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The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-06 [Active]

MPO and SHSO Coordination on Behavioral Traffic Safety

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard Retting
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics
Principal Investigator: Rich Denbow
Effective Date: 6/17/2019
Completion Date: 1/31/2023
Comments: Research underway

BACKGROUND
 
State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) administer grant funding provided by NHTSA to fund effective behavioral safety countermeasures to reduce collisions. With the introduction of federal requirements for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop safety performance measures and targets, these organizations are increasingly committed to identifying programs, policies, and projects to help meet regional, and ultimately, statewide safety goals. All states have one or more MPOs that are responsible for planning and programming funds in urbanized areas with at least 50,000 people. 
 
Behavioral traffic safety could be greatly enhanced by increased engagement between SHSOs and MPOs. The latter have a strong understanding of the regional transportation network, the capability to obtain and analyze local crash data, potentially the means and skills to develop transportation safety plans, and connections to local decision makers who can fund and implement investments. Since a large proportion of traffic crashes are caused by human error, progress toward reducing the frequency and severity of traffic crashes can be better accomplished if SHSOs and MPOs initiate steps to work together on regional and local safety needs. Such collaboration could result in better use of local and regional resources and more effectively address behavioral traffic safety issues.
 
Note: For the purposes of this research, behavioral traffic safety is defined as the study of actions and attitudes of all road users.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to develop guidance for MPOs and SHSOs to improve coordination on local and regional behavioral safety efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of traffic crashes. The guidance should describe the mutual benefits of enhanced coordination on local and regional traffic safety behavioral issues, introduce best practices, and develop scalable processes and tools to develop a framework for engaging MPOs to work in collaboration with SHSOs.
 
 
STATUS: Research underway.

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