Guide for MPO and HSO Coordination on Behavioral Traffic Safety Countermeasures

State Highway Safety Offices (HSO) and state Departments of Transportation (DOT) have adopted the zero deaths concept to frame their transportation safety plans, organizational culture, policies, programs, and projects.  To make progress toward this goal, states are implementing a combination of infrastructure improvements and driver behavior countermeasures.  The HSOs oversee and manage the problem identification of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funded programming for behavioral solutions, while DOTs handle the infrastructure improvements. 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.  Nationally, there are more than 400 MPOs who are responsible for planning and programming funds in urbanized areas with 50,000 people.  While MPO safety analyses typically identify a combination of behavioral and infrastructure concerns at the regional level, implementation is often limited to infrastructure solutions as they are better aligned with MPO planning responsibilities. Behavioral safety could be greatly enhanced by increasing the level of engagement from MPOs.  They have a strong understanding of the regional transportation network, the capability to obtain and analyze local crash data, the means and skills to develop transportation safety plans, and connections to local decision makers who can fund and implement investments.  The reason behavioral issues are often not addressed by MPOs is due, in part, to an unfamiliarity of the role they can play in behavioral safety.  Since a large proportion of traffic crashes are caused by human error, progress toward a statewide zero goal and success in meeting interim safety performance measures and targets can best be achieved if HSOs and MPOs work together on regional and local safety needs. The objective of this research is to provide HSOs and MPOs with guidance to improve coordination of local behavioral safety projects to reduce traffic crashes.  The resulting guidebook will describe the mutual benefits of enhanced coordination on regional behavioral issues, introduce best practices, and provide “how to” information, using practitioner input, to develop a step-by-step framework for ensuring MPO engagement in behavioral traffic safety countermeasures. Note:  The contractor will coordinate with NCHRP 08-122, Metropolitan Planning Organizations: Transportation Partnerships for the 21st Century.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-06

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Start Date: 20180709
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01674393
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-06
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2018 9:03PM