CARTS Staff Presents at Louisiana Highway Safety Summit

November 21, 2019


Mark Verret presenting at Safety Summit

Baton Rouge, LA – Several staff members from the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) recently spent two days presenting their research and projects at the Louisiana Highway Safety Summit.

The Summit, a biennial event hosted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), took place at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge and brought together highway safety professionals from around the state. The Highway Safety Summit provided traffic safety professionals, partners, and advocates with innovative, results-oriented solutions, as well as a space to foster discussion and interaction.

Themed "It's in Your Hands," the two-day conference specifically revolved around emphasis areas featured in the State of Louisiana's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The Louisiana SHSP is driven by Destination Zero Deaths (DZD), a part of the Louisiana DOTD, and works to reduce motor vehicle-related fatalities and serious injuries. The plan is multi-disciplinary, data-driven, and is a living document that leaders from DOTD, Louisiana State Police (LSP), and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) update every five years after a variety of stakeholders have submitted input. The areas the plan emphasizes, and the areas that the Highway Summit revolved around, are young drivers, occupant protection, infrastructure and operations, impaired driving, and distracted driving.

While at the conference, David Whitchurch reiterated the 2018 crash trends initially presented by CARTS Executive Director Dr. Helmut Schneider earlier this year and expanded on some of these topics. Whitchurch's presentation, "2018 Crash Data Report and Trends for Louisiana SHSP Emphasis Areas" briefly reviewed Schneider's conclusions, and then covered a five-year moving average of fatality and serious injury trends on a number of topics in which safety coalitions focus. These topics included alcohol-involved, no restraint, pedestrian, bicycle, distracted drivers, inattentive drivers, roadway departures, intersections, young drivers, and older driver crashes.

Whitchurch also presented in a second session and updated the Louisiana highway safety community on an ongoing non-motorized user crash assessment conducted by the CARTS on behalf of the Department of Transportation Safety and Development (DOTD). This assessment focuses on pedestrians and other crashes involving non-motor vehicles – particularly bicycles – and involves the systematic analysis of crash characteristics to identify risk factors, rank trouble spots, and select countermeasures.

Finally, IT department manager Mark Verret and applications developer Jason Hines presented on a roadway analysis tool. The web-based tool developed by Hines combines crash data with analytics and geographic information systems (GIS) to assist transportation engineers when they target problematic roadway areas. Using this tool allows DOTD engineers to identify and analyze road segments based on crash volume, severity, and other factors. This application replaces disparate manual processes by providing all necessary information to make decisions using a single portal.


The Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) is responsible for collecting, maintaining, integrating, analyzing and distributing crash-related data captured from law enforcement and other agencies throughout the State of Louisiana. CARTS utilizes this data to develop business intelligence (BI) and GIS tools, perform research studies and produce an annual factbook. These tools and publications are used by decision-makers to identify potential problem areas, create countermeasures, set policies, and establish programs to improve the safety of our roadways in Louisiana. CARTS is a center within the E. J. Ourso College of Business at LSU.

About DZD

Louisiana is driving towards Destination Zero Deaths, with the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) as its vehicle to reduce motor vehicle-related fatalities and serious injuries. The plan is multidisciplinary, data-driven, and constantly evolving. It is a living document updated every five years with input from a broad array of stakeholders and with leadership from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), Louisiana State Police (LSP), and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC).


Contact: Mary Churay

Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety