RIDOT Office of Safety

Safety. It is the goal of every RIDOT project, every program, every initiative. It is the way we measure how effective we are in all we do – from building and maintaining roads and bridges to changing the way people act on our roads and bridges.

These entities work together to move Rhode Island toward the vision of a state system that gets people from here to there safely. RIDOT works to achieve this goal on several fronts. Under the umbrella of the Office of Safety are:


Office on Highway Safety (OHS)

RIDOT's office on Highway Safety works to change behaviors that cause injury or death on Rhode Island’s roads. The office represents a broad spectrum of partners that include state and local police, first responders, colleges and school systems, non-profits, insurance providers, AAA, the faith community, and non-profits.  Every entity with a vested interest in making Rhode Island safe for those who drive, ride, bike, and walk. 

Working with a coordinated plan developed with all of our stakeholders, RIDOT employs a range of advocacy strategies that include enforcement, policy, education, and media.  And we have had some pretty big successes. There is no way to tell how much one strategy contributed to that, but the multi-year, award winning, Ripple Effect campaign has attracted a following and is readily recognized by most Rhode Islanders. It visually and viscerally takes the viewer into the world of those affected by impaired driving. 

RIDOT is proud that the Ripple Effect series has received a New England Emmy Award in the Public Service Announcement-Campaign category six times, including the most recent campaign in 2022. These newest messages focus on the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs and how doing so can make you 200 times more likely to cause a crash compared to a sober driver.

View the Ripple Effect series here

OHS was also the first DOT entity to create and implement a ten-year Impaired Driving assault plan.  RIDOT works on a ten-year plan with all its construction projects, and OHS has its own parallel plan to move the state toward zero deaths.

OHS gives grants to non-profits and other traffic safety organizations and agencies working for safe roads.

Our messages are all designed to not only try to correct a bad driving behavior, but to make a cultural change that works to prevent the behavior. Our communications also include a call to action, to directly involve Rhode Islanders in the mission of intervening wherever possible, to take an active role to prevent friends, family or even total strangers from making the wrong choice and do something in a motor vehicle that could kill or injure someone.

We invite you to explore the links below to learn more about our safety outreach initiatives and what you can do to help make our roads safer.

Safe Driving Initiatives - Website Sections

Safety and Traffic Engineering

At RIDOT we work tirelessly to make the roads as safe as we can. We commit millions each year on traffic safety improvements, and all our capital projects include elements that make any new road or bridge we build safer than the one that preceded it.

In recent years we have made dozens of improvements, often tapping into new technology and the latest research that leads to new additions to the roads to make them safer. In recent years RIDOT has become a nationally recognized leader for its efforts to combat wrong-way driving deaths, installing wrong-way driving detectors at high-risk locations throughout Rhode Island. Elsewhere, RIDOT has moved to more visible and dynamic pedestrian crossing systems to help all users safely cross the road.

Our investments in traffic safety not only address these new additions to the roads to make them safer, but to improve on and properly maintain existing components such as highway lighting, traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, signage, and reflective striping and markers.

Highway Safety Infrastructure - Website Sections

Click the links below to learn more about new and improved traffic engineering solutions we are using on Rhode Island roads.

State Traffic Commission

Our traffic engineers serve on the State Traffic Commission, which reviews requests for traffic control devices such as stop signs, traffic signals and roundabouts. The Commission also reviews other traffic and safety initiatives such as crosswalks, speed limit changes, and striping changes.

Safety Partners