by Miovision Scout Plus showed an accuracy of 94% for predicting injury collisions. As a result of these studies, risk reduction rates when agencies install countermeasures in response to our diagnostics are as high as 80%.

The presence of existing video collection methods often proves to be the most challenging aspect of a given study. These cameras are limited by low resolution, limited field of view, and a lack of storage—none of which are problems for Miovision Scout Plus.

Compared to traditional crash data, near-miss studies can measure safety improvements 36x faster. This can and should empower traffic professionals to take actionable steps that make a difference.

Some types of relevant studies include:

  • Intersection safety studies

  • Proactive warrants

  • Mid-block studies

  • Bike lane studies

Generally, the best application for near-miss studies backed by Scout Plus is at your high-priority intersections. The data gathered will help inform solutions rather than just tell you what you already know.

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Miovision Scout Plus: The Proactive Way to Spend SS4A Funding

SS4A funding is providing traffic professionals with the financial resources they need to make powerful changes in their communities. Now, as pre-existing measures continue to fall short, this resource must be spent on proactive solutions.

It’s the intelligent, data-driven approach that SS4A projects need.

By investing in the Miovision platform and Scout Plus, you ensure that every dollar is dedicated to high-impact safety measures that pave the way for meaningful results. Our tools can help you look beyond traditional crash data to put forth solutions that save lives. You know your problem intersections—start investing in technology that can help improve them.

The time to act is now. Contacting us is the first step!