The National Academies

NCHRP 17-18(07) [Completed]

AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan--Technology Transfer Plan

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: Roy Jorgensen Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: William Grenke & Steven Griffith
Effective Date: 7/3/2001
Completion Date: 12/30/2002

Background: In December 1997, the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) endorsed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan that was developed by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. This plan represents a bold step; it envisions a concerted effort across all aspects of highway safety to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing fatalities by 5,000 to 7,000 per year by 2004. This goal is ambitious because there have been only slight fluctuations from the level of about 42,000 deaths per year for more than a decade. The plan is also bold in that it recognizes that AASHTO, through its traditional focus on the highway infrastructure, cannot alone achieve these reductions in fatalities. In addition to efforts to improve the design, operation, and maintenance of the highway system, the plan requires increased focus on (1) the driver, (2) the processes used to educate and regulate drivers, (3) the special needs of older drivers and pedestrians, (4) enforcement, (5) enhanced vehicle safety, and (6) better data and tools to analyze safety data.

The need to increase the awareness of safety is highlighted throughout the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Efforts are needed to increase understanding by practitioners, the public, and decisionmakers about issues in highway safety to change behaviors, to increase support for safety programs and projects, and to use the most effective practices to ensure the highest level of highway safety. It is critical that the proper messages get delivered to each target audience.

To achieve the goal of reducing fatalities by 5,000 to 7,000 per year by 2004, safety officials around the country need to consider and then proactively incorporate into their own plans the relevant strategies from the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Before implementing strategies, safety officials need to make an assessment of where their safety-related programs are in relation to the plan's emphasis areas.

NCHRP Project 17-18(03), "Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan," is developing guidelines in 13 emphasis areas to assist state and local highway agencies in reducing injuries and fatalities. Also, NCHRP Project 17-18(05), "Model Approach to Reducing Statewide Injuries and Fatalities," is developing an integrated management process for coordinating the engineering, enforcement, and education efforts within a jurisdiction. A technology transfer plan targeted at appropriate levels within the transportation community is needed to implement the products from these two projects.

Objective: The objectives of this project are to develop (1) an assessment tool for state DOT safety officials to use to compare their strategic safety plans or current safety efforts against the best practices identified in the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan and (2) a technology transfer plan to implement the products from NCHRP Projects 17-18(03) and 17-18(05).

Tasks: Accomplishment of the project objectives will require the following tasks: (1) Develop at least three alternative concepts of an easy-to-use assessment tool that enables safety officials to compare their strategic safety plans or current safety efforts against the emphasis areas identified in the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. At a minimum, safety officials should be able to (a) see how their plans or programs compare with the strategies outlined in the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan, (b) determine their strengths and weaknesses in the emphasis areas of the Plan, and (c) assess which emphasis areas they need to focus on to maximize the safety benefits. (2) Develop an introductory information package to assist safety officials in understanding their role and the importance of performing the self-assessment as well as supporting the entire AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan implementation effort. At a minimum, the introductory information shall include (a) an introduction to the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan, (b) why it is important to be aware of the plan's contents, (c) how to obtain a copy of the plan, (d) what purpose the assessment tool achieves, (e) how to use the assessment tool, (f) what other relevant activities and information are available, and (g) why it is important to put a high priority on funding and staffing these strategies. (3) Develop a technology transfer plan for implementing the products from NCHRP Projects 17-18(03) and (05). At a minimum, the plan shall (a) identify the intended audience(s); (b) recommend levels of detail and media formats to reach the intended audience(s), including local agencies; (c) recommend options for disseminating the information; and (d) provide a budget estimate to implement the alternative approaches. (4) Submit an interim report that includes the alternative concepts, the draft introductory package, and the draft technology transfer plan within 6 months of the contract's effective date. (5) Meet in Washington, D.C., with the NCHRP panel to review the interim report approximately 1 month after its submittal. (6) Incorporate the panel's decisions made at the Task 5 review meeting and complete the development of the selected concept, introductory package, and technology transfer plan. (7) Submit a final report that documents the entire research effort and includes as appendices the assessment tool, introductory package, and the technology transfer plan.

Status: The contractor has submitted the revised draft final report. The report will not be published, but will be used by the Project 17-18 Panel to develop the technology transfer activities for implementing the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

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