Research to Improve the Structure, Process, and Outcomes of the Strategic Highway Safety Plans through Well Designed and Documented Peer Exchanges

SAFETEA-LU required all states to develop and implement a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), and all states and the District of Columbia accomplished this by October of 2007. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) reauthorization proposal suggests that all states should engage in a peer exchange during the reauthorization period to invite advice and guidance on improving and implementing their plans. However, a template or model for developing, implementing, and evaluating an SHSP does not currently exist. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed the Implementation Process Model (IPM), but it is only now being pilot tested, and an evaluation design has yet to be developed. Because large investments are supporting SHSP implementation, it is timely to identify an explicit process to guide the peer exchanges to ensure they are consistent, science-based, and effective. Several peer exchanges have been held over the past few years. These events have been large scale, involving all states and focused broadly on SHSP development and implementation strategies. The SHSP peer exchange envisioned in this research would be requested by an individual state; invited peers would constitute a panel that provides consultation and assists the host state in moving forward with SHSP updates, implementation, and evaluation. In this case, the invited "peers" would be identified and recognized for their depth of experience and expertise to ensure the exchange is based on best practice, is fruitful, and is provided onsite to SHSP champions and stakeholders. Guidance documents would include the Federal Highway Administration's IPM, A Champion's Guide to Saving Lives, and other reports and guidelines. Research is necessary to develop templates for quickly and efficiently conducting peer exchanges that are in-depth, high quality, and user friendly. This project will identify likely peer exchange panel candidates, necessary state participants, documents needed for preparation, templates for questioning witnesses and reporting, and other supporting materials. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has deep experience in conducting these peer exchanges or assessments. However, the agency also experiences frustration because the reports often sit on the proverbial shelf and lack implementation plans. Thus, the SHSP peer exchanges must build in implementation planning, follow-up monitoring, evaluation of the process itself, and a feedback mechanism for improving the process and products. This research will develop and pilot test a model template for conducting an SHSP peer exchange. The template will include the type of expertise required of participants, criteria for selecting expert panel participants or invited peers, documentation that is necessary to prepare participants for the peer exchange, an outline to use to document the process, implementation recommendations, and follow-up requirements. Many states began implementing their SHSPs in 2007 or earlier and, in some cases, the motivation and effectiveness of their implementation efforts have begun to wane. Peer exchanges provide new and more effective ideas and methods for overcoming barriers. They are designed to identify continuing opportunities for improvement. Providing a methodology for conducting effective, productive peer exchanges is timely and needed. The primary users of the research results are the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the state DOTs, SHSOs, MCSAPs, elected officials, the MPOs and regional planning organizations, and local transportation and land use planners and engineers. The SHSP peer exchange methodology once developed and pilot tested can be used by all state and local transportation safety coalitions to improve their SHSPs and other regional safety planning processes. Improving the effectiveness of SHSP investments and procedures could have a substantial impact on driving down motor vehicle related fatalities and serious injuries.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $200000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-52

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Start Date: 20100615
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26502

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463906
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-52
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM