|I.There are several ways to address these liability issues:
|• Direct dissemination of all RWIS information directly to
the public is not necessarily the best strategy and will most likely open up
agencies to higher chances of litigation. By limiting the amount of
information shared with the public and other given entities, agencies can
manage their liability while maximizing the practical value to the public.
|•The prominent display of disclaimers associated with RWIS
data is another popular vehicle for reducing liability issues. These provide
a valuable legal protection for web site operators. However, disclaimers
legal powers are not always iron clad in litigation and should be constructed
with the help of a legal expert.
can be used by those who access it is another way to reduce liability. This
will also give DOTs awareness over who is accessing their data and how they
are using it, as well as making use of contract and copyright law through
indemnity clauses and copyright grants.
|•Maximizing the operational efficiency of a given system
also protects against RWIS-related liability because data is provided in an
accurate and timely manner. Making sure that the data that goes out is
quality can address RWIS-related liability concerns very well.
|•DOTs can also host outreach and education activities
related to driving during adverse weather and educating on RWIS technologies
and the DOT maintenance practices. Many DOTs use public relations programs or
post explanatory statements, winter maintenance policies or winter driving
tips on their sites.
|•Risk-management strategies can also be explored. This means
that DOTs identify potential exposure to potential crashes and tort liability
with the general goal to minimize both fiscal impact of tort claims and
|•Ongoing allocation of funds towards RWIS programs is
necessary to meet the needs of the public even in the midst of a trench in
transportation funding. While allocating money towards RWIS programs may only
seem linear, the external effects of those fiscal considerations are large
including increased efficiency and productivity; positive effects on roadway
safety; reduced likelihood of litigation; and preemption of costly,
responsive maintenance or system-wide upgrades.
|•There is also the legislative route which may be able to
reduce liability on RWIS-related claims by granting limitations and immunity
to the state when a weather-influenced accident occurs.
|•Legislators can also play a fundamental role in the ongoing
funding of RWIS programs for DOTs by granting public funding towards
bolstering RWIS-related funding.