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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 Transportation Research Board Special Report 289 Subscriber Categories IA planning and administration IVA highway operations, capacity, and traffic control IVB safety and human performance Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national-academies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 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 procedures 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.—(Transportation Research Board special report ; 289) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Traffic safety—Vocational guidance. TE192.B84 2008 363.12'502373—dc22 2007041727 ISBN 978-0-309-10442-5
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority 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 scientific 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 meeting 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 responsibility 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 medical 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 Academy’s 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 scientific 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 leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s 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
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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 Traffic 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
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 Preface In April 2002, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Office of Safety hosted a workshop in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss topics related 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 Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Its purpose was to identify strategies for building the supply of road safety professionals and to inform elected officials and other decision makers about the important 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 created the Task Force on Road Safety Workforce Development.2 It had several purposes: to raise awareness of the need for education and training opportunities for road safety professionals; develop a set of core competencies for the road safety professional; and encourage their use in training and education programs, hiring decisions, performance evaluations, and professional development. Importantly, the task force was created to offer a regular meeting place for road safety experts and officials 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.
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 cies, and universities and research institutions. One of the task force’s first actions was to aid in the development of a statement of core competencies for the road safety profession. Another was to secure the commitment 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, evaluation, 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 demand for experts in safety program administration, research, and evaluation; 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 changing 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 committee met three times during a 1-year period. Early in its deliberations, the committee learned that data and literature on the road safety workforce and profession are limited. As a consequence, it held a workshop in conjunction with its second meeting on August 10–11, 2006, to obtain firsthand information concerning the factors influencing the supply
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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 administration, 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 literature, data, and the workshop results to Describe portions of the national workforce currently involved in road safety and provide rough estimates of their number; Describe portions of the national transportation agency workforce whose skills or roles will be used or should be employed in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities; Describe the existing skills of road safety professionals; Describe the kinds of expertise and types of road safety professionals likely to be needed in the future; Identify the current mechanisms for educating and training safety professionals; Describe existing training and educational gaps for developing professionals; and 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 professionals, educators, and employers of highway safety professionals. 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.
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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 influential. The committee learned a great deal about how safety professionals are educated, trained, recruited, and hired. During the course of its study, the committee also benefited from the publication of NCHRP Research Results Digest 302: Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals, which included the results of a survey of university highway safety education 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 efforts of the many organizations that educate, train, accredit, and hire road safety professionals. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS During its information-gathering sessions, which were open to the public, the committee was briefed by representatives of the two U.S. Department 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 agencies’ expectations for the project. Mr. Gribbon was especially helpful as FHWA’s main liaison to the committee. The committee benefited 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 committee’s August 2006 workshop: Tom Bryer, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (retired); James Champagne, Louisiana Governor’s Highway Safety Representative; Frank Cardimen, Traffic Improvement 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-
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 western University; David Ragland, University of California Traffic Safety Center; Jackie Milani, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins University; Lindsay Griffin, Texas Transportation Institute (retired); Shirley Licorish, Cambridge Systematics; Rick Barnaby, National Highway Institute of FHWA; Kate Immordino, New Jersey Department of Transportation; Pete Rahn, Missouri Department of Transportation; Charlie Howard, Puget Sound Regional Council; Alexander Kelter, California Department of Health Services (retired); Marilena Amoni, National Highway Traffic 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, TRB’s Transportation Safety Coordinator, served as liaison for TRB’s Technical Activities Division. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by NRC’s 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, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential 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 committee’s findings, conclusions, or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lester A. Hoel, University of Virginia. Appointed by NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this re-
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 port was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final 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 publication by Norman Solomon, Senior Editor, TRB; and the prepublication files for posting to the TRB website were formatted and prepared by Jennifer 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 significant amount of administrative support required in holding the workshop and committee meetings.
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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
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Building the Road Safety Profession in the Public Sector: Special Report 289 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