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Utilities and Roadside Safety

Vincent D. Reynolds, MBA, PE

Utility poles located along the roadway can be very dangerous for motorists that leave the roadway due to the placement and proximity to the edge of the traveled way. For several years there have been programs implemented to reduce the crashes due to utility poles.

The AASHTO Roadside design guide provides guidelines for placing objects along the roadway. Unless there is good reason not to, the Roadway Design Guide should be used to determine the placement and distance from the roadway. Some courts have awarded cases due to the fact that the roadside design guide was not followed.

Several states in all regions of the country have implemented various programs to reduce roadside crashes. This course will discuss the various programs implemented in each state as well as studies done to show the results of those programs.

This five-hour course will examine the use of utilities mainly utility poles along the roadway. It will provide useful information to ascertain the impact of utilities on roadside safety.

This course is to read by anyone with an interest in utilities and roadway design, traffic engineering, economists, roadway safety or anyone wanting to know a brief history of utilities and roadside safety. After reading this course the student will know some methods to decrease utility pole crashes.

The course materials are based solely on the report “Utilities and Roadside Safety” as found on the website of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.