Highway Safety Corridors

Program Criteria and Policy

  • Why should a segment of highway be a Safety Corridor?

  • How is a Highway Safety Corridor designated?

  • What should the measure of success be for this program?


To initiate the program, 1100 miles of interstate freeways were assessed for several safety (crash-related) measures within each of the three regions. Based on the crash data analysis, the following criteria were used:

  • Crash severity per mile

  • Overall vehicle crash rate

  • Type and volume of traffic and related crash rates

  • Other factors identified by public

Additional Possible Criteria

The following additional criteria were suggested at public meetings held during the fall of 2003:

  • Speeding

  • Ease of enforcement

  • Topography

  • Lighting, shoulders, guardrail

  • Potential effectiveness of engineering solutions

  • Projects in VDOT's Six-Year Improvement Program

  • Length of corridor and/or number of jurisdictions affected

  • Public interest/perception

  • Funding or other means for developing countermeasures


Following the public meeting on selecting criteria to designate a Highway Safety Corridor, the crash data was reviewed again based on comments that were received. The following policy was selected for interstate highways in each of the three regions.

The statute requires that the following criteria be used in selecting a Highway Safety Corridor:

  • Review of crash data
  • Crash reports
  • Type and volume of traffic
  • Engineering and traffic studies

To comply with the statute, the following criteria are used to identify candidate Highway Safety Corridor on interstate highways:

  • The crash frequency, weighted by severity, should be at least 50 percent more than the regional average for the highway system.

  • The crash rate should be at least 25 percent more than the regional average for the highway system.

  • The truck-involved crash rate should exceed the average crash rate for that region for all vehicles on the highway system.

  • Enforcement capability

  • Roadway characteristics

Rules for Public Hearings

The following rules shall be observed concerning public hearings prior to the selection of Highway Safety Corridor:

  • The commissioner shall hold a minimum of one public hearing before any designation is implemented.

  • The public hearing or hearings for a specific candidate Highway Safety Corridor shall be held at least 30 days prior to the designation at a location as close to the proposed corridor as practical.


Page last modified: Nov. 1, 2019