The National Academies


Communicating Safe Behavior Practices to Vulnerable Road Users

Posted Date: 12/4/2019

  Project Data
Funds: $490,000
Contract Time: 30 months
(includes 1 month for BTSCRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for BTSCRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: William C. Rogers
   Phone: 202-334-1621
   Email: WRogers@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/21/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020

In 2018, vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) accounted for 12,125 (33%) of traffic fatalities in the United States. The diversity of these users complicates the design and implementation of effective programs for communicating safe behavior practices. For example, consider the statistics for pedestrians: 20% were 65 or older, 18% were 14 or younger, 75% of accidents occurred during darkness, 80% of accidents occurred in urban areas, and 70% were males (in 2017). There have been numerous public communication campaigns designed to curtail high risk behaviors in these populations, but given their growing number of fatalities, it is time to enhance the understanding of how behavioral safety messages are received by the target populations and what messages or marketing strategies are most effective at altering behaviors. For all three groups, an appropriate segmentation approach could improve the impact of behavioral safety interventions at the individual, interpersonal, community, and societal levels.   

Despite current efforts to address vulnerable road user behavior, fatalities and serious injuries continue to occur at unacceptable levels. Research is needed to uncover the underlying unsafe behaviors and to develop effective outreach strategies for altering behaviors for each vulnerable road user group.
The objective of this research is to (1) develop a framework that identifies and prioritizes the root causes of high risk behaviors of vulnerable road users (motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians) resulting in fatalities or serious injuries, and (2) develop effective outreach strategies for altering unsafe behavior of each vulnerable road user group.
The BTSCRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research plan should delineate the tasks required to develop the framework and outreach strategies necessary to accomplish the research objective. At a minimum, the tasks should address the following:

·         Develop a white paper on the current knowledge of the scientific basis for behavioral change for vulnerable road users or analogous populations;

·         Identify and analyze the safety risks for each vulnerable road user group;

·         Determine the impacts and risk probabilities for each vulnerable road user group;

·         Develop behavioral and communication strategies to mitigate risks for each group and their subgroups;

·         Identify the significant differences that influence behaviors for each group and subgroup;

·         Summarize existing communication channels and messaging platforms, their ability to target specific groups, and their costs;

·         Assess the impact and effectiveness of advocacy groups for introducing behavioral changes in their constituencies;

·         Analyze data availability, quality, consistency, and gaps;

·         Collect successful (and unsuccessful) examples (national and international) of behavioral change messages and communication channels; and

·         Develop effectiveness measures and assessments as well as evaluation methods of outreach strategies for altering behaviors in each vulnerable road user group.

The proposed research plan must be divided into phases. Each phase must be organized by task, with each task described in detail. A kick-off teleconference of the research team and BTSCRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution.
Phase I will consist of information gathering and refinement of the work plan for subsequent phases, culminating in the submission of an interim report describing the work completed in Phase I along with a refined scope of work for Phase II based on the research findings. An interim meeting will be held with BTSCRP to discuss the results of the Phase I tasks and the agenda and proposed invitees for a 1.5-day workshop in Phase II of the project. The workshop will be designed to demonstrate the framework and outreach strategies for altering behavior of each vulnerable road user group to selected practitioners and obtain their feedback.
Phase II shall consist of the BTSCRP-approved Phase II work plan, the workshop to obtain feedback from practitioners, and the development of the final deliverables.
Note: The costs for the workshop, including invitational travel for 30 participants, shall be included in the detailed budget for the research. BTSCRP will cover costs associated with hosting of the workshop, as well as the costs of travel for BTSCRP panel members. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that the workshop will be held in Washington, DC.
The final deliverables shall include (1) the framework that identifies and prioritizes the root causes of high risk behaviors of vulnerable road users (motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians) resulting in fatalities or serious injuries, and effective outreach strategies for altering behavior of each vulnerable road user group; (2) a final report documenting the entire project and incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research; (3) an electronic presentation of the framework and outreach strategies that can be tailored for specific audiences; (4) recommendations for additional research; and (5) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note B for additional information).
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for BTSCRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.
A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
B. The BTSCRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of BTSCRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state highway safety offices and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project.
C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the BTSCRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
D. Proposals are evaluated by the BTSCRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal. 
E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.
F. Resumes for proposed key staff should be limited to 3 pages for each. The research approach shall be limited to 15 pages. This does not include the detailed budget or the detailed schedule.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 1/21/2020.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for the BTSCRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated July 2019). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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