Changing curves, Saving lives
One Curve At A Time (OCAAT) is an innovative grassroots advocacy program developed by the KMA Foundation to accelerate increased awareness of — and safety improvements to —dangerous roads and curves in the region.
It has a three-pronged approach:
- Educate the public about critical road problems
- Work with local law enforcement to enhance accountability for safe driving and posted speed limits
- Advocate for engineering and other solutions to address problem areas along roadways and curves
Volunteers with KMA’s One Curve At A Time program have attended and made presentations at numerous local, regional and state highway safety meetings. It is through these positive advocacy efforts that we have been able to partner with other safety-minded organizations and support the Missouri Department of Transportation’s efforts to make our roads safer.
The First Curve — Hwy FF-Jefferson County
On the morning of Thursday, November 18, 2010, an accident took the life of Kaela Marie Archambault. Read Kaela's Story >>
Following her death and the death of another Eureka, MO resident, Karen Turnbo, almost one year later, the KMA Foundation formed One Curve At A Time to specifically increase awareness of road safety problems along Hwy FF.
After meeting with OCAAT volunteers who pushed for changes, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) reviewed statistics provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the State Highway Patrol. It found that crash rates along Highway FF, which had multiple curves and no shoulders along the entire 4.5-mile stretch of highway, were double the state average for similar rural roads in Missouri.
More than 100 people joined in the effort to identify needed safety changes and advocate for funds to make those changes. In November 2011, less than 30 days after OCAAT was organized, MoDOT agreed to conduct a road friction evaluation test along Hwy FF and identify any road hazards. Following its study, MoDOT found that the majority of accidents occurred along Hwy FF at the Tall Oaks subdivision intersection — the same curve where Kaela Marie Archambault died in 2010.
- Identified elevation changes at three curves, include Tall Oaks, that were needed to improve safety along Hwy FF
- Identified the need for improved safety signs along Hwy FF and the clearing of brush and debris in the highway easements to improve visibility
- Confirmed the need for shoulders along Hwy FF to improve road safety
It was an uphill battle to secure funding to make the changes necessary but OCAAT served as the pivotal organization to push for state transportation funding. It rallied community residents and local media to highlight the dangers along Hwy FF. Founder of the KMA Foundation, Shawn Archambault, and others appeared regularly at local, regional and state safety meetings to push for funding. With a continuous multi-pronged and proactive effort, One Curve At A Time successfully advocated for more than $1.8 million in road safety improvements along Highway FF.
For its efforts, One Curve At A Time and its founder, Shawn Archambault received the 2014 Statewide Arrive Alive Award presented by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
One year later, the City of Eureka named Shawn Archambault as its 2015 Citizen of the Year during the Eureka Days Festival for his tireless efforts to enhance road safety in the region.
In October 2015, the fully re-designed Hwy FF was dedicated with new shoulders, re-aligned curves and improved signage and visibility. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of individuals and in memory of loved ones, this road is now safer!
The KMA Foundation, through its One Curve At A Time initiative, is now focused on other regional roads and highways and supports the efforts of others to make roads safer. These include