The National Academies

NCHRP 17-96 [RFP]

Traffic Safety Culture Research Roadmap

Posted Date: 1/5/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $375,000
Contract Time: 24 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 8/1/2021 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: David M. Jared
   Phone: 202/334-2358
   Email: djared@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/18/2021
Fiscal Year: 2021



More than 35,000 deaths occur each year as a result of traffic crashes, underscoring the need to increase efforts to improve traffic safety. As many states and localities adopt a vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries, increasingly greater attention is being given to communication, coordination, collaboration, leveraging resources, and applying a safe systems approach to traffic safety that requires a change in the culture – both among road users and traffic safety partner agencies, tied to education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency services (hereafter, the 4E’s).


The goal of the traffic safety culture (TSC) paradigm “is to develop a process for changing values and attitudes so that safety is part of every transportation decision, whether individual or organizational” (ITE Journal, May 2014). The context of TSC and this research is all users of the roadway transportation system. Roadway user behaviors include actions that influence crash risk and crash severity. Promoting TSC has been identified as a core strategy by several national initiatives. Promoting a positive TSC would support traffic safety goals by reducing risky behaviors and increasing protective behaviors, and it would also increase public acceptance of other effective traffic safety programs.


TSC is relatively new for safety partner agencies, and these agencies do not typically have staff with TSC expertise. In addition, while more research is being conducted on TSC, the majority of research exists on the 4E's. The lack of research on TSC has resulted in insufficient knowledge in how to effectively and efficiently apply TSC strategies either alone or in combination with the 4E’s. A TSC research roadmap would identify the critical research needed to identify practices, tactics, techniques, and tools that can be implemented by safety partner agencies. A TSC research roadmap should also address plans and programs such as Strategic Highway Safety Plans and regional- or community-based safety programs and plans where a positive TSC could be a critical factor in eliminating traffic fatalities.


Traffic safety is a significant public health issue, and gains in the 4E’s have produced significant improvements in safety. However, the number of crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries continues to be unacceptable. To use TSC to take traffic safety to the next level, TSC needs to be better understood and more broadly, and it needs to be strategically applied.





The objectives of this research are the following:


1.      Identify TSC research questions, gaps, and stakeholders;


2.      Produce a prioritized TSC research roadmap with stakeholder input that includes fully developed research problem statements suitable for submittal to NCHRP;


3.      Develop a communication plan to disseminate the research roadmap; and


4.      Develop a process management plan to systematically revisit research priorities to guide research and ensure its future relevancy.


The roadmap should indicate why each research need is critical to improving traffic safety, why it is important to safety partner agencies, and how these agencies will be able to implement the results to improve traffic safety.


Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks.





Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. 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 objectives.


Task 1. Review literature and identify stakeholders.


Task 1a. Review literature and research in progress. Identify completed and active TSC research, and remaining research questions and gaps. Both domestic and international resources should be consulted. Conduct gap analysis to describe research gaps and guide the development of research problem statements in the research roadmap. 


Task 1b. Identify stakeholders to be engaged in Task 2 and develop a stakeholder engagement plan. At minimum, the following types of organizations should be consulted: public, private, academic, and advocacy organizations in both the transportation and non-transportation sectors, such as public health and emergency medical services.


Submit a technical memorandum covering the findings of Tasks 1a and 1b for NCHRP review. Present findings to NCHRP at an online meeting. NCHRP approval is required before work on Task 2 may begin.


Task 2. Engage TSC stakeholders. With input from a broad set of stakeholders, identify (a) principles and elements of a positive TSC; (b) opportunities for creating a positive TSC; (c) existing constraints to implementing a positive TSC; (d) considerations for a positive TSC across the social ecology and for eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries; (e) stakeholder research priorities; and (f) next steps for TSC implementation. Submit a technical memorandum covering the findings of Task 2 for NCHRP review.


Task 3. Develop an outline for the research roadmap. At minimum, the outline should include the results of the literature review and gap analysis, stakeholder input, a description of research that should be conducted within the next five years, and 10 or more research problem statements suitable for submittal to NCHRP. Also, at least one problem statement should provide a framework for incorporating and creating a positive TSC under existing national safety programs such as the Highway Safety Improvement Program. The roadmap should identify relevant, active, and completed research that could benefit from a focused implementation effort and develop implementation plans. Finally, the roadmap should prioritize all research recommendations.


Task 4. Submit an interim report summarizing the findings from Tasks 1-3. Present findings to NCHRP at an interim meeting. NCHRP approval of the interim report is required before work on Task 5 may begin.


Task 5. Develop a research roadmap and follow-up plans.


Task 5a. Develop a research roadmap and research problem statements. It is acknowledged that it may not be possible to develop problem statements for all identified research needs, since prerequisite research may be need to be substantially completed first, but sufficient detail should be provided to fully describe the nature of the research that should be conducted later.


Task 5b. Develop a communication plan. Develop a plan for (a) disseminating the research roadmap and other products to key partner organizations, especially those previously involved in the stakeholder engagement activities in Task 2, and (b) creating awareness and understanding of the roadmap. The goal of the plan is to explain (a) the roadmap to potential users and why it is important to safety partner agencies, and (b) how users will be able to implement the results of the research described in the roadmap to improve traffic safety. Innovative means of disseminating the plan should be considered, and the plan should include a list of key venues where this information could be presented as well as materials that can be used by others to present the information.


Task 5c. Develop a process management plan. Develop a plan to sustain ongoing TSC research and identify stakeholders who could take ownership of the plan. Recommend a limited set of research problem statements from the nearly implementation-ready and short-term list identified in Task 5a that should be submitted to NCHRP’s next funding cycle.


Submit a technical memorandum covering the findings of Tasks 5a, 5b, and 5c for NCHRP review. Present findings to NCHRP at an online meeting. NCHRP approval is required before work on Task 6 may begin.


Task 6. Submit final report and project deliverables. Project deliverables shall include the research roadmap, the communications and process management plans, related outreach materials, the research problem statements identified in Task 5c, and a final report documenting the entire research effort.


Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining three (3) months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.




A. The research team should be multidisciplinary and plan to make, within the scope of the project, presentations during the course of the research to important stakeholders who can provide valuable input. The presentations may be virtual as well as in-person, as conditions permit.


B. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages. Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. For other requirements, refer to Chapter V of the instructions.


C. 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.


D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP 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 11 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.

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/zgVhuDk9Dn1ryw8TGqoD  
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 2/18/2021.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, 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.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB 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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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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