In response to the problem of 42,000 annual deaths from highway crashes, the R & T Forum Partnership created a National Highway Safety Research Agenda. In addition to a research agenda, a process to coordinate ongoing and planned safety research on a national scale was proposed. The purpose of this coordination proposal was to achieve greater research efficiency, identify research gaps and eliminate duplication. The Research Agenda consists of eight safety themes. One of those themes, Highway Infrastructure Safety was chosen to pilot-test the proposed coordination process.
Specific goals for the pilot-test of the coordination process are:
- Provide a systematic procedure for the identification, development, and implementation of research priorities within theme areas;
- More efficiently identify, address, and close research gaps through coordination of research program plans;
- Improve coordination and communication between the research stakeholder communities;
- Help eliminate unwanted duplication;
- Better promote and implement research findings;
- Stimulate partnerships in conducting selected research;
- Promote innovation; and
- Improve the quality of the research process.
To support this work, FHWA commissioned and had reviewed 5 expert working papers that analyze and rate specific research projects identified by the safety R&T partnership working group. The committee will rely on this work in developing its list of priorities. By the end of the first year, the committee will issue a brief report with its findings and recommendations, which will include suggestions for a possible continuing role for the committee.
The objective of this project is to form a National Research Council appointed committee with funding support from NCHRP and FHWA. During the first year this committee will:
- identify priority projects from the National Highway Safety Research Agenda;
- hold a coordination meeting of highway safety research funding organizations to encourage adoption of identified priorities;
- recommend an efficient and effective research priority setting and coordination process that could be used in other R&T Partnership theme areas; and
- comment on strategies to improve research quality.
Status: The final report has been published and the project is completed.
Product Availability: TRB Special Report 292, Safety Research on Highway Infrastructure and Operations, Improving Priorities, Coordination, and Quality