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SPECIAL REPORT 289 Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector Committee for a Study of Supply and Demand for Highway Safety Professionals in the Public Sector TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. 2007 www.TRB.org
Transportation Research Board Special Report 289 Subscriber Categories IA planning and administration IVA highway operations, capacity, and trafï¬c control IVB safety and human performance Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publi- cations directly from the TRB Business Ofï¬ce, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national-academies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or indi- vidual afï¬liation with TRB. Afï¬liates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Ofï¬ce, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202- 334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the pro- cedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and by the Transportation Research Board. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Building the road safety profession in the public sector / Committee for a Study of Supply and Demand for Highway Safety Professionals in the Public Sector. p. cm.â(Transportation Research Board special report ; 289) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Trafï¬c safetyâVocational guidance. TE192.B84 2008 363.12'502373âdc22 2007041727 ISBN 978-0-309-10442-5
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonproï¬t, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientiï¬c and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the au- thority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientiï¬c and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meet- ing national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the re- sponsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of med- ical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the sci- entiï¬c and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide lead- ership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
Committee for a Study of Supply and Demand for Highway Safety Professionals in the Public Sector Kam K. Movassaghi, C. H. Fenstermaker and Associates, Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana, Chair John H. Daly, Genesee County Road Commission, Flint, Michigan T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, North America Make Roads Safe Campaign, Washington, D.C. Susan B. Herbel, Cambridge Systematics, Inc, Heathrow, Florida Paul P. Jovanis, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Lowell M. Porter, Washington Trafï¬c Safety Commission, Olympia H. Douglas Robertson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (retired) Thomas J. Songer, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Peter F. Sweatman, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor Richard Tay, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada Thomas M. Welch, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames Transportation Research Board Staff Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., Study Director
Preface In April 2002, the Federal Highway Administrationâs (FHWAâs) Ofï¬ce of Safety hosted a workshop in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss topics re- lated to workforce development for the road safety community. The workshop was cosponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the American Associa- tion of State Highway and Transportation Ofï¬cials. Its purpose was to identify strategies for building the supply of road safety professionals and to inform elected ofï¬cials and other decision makers about the impor- tant role of the road safety profession. Workshop participants discussed the importance of providing resources for the training and education of road safety professionals, ensuring that ample opportunities exist for comprehensive safety education and training, and creating incentives for safety to be given careful and explicit consideration in all decisions and actions that can affect road safety performance.1 To further the ideas and goals of the San Antonio workshop, TRB cre- ated the Task Force on Road Safety Workforce Development.2 It had several purposes: to raise awareness of the need for education and train- ing opportunities for road safety professionals; develop a set of core com- petencies for the road safety professional; and encourage their use in training and education programs, hiring decisions, performance evalu- ations, and professional development. Importantly, the task force was created to offer a regular meeting place for road safety experts and ofï¬- cials from federal agencies, national associations, state and local agen- 1 See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/media/pdf/proc_hswpw.pdf. 2 The task force was originally created as the Joint Subcommittee on Highway Workforce Development. vii
viii Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector cies, and universities and research institutions. One of the task forceâs ï¬rst actions was to aid in the development of a statement of core com- petencies for the road safety profession. Another was to secure the com- mitment and resources required for a TRB study of road safety professionals in the public sector. FHWA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and TRB provided $150,000, $75,000, and $75,000, respectively, for TRB to convene a study committee to examine the supply of and demand for experts in road safety. In accordance with the usual National Research Council (NRC) procedures, TRB assembled a committee with a range of expertise in transportation and motor vehicle safety administration; transportation research, education, and training; and safety needs, eval- uation, and program development. The study committee was charged with drawing on available data and literature, as well as the results of a workshop, to examine the current and expected future supply of and de- mand for experts in safety program administration, research, and eval- uation; to examine evidence regarding the concern about current and future shortages of safety professionals; and if such shortages are found or appear likely to emerge, to identify probable causes and recommend means of addressing them. There is growing concern that efforts to improve road safety are not keeping pace with growth in motor vehicle travel and that continued improvement in safety will require more road safety experts capable of applying more rigorous scientific and systems approaches to safety management. The committee, therefore, was expected to take a forward- looking approach to the study, considering how the demand for road safety professionals is changing and what steps can be taken to ensure that the supply of these workers keeps pace with growing and chang- ing demands. The full Statement of Task for the study is presented in Box P-1. Under the leadership of Kam K. Movassaghi, the 11-member com- mittee met three times during a 1-year period. Early in its deliberations, the committee learned that data and literature on the road safety work- force and profession are limited. As a consequence, it held a workshop in conjunction with its second meeting on August 10â11, 2006, to ob- tain ï¬rsthand information concerning the factors inï¬uencing the supply
Preface ix BOX P-1 Statement of Task This project will examine the current and possible future supply of and demand for experts in highway safety program adminis- tration, engineering, research, and evaluation. It will hold a workshop and examine evidence regarding the concern about knowledge gaps and current and future shortages of highway safety professionals. The committee will draw upon any litera- ture, data, and the workshop results to â¢ Describe portions of the national workforce currently in- volved in road safety and provide rough estimates of their number; â¢ Describe portions of the national transportation agency work- force whose skills or roles will be used or should be employed in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities; â¢ Describe the existing skills of road safety professionals; â¢ Describe the kinds of expertise and types of road safety pro- fessionals likely to be needed in the future; â¢ Identify the current mechanisms for educating and training safety professionals; â¢ Describe existing training and educational gaps for develop- ing professionals; and â¢ Identify likely causes of shortages in knowledge, training, and educational programs that are described above. Because of the expected gaps in empirical evidence about the nature and extent of the problem, this project will rely heavily on a workshop designed to draw on the judgment of existing pro- fessionals, educators, and employers of highway safety profes- sionals. It is expected that the workshop will draw on and be designed around the current survey of educational programs and description of core competencies being developed by a voluntary task force of safety professionals.
x Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector of and demand for road safety professionals. Seventeen guest panelists participated in the workshop, which included panels of experts in road safety management, education and training, human resources, and agency administration (see Appendix A for the meeting agenda). The panel discussions were highly informative and inï¬uential. The committee learned a great deal about how safety professionals are edu- cated, trained, recruited, and hired. During the course of its study, the committee also beneï¬ted from the publication of NCHRP Research Re- sults Digest 302: Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals, which included the results of a survey of university highway safety edu- cation opportunities. The information and insights gleaned from this document and from the workshop were referred to repeatedly by the committee during its deliberations and the drafting of this report. The report concludes with a series of recommendations that are aimed at building the road safety profession through the cooperative ef- forts of the many organizations that educate, train, accredit, and hire road safety professionals. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS During its information-gathering sessions, which were open to the pub- lic, the committee was briefed by representatives of the two U.S. De- partment of Transportation agencies that sponsored the study. The committee thanks Michael Halladay, Michael Trentacoste, and Ben Gribbon of FHWA and Alex Keenan of FMCSA for explaining the study charge and their agenciesâ expectations for the project. Mr. Gribbon was especially helpful as FHWAâs main liaison to the committee. The com- mittee beneï¬ted from his active participation and support throughout the course of the study. Thanks are also due to all who participated in panel sessions during the committeeâs August 2006 workshop: Tom Bryer, Pennsylvania De- partment of Transportation (retired); James Champagne, Louisiana Governorâs Highway Safety Representative; Frank Cardimen, Trafï¬c Im- provement Association of Oakland County, Michigan; Ann Dellinger, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Hugh McGee, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.; Alexander Weiss, Center for Public Safety, North-
Preface xi western University; David Ragland, University of California Trafï¬c Safety Center; Jackie Milani, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins University; Lindsay Grifï¬n, Texas Transportation Insti- tute (retired); Shirley Licorish, Cambridge Systematics; Rick Barnaby, National Highway Institute of FHWA; Kate Immordino, New Jersey De- partment of Transportation; Pete Rahn, Missouri Department of Trans- portation; Charlie Howard, Puget Sound Regional Council; Alexander Kelter, California Department of Health Services (retired); Marilena Amoni, National Highway Trafï¬c Safety Administration; and Keith Magnusson, North Dakota Department of Transportation. Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., managed the study and drafted the report under the guidance of the committee and the supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director of Studies and Special Programs at TRB. Richard F. Pain, TRBâs Transportation Safety Coordinator, served as liaison for TRBâs Technical Activities Division. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with pro- cedures approved by NRCâs Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, ev- idence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain conï¬dential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their review of this report: David L. Harkey, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Herbert S. Levinson, Herbert S. Levinson Consultant; Martin E. Lipinski, University of Memphis; Michael D. Meyer, Georgia Institute of Technology; Michael L. Prince, Michigan State Police; George Ostensen, FHWA (retired); and Terecia W. Wilson, South Carolina Department of Transportation. Although the reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the commit- teeâs ï¬ndings, conclusions, or recommendations, nor did they see the ï¬nal draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lester A. Hoel, University of Virginia. Appointed by NRC, he was re- sponsible for making certain that an independent examination of this re-
xii Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector port was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the ï¬nal content of the report rests solely with the authoring committee and the institution. Suzanne Schneider, Associate Executive Director, TRB, managed the report review process. The report was edited and prepared for publica- tion by Norman Solomon, Senior Editor, TRB; and the prepublication ï¬les for posting to the TRB website were formatted and prepared by Jen- nifer J. Weeks, Editorial Services Specialist, TRB, under the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications, TRB. Special thanks go to Amelia Mathis, Administrative Assistant, TRB, for providing the signiï¬cant amount of administrative support required in holding the workshop and committee meetings.
Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction and Overview 9 Study Aims 9 Study Genesis and Approach 10 Report Organization 12 2 The Safety Challenge and the Public-Sector Role 15 Dimensions of the Road Safety Problem 15 The Ongoing Safety Challenge 18 Road Safety Responsibilities of Government 21 Key Policies Affecting the Public-Sector Safety Role 27 Summary 31 3 The Road Safety Workforce in the Public Sector 35 Emergence of a Road Safety Profession 35 Scale and Scope of the Road Safety Workforce 39 Summary 54 4 Acquiring Road Safety Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 57 Core Competencies of the Road Safety Professional 58 Core Competencies in Engineering and Public Health Schools 63 Other Training and Education Opportunities 64 Research to Inform Safety Professionals 67 Summary 71
5 Summary Assessment and Recommendations 73 Key Findings and Conclusions 73 Recommended Actions 79 Concluding Observations 83 Appendices A Agenda: August 2006 Committee Meeting and Workshop 85 B Summary of Highway Safety Core Competencies from NCHRP Research Results Digest 302 89 Study Committee Biographical Information 95