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Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals (2006)

Chapter: Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals

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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Suggested Citation:"Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Core Competencies for Highway Safety Professionals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23252.
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Research Results Digest 302 May 2006 C O N T E N T S Summary, 1 Background, 2 Current Highway Safety Educational Opportunities, 3 Conclusions, 17 Highway Safety Core Competencies, 17 From Competency to Practice: Using the Highway Safety Core Competencies, 19 Author Acknowledgments, 21 Glossary of Terms, 21 References, 22 SUMMARY Based on a scan of U.S. universities, the study reveals to what extent core com- petencies for highway safety professionals are incorporated into existing safety cur- ricula and suggests strategies to expand their application to a broader audience. The core competencies, developed under this project, will be useful to managers identi- fying the knowledge, skills, and abilities an organization as a whole requires, adjusting job descriptions and announcements, and working with other departments and man- agers to hire for these skills. Supervisors may also use the competencies to assess the level of the team’s skills and make rec- ommendations for individual training and assignments. The TRB Joint Subcommittee for Highway Safety Workforce Development formed in 2003 to raise awareness of the lack of education and training opportuni- ties available for highway safety profes- sionals; document the condition; develop a set of core competencies for highway safety professionals; and seek methods to encourage government and academe to take the competencies into account in hiring, performance reviews, education, training, and so on. The Joint Subcommit- tee is sponsored by the TRB Transportation Safety Management Committee; Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation Commit- tee; and Transportation Education and Training Committee. The need for core competencies is underscored by the limited highway safety offerings in engineering colleges and public health programs within the United States. No programs are avail- able that cover the highway safety core competency material. This situation must change in order to reduce highway fatali- ties and injuries. The core competencies for safety pro- fessionals are intended to provide the foun- dation of baseline knowledge for safety ed- ucation and professional development. The competencies represent the minimum set of core knowledge, skills, and abilities to begin functioning effectively in the high- way safety field. Competency statements describe the complex combinations of ap- plied knowledge, skills, and behaviors that enable people to perform their work effec- tively and efficiently. The competencies do not represent all safety knowledge that a safety professional should know; they rep- resent the core that they must know. Other CORE COMPETENCIES FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY PROFESSIONALS This digest presents the results of a study conducted by Paul Jovanis and Frank Gross, Pennsylvania State University. The TRB Joint Subcommittee for Highway Safety Workforce Development initiated and guided the work. The study identified core competencies for safety professionals that can be used for safety education and professional development. Subject Areas: IVB Safety and Human Performance Responsible Senior Program Officer: Charles W. Niessner NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM

knowledge and skills are advisable or even required for effective functioning in the safety field. The competencies include: (1) understanding the management of highway safety as a complex multidisciplinary system; (2) understanding of and the ability to explain the history of highway safety and the institutional settings in which safety man- agement decisions are made; (3) understanding the origins and characteristics of traffic safety data and information systems to support decisions using a data-driven approach to managing highway safety; (4) (a) demonstrating the knowledge and skills to assess factors contributing to highway crashes, in- juries, and fatalities; (b) identifying potential con- tributing factors; (c) applying countermeasures to user groups or sites to reduce crashes and injuries; and (d) implementing and evaluating the effective- ness of the countermeasures; and (5) developing, implementing, and managing a highway safety man- agement program. This study suggests strategies for a wide range of audiences to use the core competencies. A glos- sary is included. The competencies themselves are defined in entirety beginning on page 8. BACKGROUND The core competencies for safety professionals identified in this document are intended to provide a foundation for the safety education and development of safety professionals. The competencies represent the minimum set of core knowledge, skills, and abil- ities to function effectively and efficiently in the highway safety field. Competency statements de- scribe the complex combinations of applied knowl- edge, skills, and behaviors that enable people to per- form their work. The competencies apply to new hires and existing practitioners. Applicable learners include profession- als from state highway safety offices, departments of transportation, the FHWA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the public health community, professionals in local public works and city engineering departments, and the consultants and private sector employees supporting these functions. The structure and content of the competencies is comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and systematic. They are comprehensive because they apply to any- one with professional responsibilities within an or- ganization (e.g., engineer, planner, safety manager or administrator, governor’s highway safety represen- tative, and other professional staff positions). The competencies are multidisciplinary because they in- clude public health, injury prevention, and behav- ioral science concepts along with components from engineering, education, and law enforcement. They are systematic in that they treat highway safety as a set of interrelated components (e.g., vehicles, road- way users, and the highway) that interact and result in crashes. The need for core competencies is underscored by the limited highway safety offerings in engineer- ing and public health university programs within the United States. A paper by Gross and Jovanis (11) describes a survey of U.S. universities and an as- sessment of existing college-level courses in those fields. The review focuses on the programs most likely to contain highway safety elements: trans- portation courses within civil engineering depart- ments and injury prevention courses within public health programs. While the safety field draws from social and behavioral science fields as well, the course offerings in those areas specific to safety and injury prevention were expected to be substantially less than in engineering and public health. The re- port concludes that no current programs are avail- able that cover the highway safety core competency material. The competencies do not represent all safety knowledge that a safety professional should know. They represent the core that they must know. Other knowledge and skills are advisable or even required for effective functioning in the safety field. Detailed knowledge of statistics, program evaluation, public affairs, engineering, communications, social mar- keting, and psychology are but a few of many addi- tional in-depth skills that may apply depending on one’s position within an organization. The core competencies are intended to define the floor of knowledge in a way that is common to many disci- plines and skills currently practicing in the field. They are intended to include applications to high- way safety in fields such as: engineering, road user behavior, public policy, and injury prevention and control. Finally, the competencies do not address skills that are important to highway safety man- 2

agement, but that are considered peripheral to an education that is focused on safety (e.g., public speaking, budgeting, policy analysis, program ad- ministration, etc.) One phrase frequently used in this report is “highway safety management.” The researchers de- fine highway safety management as the sum of all prevention and mitigation activities that affect the number and severity of future crashes. The compe- tencies support the development of the science of safety. The evolution of new perspectives and meth- ods in safety analysis should be based upon fact and thorough evaluation of our actions. To assist in clar- ifying terms, a glossary is included. The next section reviews a university scan to de- termine the level at which the core competencies are currently being utilized to train the future highway safety workforce. It is followed by five core compe- tencies for highway safety professionals. Each core competency is described in greater detail as a set of learning objectives. The use of learning objectives is intended to facilitate the translation of the core com- petencies into an integrated curriculum or in the de- velopment of individual courses based upon individ- ual competencies. The next section provides a comprehensive list to the potential uses of the compe- tencies. The final section provides a glossary of terms. CURRENT HIGHWAY SAFETY EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Introduction Safety has always been recognized as an impor- tant aspect of transportation engineering and tradi- tionally has been an integral part of injury preven- tion and disease control. Safety is included as one of the U.S. DOT’s strategic objectives (1) and is prominent in other important strategic goals in the engineering profession [e.g., ITS (2)]. Safety researchers have been supportive of these goals by developing new analytical approaches that offer the promise of significantly improving safety evaluations and the investments in safety that fol- low. Examples include the Highway Safety Manual (3), the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (4), and SafetyAnalyst (5). Despite these research advances, some in the education and research com- munity believe that safety education has not kept pace, particularly within undergraduate and gradu- ate civil engineering programs that supply engineer- ing talent to the profession (6). Some have argued that traffic safety is not a field of legitimate scientific inquiry, but is derived from “good” planning, design, and traffic operations. Proponents of these positions argue that adherence to existing professional guidelines [e.g., AASHTO Green Book (7) and MUTCD (8)] adequately ad- dresses safety. Furthermore, there is a perception that courses in design, operations, and planning are offered more broadly across U.S. universities and are covered in much more detail within these uni- versities; therefore, there are fewer professional educational opportunities in traffic safety. The ap- parent deficiency in highway safety education was recognized as far back as the early 1960s when a se- ries of case studies assessed the state of university- based highway traffic safety education (9). The re- sults of this work helped to identify resources to address the mounting concern of traffic-related fa- talities and congestion. More recently, a policy study completed by TRB in 2003 (10) identified work- force issues in the transportation field as a whole, but did not focus on safety. Partially in response to these concerns, TRB formed the Joint Subcommittee, drawing profession- als from the FHWA (Office of Safety, Office of Re- search, and National Highway Institute), NHTSA, FMCSA, Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), several universities, and other safety-related organizations. The subcommittee represented a di- verse set of safety interests, which viewed highway safety management and its educational needs from a variety of perspectives. The participants identified the following list of objectives for the subcommittee: 1. Secure the necessary resources for conduct- ing a TRB policy study on workforce safety education and training. The policy study will seek to define the issues and provide infor- mation that will enlighten the profession, the government, and elected officials as to the seriousness of the problem. 2. Identify, organize, and catalogue the core competencies necessary for performing trans- portation safety decision-making and research. Core competencies are defined as the collec- tive knowledge, skills, and abilities that allow transportation professionals to fully under- stand the safety implications of transportation policies and actions. 3

3. Develop a set of multidisciplinary curricula, including course objectives and outlines, to train the existing and future transportation pro- fessionals on safety issues. 4. Develop proposed pathways for training trans- portation safety professionals in the specific knowledge and skills required for science- based safety decision-making. 5. Identify the human and financial resources necessary for developing courseware for multidisciplinary courses and university-based research curricula. 6. Identify and convene a network of transporta- tion safety professionals, as well as a group of managers in need of those skills, to de- velop action priorities, monitor progress, and identify resources for accomplishing the com- mittee’s objectives. Funding was secured to initiate the policy study. This RRD reports on the findings of a scan of university-based safety courses conducted in support of the development of core competencies in safety education (11). Approach To assess current educational opportunities for transportation safety professionals in the United States, a series of email-based surveys were distrib- uted to universities and transportation research cen- ters (see Table 1). Engineering programs were ini- tially contacted through the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), while public health/ injury prevention centers were contacted through a list of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) university injury prevention centers. A limited effort was also 4 Table 1 Summary of Survey Contacts Used to Assess Education and Training Opportunities Number of Contact Group Date Organization Contacted Objective of Contact Contacts Engineering Programs Public Health Programs International Programs March 2004 June 2004 June 2004 September 2004 October 2004 March 2005 August 2004 January 2005 February 2005 CUTC Members CUTC Members CUTC Members State DOT Research Directors Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives FHWA Field List and T-2 List-Serve Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Injury Prevention Selected TRB Attendees at Safety Sessions Accident Analysis and Prevention frequent authors Initial survey request to all CUTC members Request for additional course Information from responding CUTC members Second round of requests to nonrespondents Request to identify missing universities Request to identify missing universities Request to identify missing universities Request to identify CDC and Injury Prevention courses that cover trans- portation safety topics Identify international safety courses Identify international opportunities in safety training and education 63 18 42 50 50 25 34 2 15

undertaken to identify international courses and pro- grams; however, this was not a primary focus of the study and is not discussed here. As illustrated in Table 1, several efforts were made to contact mem- bers of engineering and public health organizations. State highway agency research directors, members of FHWA education list-serves, and GHSA repre- sentatives were also canvassed for missing university names. The intention was to comprehensively con- tact all possible university-based safety programs. While it is possible that contact may have been es- tablished with the wrong person or work unit, many different sources were consulted to develop as com- plete a list as possible. Using this series of contacts, the researchers are confident that the majority of transportation programs were provided at least one and probably several opportunities to respond. The following sections provide a detailed de- scription of the survey process and an analysis of the survey responses. Existing safety courses were com- pared with the draft safety core competencies (12) to show the breadth and depth of coverage of important safety topics (as identified by the Joint Subcommit- tee). The comparison of the course content and core competencies allowed an assessment of the adequacy of the current educational opportunities. Survey Methodology Survey of Engineering Programs The initial survey consisted of four questions and was kept short to encourage a high response rate. The purpose of the survey was to obtain a broad understanding of the level of safety-related training and education for transportation professionals. The questions were: 1. Do you offer a major, minor, or certificate in highway/traffic safety? 2. Do you offer any courses related to high- way/traffic safety? 3. Do you offer any continuing education pro- grams, seminars, etc., related to highway/ traffic safety? 4. Please provide your contact information. The survey was distributed via email to the list- ing of current CUTC members, which was obtained from the CUTC web site. Of the 63 universities sur- veyed, only 18 responded positively (see Table 2). The responses indicated that just four programs offer some type of advanced degree in transporta- tion safety, which is consistent with the team’s prior expectations. After summarizing initial survey results, it was evident that the scan of university safety programs was incomplete. The first concern related to the amount of detail obtained from the initial responses. Second, a number of universities with known safety- related courses were identified to be missing from the responses, which led to the concern of incom- plete coverage. The subcommittee provided com- ments on the first round of responses, particularly concerning nonresponding universities, and CDC Injury Prevention Centers. A slightly revised survey was developed which included questions related to course content and the regularity of course offerings. The follow-up survey acquired more detailed course information (i.e., syllabus, course outline, web pages, etc.) that was used to summarize course content and determine the extent to which specific material was being covered. In addition, the follow-up survey identified whether the course had been offered re- cently and whether it was offered on a regular basis. Of the 18 CUTC respondents surveyed for addi- tional information, eight provided some type of spe- cific course information. Respondents provided ad- ditional information ranging from detailed lectures 5 Table 2 Summary of Responses Concerning Prevalence of Safety Education Total Courses Number Undergraduate Graduate Regularly Continuing Contact Source Surveyed Courses Courses Offered Education Engineering 117 6 23 19 23 Universities Public Health and 34 0 7 6 4 Injury Prevention Universities

by date to a general description of the course. All syllabi and course outlines were used to compare curriculums. However, only detailed syllabi were used to determine the extent to which material is covered within courses. In an attempt to increase the response rate, a number of additional contacts were attempted with nonrespondents. In a second round of requests, a re- vised survey was distributed via email to all non- responding CUTC members. A note was attached asking recipients to forward the survey, in the event that the survey was not reaching the correct individu- als. The follow-up survey of nonrespondents resulted in six additional responses from CUTC members. This increased the number of responses from 18 to 24. Even after the additional attempts to reach peo- ple by email, it was evident from the list of responses that there were a number of well-known safety pro- grams that had not responded. An effort was then un- dertaken to identify any missing universities through outside resources. GHSA representatives and state DOT research directors were contacted to identify transportation safety programs that may not be affil- iated with CUTC. Each GHSA representative and state research director received a list of universities that had been contacted, highlighting those already responding. The request was to identify any non- responding universities that may have a transporta- tion safety program as well as universities that were missing from the list. Contacts were also made through the FHWA Safety Field List and the Trans- portation Technology Transfer (T2) list-serve. Responses were obtained from 12 state DOT re- search directors identifying 10 additional universities, of which six were confirmed to have a transporta- tion safety course. Governor representatives helped identify two additional safety programs. The FHWA Field List and T2 list-serve resulted in another six universities confirmed to offer a safety course. Re- sults obtained from the follow-up surveys were combined with the initial survey results for a total of 38 responses summarized in Table 3. In all, 25 uni- versities indicated a safety course was offered, but only 19 offered it on a regular basis. Of the 25 uni- versities with safety courses, four universities of- fered two courses related to transportation safety. Survey of Public Health and Disease Control Programs The survey of public health and injury preven- tion programs was conducted to identify courses outside the engineering field that cover issues re- lated to transportation safety. Prior to the develop- ment of core competencies in transportation safety, similar competencies were developed for injury and violence prevention through the Training Initiative for Injury and Violence Prevention (13). A univer- sity scan of accredited Schools of Public Health was completed during their study to “review the schools’ capacity toward advancing an injury science agenda (14).” The university scan included a list of 31 ac- credited universities and provided contact informa- tion for each program. The revised transportation safety survey was distributed to all 31 accredited schools of public health. A total of 34 surveys were distributed including 15 schools of public health and 19 schools for injury training and research. In a few of the universities there was overlap. Of the 34 pro- grams surveyed, seven positive responses were ob- tained with four providing some type of additional course information. The responses are summarized in Table 3. Summary of Survey Results These survey responses provide an initial assess- ment of the actual safety content within the identified courses. The following points are offered as a sum- mary of the university scan. • Results confirmed the limited number of safety courses available in engineering. Of 117 uni- versities contacted, 29 self-identified as offer- ing a safety course. At this point the substan- tive content of the courses is unclear, at least until detailed course syllabi are reviewed. • There are limited safety offerings by major engineering research centers funded through the U.S. DOT. Only 24 of 63 members of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) self-identified as offering a safety course. • Numerous resources had to be used to obtain contact information, which indicates the lack of a central location to survey or contact major transportation engineering programs. • Public health and injury prevention centers also appear to offer a limited number of safety courses related to transportation (only 7 of 34 universities identified a safety course). The next section assesses the content of the courses for those respondents that included detailed syllabi. 6

7Table 3 Summary of Individual Course Availability and Regularity 1. Transportation 2. 3. Safety Regularly Continuing University Course(s)? Offered? Education? Engineering Courses University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa X X X University of California, Berkeley X X X University of Connecticut X X X George Washington University X X X Iowa State University X X X University of Kentucky X X X University of Massachusetts X X X Montana State University X X X (Western Transportation Institute) University of Nebraska-Lincoln X (2 Courses) X X Pennsylvania State University X (2 Courses) X X Portland State University X X X Purdue University X X X Virginia Polytechnic Institute X (2 Courses) X X Wayne State University X (2 Courses) X X West Virginia University X X X University of Wisconsin X X X University of Arizona X X University of Idaho X X University of Maine X X Texas A&M University X X University of Central Florida X University of North Carolina X South Carolina State University X University of South Florida X University of Tennessee X University of Minnesota X Central Missouri State University X Northwestern University X University of Rhode Island X Rutgers University X University of Washington X Note: Questions 1 to 3 along the top row correspond to the following questions, respectively: 1. Do you teach any graduate or undergraduate courses in highway/traffic safety? Please list course titles and disciplines. 2. When was the last time the course was offered and is it offered on a regular basis? 3. Do you offer any continuing education programs, workshops, seminars, etc., that specifically address roadway/highway/traffic safety? (Continued)

Course Content vis-à-vis Core Competencies Over the course of several months, the Joint Subcommittee developed a draft set of safety core competencies to outline the fundamental knowledge and skills that should be possessed by all trans- portation safety professionals (12). There are a total of five core competencies, each with detailed learn- ing objectives. This section compares the detailed course curricula obtained from the university scan with the safety core competencies developed by the subcommittee. The core competencies are intended to represent a curriculum in highway safety, not the content of an individual course. Nevertheless, the authors believed a comparison of the core competencies to existing courses could be useful in identifying trends in of- ferings, including their strengths and potential weak- nesses. The comparison also provided a sketch of the content in highway safety that was available from U.S. universities. It is recognized that continuing ed- ucation offerings are not covered as part of this as- sessment; the focus was on undergraduate and grad- uate offerings. The core competencies and their associated learning objectives are each listed in the first column in Table 4. The second and third columns contain a percentage which is computed as the number of courses that contain coverage of that competency and learning objective (in at least one lecture), di- vided by the total number of courses that provided detailed syllabi. The percentage was calculated sep- arately for engineering (n = 22) and public health courses (n = 4). As the objective was to reveal cov- erage of content and also shortcomings, this aggre- gate percentage provides an indication of the extent to which the core competencies are currently re- flected in existing engineering and public health courses. The following sections provide a general description of each competency as well as a com- parison of relative coverage by engineering and pub- lic health courses. Core Competency 1: Multidisciplinary Nature of Safety The first core competency provides a broad context for studying highway safety management as a complex multidisciplinary field. There are 11 learning objectives that span a broad range of knowledge and skills. Examples include under- standing the need to utilize contemporary research to effectively manage today’s safety problems; un- derstanding the relationship between crash and in- jury factors and the crash event [e.g., as depicted in the Haddon Matrix (15)]; understanding contribut- ing factor interaction, illustrated, for example by the Task Capability Interface Model (16); and under- standing several other fundamental concepts of safety analysis and management. 8 Table 3 (Continued) 1. Transportation 2. 3. Safety Regularly Continuing University Course(s)? Offered? Education? Public Health and Injury Prevention Courses University of California, Berkeley X X X Harvard Injury Control Research Center X X X University of North Carolina X X X University of Pittsburgh X X X University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) X X Yale University X X George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services X Note: Questions 1 to 3 correspond to the following questions, respectively: 1. Do you teach any graduate or undergraduate courses in highway/traffic safety? Please list course titles and disciplines. 2. When was the last time the course was offered and is it offered on a regular basis? 3. Do you offer any continuing education programs, workshops, seminars, etc., that specifically address roadway/highway/traffic safety?

9Table 4 Overall Course Coverage of the Safety Core Competencies Coverage Core Competency and Learning Objectives Eng. P.H. 1 – Understand the management of highway safety as a complex multidisciplinary system. 1a. Describe highway safety as a complex, interdisciplinary, multimodal discipline devoted to 31% 50% the avoidance and/or mitigation of fatalities, injuries, and crashes. 1b. Understand, value, and utilize science-based highway safety research and its application as 55% 50% fundamental to achieving further improvements in highway safety. 1c. Describe the demographic trends underlying the need for comprehensive and integrated 36% 50% highway safety management (e.g., social, cultural, age, gender). 1d. Describe the classification of highway crash and injury severity factors and their relationship 45% 100% to the crash event (i.e., pre-crash, crash, and post-crash) by using models such as the Haddon Matrix. 1e. Identify how crash contributing factors interact. 55% 50% 1f. Explain how effective safety management can be used to prevent morbidity and mortality 27% 100% associated with crash events. 1g. Explain the “Four E’s” of traffic safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency 36% 25% medical services. 1h. Recognize the effectiveness of combining countermeasures to achieve improvements in safety. 5% 0% 1i. Recognize how highway user decision-making is influenced by highway design, 45% 75% transportation planning, traffic operations and vehicle design. 1j. Recognize the barriers that hinder collaboration across and within institutions. 0% 0% 1k. Identify and demonstrate opportunities and the ability to improve safety through 0% 0% collaboration with individuals from diverse cultural, disciplinary, and educational backgrounds and institutions. 2 – Understand and be able to explain the history of highway safety and the institutional settings in which safety management decisions are made. 2a. Understand the historical figures, benchmarks, and decisions underlying highway safety. 59% 75% 2b. Identify the safety aspects of major transportation legislation. 59% 75% 2c. List and describe the goals of interest groups with a stake in safety-related policy, legislation, 18% 0% and investment decisions. 2d. Describe the institutional roles and responsibilities within which safety is managed 14% 0% (e.g., local, regional, state, and federal government, transportation modes and the private sector). 2e. Explain and provide examples of the importance of highway safety relative to other 23% 0% transportation priorities (e.g., congestion mitigation, environmental protection, air quality, economic prosperity). 2f. Identify the availability of current highway safety training and education programs. 0% 0% 3 – Understand the origins and characteristics of traffic safety data and information systems to support decisions using a data-driven approach in managing highway safety. 3a. Describe state and local information systems and data elements that can be used for safety 68% 75% management (e.g., crash, roadway inventory, driver/vehicle registration, citation, hospital/EMS, surveys, operations data, etc.). 3b. Describe the specialized national databases available for safety management and how they 45% 50% address deficiencies in the systems above (e.g., FARS, GES, CVISN, and WISQARS). 3c. Describe the process by which crash data are collected, including constraints associated 64% 50% with accurate, reliable field data. (Continued )

10 Table 4 (Continued) Coverage Core Competency and Learning Objectives Eng. P.H. 3d. For each of the information systems, describe strengths and weaknesses as well as 45% 75% opportunities for improvements (compliance with MMUCC and NEMSIS and automated collection methods). 3e. Ability to access and use traffic safety and public health data systems for identifying and 45% 0% tracking crash trends, targeting high-risk groups, and planning programs at the national, state, and local levels. 3f. Describe the importance of using crash injury or fatality data to evaluate the implications of 82% 75% safety management actions, policies, and programs. 4 – Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to assess factors contributing to highway crashes, injuries, and fatalities, identify potential countermeasures linked to the contributing factors, apply countermeasures to user groups or sites with promise of crash and injury reduction, and implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the countermeasures. 4a. Identify current and potential highway safety problems using suitable scientific methods 64% 0% (e.g., those controlling for regression-to-the-mean). 4b. Identify the linkages among human factors and behavior, vehicle design, roadway design, 100% 100% and the environment and their interactions with respect to identified crash problems. 4c. Identify effective countermeasures that address specific crash factors. 100% 100% 4d. Establish priorities for alternative interventions/countermeasures based upon their expected 36% 25% cost and effectiveness and select countermeasures to implement (e.g., utilizing current science-based research methods such as NCHRP Report 500 series and NHTSA/FHWA Highway Safety Guidelines). 4e. Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented intervention/countermeasure using appropriate 50% 25% statistical techniques in safety management; [e.g., use of Empirical Bayes (EB) and/or case-control designs]. 4f. Understand the importance of computing the expected safety cost/benefit associated with 64% 25% implementing a countermeasure as the difference between the crashes, fatalities, and injuries likely to occur with the countermeasure in place and the number of crashes, fatalities, and injuries expected to occur if the countermeasure were not implemented. 5 – Be able to develop, implement and manage a highway safety management program. 5a. Utilize scientific management techniques in planning, implementing, and evaluating highway 14% 0% safety programs. 5b. Identify strategies to integrate and amplify safety in transportation planning processes. 0% 0% 5c. Explain the need to provide leadership and funding for ongoing service/support 0% 0% enhancements such as professional development, staff education and training, upgraded computer hardware and software and more. 5d. Establish multidisciplinary relationships necessary to support effective highway 32% 0% safety initiatives. 5e. Identify opportunities for internal and external coalition-building and strategic 5% 0% communications for highway safety initiatives. 5f. Identify sources of current research that support effective highway safety management 23% 0% (e.g., NCHRP Report 501, TRIS, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review, SAE, Injury Prevention). 5g. Understand the value of leveraging resources for highway safety program implementation. 5% 0% 5h. Assess and promote effective outreach/public involvement program development 23% 0% and implementation.

Table 4 indicates significant variation in the cov- erage of Core Competency 1 within existing safety courses. Some learning objectives such as combin- ing countermeasures and multidisciplinary collabo- ration and potential barriers (i.e., learning objectives 1h, 1j, and 1k) are virtually nonexistent in current curricula while others such as the understanding of transportation engineering problems from a science- based approach (i.e., 1b) receive coverage in about half of the engineering and public health courses. Public health courses are providing thorough cover- age of the classification of highway crash and injury severity factors in relation to the crash event as well as recognizing how highway user decision-making is influenced by highway design, transportation plan- ning, traffic operations, and vehicle design. In addi- tion, public health courses far exceed the engineer- ing curricula in demonstrating how effective safety management can be used to reduce the morbidity and mortality risk associated with crash events. In gen- eral, the basic material in the first core competency is present in less than 50% of current engineering courses. Public health courses are providing slightly better coverage in most areas. However, it is evident that a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of safety is missing from many current safety courses, in both engineering and public health. Core Competency 2: History and Institutional Set- ting for Safety Management Road safety history and legislation is a good starting point for the second core competency. Safety has not had as strong a presence as planning, design, and operations in the transportation community, but beginning with the Highway Safety Act in 1966 awareness slowly in- creased. Recent trends such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the creation of the FMCSA, and the emergence of strong consumer-oriented safety interest groups show the growing importance of highway safety. Road safety history and legislation (learning ob- jectives 2a and 2b) are the only learning objectives covered with some regularity (59% in engineering and 75% in public health). Public health courses are completely absent in coverage of Core Competency 2 beyond learning objectives 2a and 2b. Safety in- terest groups and the notion of decision-making tradeoffs are present in about 20% of the responding engineering courses while the current state of safety curricula does not appear in any of the evaluated courses. Institutional structure is only covered in 14% of engineering courses. There appears to be a major gap between the objectives set forth in the second core competency and the current content of safety courses. Core Competency 3: Origins, Characteristics, and Use of Crash Data Inherent in the scientific assess- ment of safety is the collection and analysis of crash data. Before data collection or analysis occurs, one must first understand the limitations of data and data collection issues. Crash data are often recorded by law enforcement at the scene of a crash describing the details (e.g., type of collision, direction of ve- hicles, number and severity of injuries), informa- tion regarding the driver and vehicle (e.g., VIN, li- cense number), and a description of the crash scene (e.g., collision diagram). The coordination among law enforcement and safety professionals is one commonly discussed issue concerning the accuracy and consistency of data collection. Traffic safety information systems include crash data elements, injury type and severity, and roadway inventory. This information may then be used to summarize past trends, evaluate current implica- tions, and estimate the future level of safety ex- pected from the implementation of actions, policies, or programs. Suggestions to improve the current state of data collection (i.e., quality and consistency) include specialized training for data collectors and the widespread adoption of local, state, and federal databases. These databases are continuing to be used in assessments of important safety initiatives and policies; about half the courses introduce these data- bases. Some provide hands-on experience in analy- sis of problems as well. It is encouraging that nearly all learning objec- tives, within Core Competency 3, are receiving at least 50% coverage by safety courses in both fields. Public health courses provide better coverage of de- scribing data information systems and identifying deficiencies of these systems. However, there is minimal use of these systems for safety evaluation. Engineering courses tend to provide better coverage of the data collection process and use of crash data in the evaluation of safety management actions. While many courses do not fully cover the third set of learning objectives, this core competency is the most highly recognized by far. Core Competency 4: Contributing Crash Factors, Countermeasures, and Evaluation Core Compe- tency 4 focuses on the ability to identify sites worthy 11

of treatment, assess contributing factors, identify po- tential countermeasures linked to the contributing factors, and evaluate effectiveness after implemen- tation. Contributing factors are typically associated with the driver, vehicle, and infrastructure. Other areas that deserve attention within infrastructure countermeasures include context-sensitive design, design alternatives for pedestrians or bicyclists, and work zone safety. There remains much to be ex- plored in the area of countermeasure development and evaluation. However, there are many current science-based research studies that have developed improved tools and techniques for the evaluation of countermeasures. The coverage of Core Competency 4 varies sig- nificantly across learning objectives. The initial task of identifying current and potential highway safety problems is receiving adequate coverage in only 64% of engineering courses and no public health courses. Addressing current safety problems is a much more popular topic of discussion. Crash con- tributing factors are receiving thorough coverage with at least some mention in each of the responding courses. In addition, relevant countermeasures asso- ciated with the crash contributing factors are present in all responding courses. It should be noted, how- ever, that within the discussion of safety-enhancing countermeasures in engineering courses, the pri- mary focus is on roadway infrastructure (91%) fol- lowed by the road user (73%) and vehicular issues (45%). On the public health side, human and vehi- cle issues receive priority with 75% coverage and the infrastructure follows with only 50% coverage. Interestingly, many courses are addressing coun- termeasures based on engineering texts and design guides rather than using references reflecting the science-based approach. Table 5 lists references provided by 12 courses. Many courses are referenc- ing the AASHTO Green Book and Roadside Design Guide as well as the MUTCD, Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) and some traffic engineering text- books. The more important issues of prioritizing proj- ects, using appropriate statistical techniques, and computing expected safety benefits are not receiving adequate attention. Partially as a result of using these design guides and nonsafety texts, many of the re- maining learning objectives do not exist in public health courses and are receiving limited coverage by engineering courses. The final step of any safety program should in- clude outcome evaluation and dissemination of re- sults. Results should be rigorously analyzed using sound statistical methodology and expected safety benefits should be computed. The movement to- wards more advanced statistical modeling is a criti- cal link to the scientific basis for safety. Adminis- trators and senior management should realize the importance of scientific evaluation for decision- making purposes and while basic statistical compe- tency is necessary for every safety professional, the level of knowledge will likely vary among individ- uals. At a minimum, safety professionals should be able to identify appropriate experimental design tech- niques and interpret the analysis of expected safety benefits. Sound experimental design, interpretation, and dissemination of results will help broaden knowl- edge and advance the state of the practice. In summary, it should be emphasized that this competency represents knowledge of the critical analysis techniques and the perspective required to properly apply them. Unfortunately, there are many courses that use material well outside the safety re- search literature (e.g., the HCM) that does not pro- vide needed skills or perspective. There is also a pre- dominate use of existing practical guidelines such as the AASHTO Green Book, at the expense of pro- viding a more rigorous methodological approach. These are generalizations and there are exceptions, but the coverage of learning objectives 4d, 4e, and 4f is particularly disappointing in this regard. There is research literature that provides coverage of this material; it is simply not being fully utilized. Core Competency 5: Develop, Implement, and Ad- minister a Highway Safety Management Program The final core competency is focused on the ability to develop and administer a road safety management program. While the majority of the learning objec- tives within Core Competency 5 are institutional- level issues, it is important to be aware of the general concepts. The relative lack of progress in improving safety (as reflected in national injury and fatality rates) is a major concern to transportation safety pro- fessionals. Unfortunately, this is not perceived as a grave problem in the eyes of the public. Young safety professionals should be mindful of this issue so that they may respond to the challenge of devel- oping awareness among decision-makers, special interest groups, and the general public. At the insti- tutional level, objectives should focus on the multi- disciplinary perspective of safety as well as the in- creasing importance of partnerships and potential 12

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13 Table 5 Summary of the Course Reference Material Course Transportation Engineering Texts and References A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C., 2001. Accident Investigation and Surveillance Manual, ALDOT. Barfield, W. W. and T. A. Dingus. Human Factors In Intelligent Transportation Systems. Erlbaum, London, 1998. Evans L. Traffic Safety and the Driver. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1991. Garber, N. J. and L. A. Hoel. Traffic and Highway Engineering. PWS Publishing, New York, 1999. Highway Capacity Manual. TRB, National Research Council, Washington D.C., 2000. Highway Risk Management System—A Procedural Guide. Highway Safety Improvement Program by FHWA, U.S. DOT. Hauer, E. Observational Before-After Studies in Road Safety. Pergamon Press, Elsevier Science Ltd., Oxford, UK, 1997. Identification, Analysis and Correction of High- Accident Locations. Technology Assistance Transfer Program, Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, 1990. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. FHWA, U.S. DOT, Washington, D.C., 2000. Ogden, K. W. Safer Roads: A Guide to Highway Safety Engineering. Avebury Technical, 1996. Pline, J. Traffic Engineering Handbook. Fifth Edition, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D.C., 1999. Road Safety Manual. World Road Association, Paris, France, 2003. Roadside Design Guide. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Third Edition, Washington, D.C., 2002. Robertson, H. D., J. E. Hummer, and D. C. Nelson. Manual of Traffic Engineering Studies. Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D.C., 1994. (Continued )

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 X X X X X X X X X X X Table 5 (Continued) Course Transportation Engineering Texts and References Roess, R. P., E. S. Prassas, and W. R. McShane. Traffic Engineering, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2004. Lamm, R., B. Psarianos, and T. Mailaender. Highway Design and Traffic Safety Engineering Handbook. McGraw Hill Handbooks, New York, NY, 1999. Shinar, D. Psychology on the Road, the Human Factor in Traffic Safety, Wiley, New York, NY,1978. Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Traffic Control and Roadway Elements, Volumes 1 and 2, FHWA, 1982. Traffic Accident Investigation Manual, Traffic Institute, Center for Public Safety, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2002. Traffic Accident Reconstruction, Traffic Institute, Center for Public Safety, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2002. The Traffic Safety Toolbox: A Primer on Traffic Safety, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D.C., 1999. cost-sharing opportunities. In a technologically ad- vancing society, emphasis should also be placed on the importance of maintaining competent staff and up-to-date equipment through professional develop- ment and technical upgrades. Establishing multidisciplinary relationships is a leading topic of discussion within this competency (32% in engineering). The remaining learning ob- jectives do not appear consistently within any of the identified engineering safety courses and this com- petency is completely absent from public health cur- ricula. While it is not critical for safety courses to ad- dress all aspects of program management in depth, a general overview of the structure of safety manage- ment systems should be provided. Summary Although many transportation courses indicated a strong presence of safety content, the majority only incorporate aspects of safety with primary content in design and operations. Of the 29 positive responses from universities, six did not even incorporate safety in the course title. While this is not the only measure to be applied to an assessment of safety content, it is an indicator of the stature of safety in graduate and undergraduate curricula. As revealed by the re- view of supplied curricula, safety content most often included an introduction to safety-related data (e.g., accident and fatality rates), basic safety engi- neering treatments (e.g., roadway and roadside design issues), and perhaps a discussion of crash counter- measures using the Haddon Matrix. The shortcom- ing, as expected prior to the survey, is the frequent lack of analysis content and context for safety; the placing of safety within operations and design ma- terial, rather than as a discipline of its own, with im- portant principles and basic concepts. Only four universities indicated two safety course offerings; these four “programs” are evaluated in Table 6, which contains an “X” for each learning objective covered by at least one of the two courses in the “safety programs.” It is interesting to com- pare Table 4 and Table 6. Students within the safety 14

15 Table 6 Program Coverage of Safety Core Competencies Universities Core Competency and Learning Objectives 1 2 3 4 1 – Understand the management of highway safety as both a complex multidisciplinary field and one that must be understood systematically. 1a. Describe highway safety as a complex, interdisciplinary, multimodal discipline X X X X devoted to the avoidance and/or mitigation of fatalities, injuries, and crashes. 1b. Understand, value, and utilize science-based highway safety research and its X X X X application as fundamental to achieving further improvements in highway safety. 1c. Describe the demographic trends underlying the need for comprehensive and X X integrated highway safety management (e.g., social, cultural, age, gender). 1d. Describe the classification of highway crash and injury severity factors and their X X X relationship to the crash event (i.e., pre-crash, crash, and post-crash) by using models such as the Haddon Matrix. 1e. Identify how crash contributing factors interact. X X 1f. Explain how effective safety management can be used to prevent morbidity and X X X mortality associated with crash events. 1g. Explain the “Four E’s” of traffic safety: engineering, education, enforcement and X X emergency medical services. 1h. Recognize the effectiveness of combining countermeasures to achieve X improvements in safety. 1i. Recognize how highway user decision-making is influenced by highway design, X X X transportation planning, traffic operations, and vehicle design. 1j. Recognize the barriers that hinder collaboration across and within institutions. 1k. Identify and demonstrate opportunities and the ability to improve safety through collaboration with individuals from diverse cultural, disciplinary, and educational backgrounds and institutions. 2 – Understand and explain the history of highway safety and the institutional setting in which safety management decisions are made. 2a. Understand the historical figures, benchmarks, and decisions underlying X X X X highway safety. 2b. Identify the safety aspects of major transportation legislation. X X X X 2c. List and describe the goals of interest groups with a stake in safety-related policy, X legislation, and investment decisions. 2d. Describe the institutional roles and responsibilities within which safety is managed (e.g., local, regional, state, and federal government, transportation modes and the private sector). 2e. Explain and provide examples of the importance of highway safety relative to other X X transportation priorities (e.g., congestion mitigation, environmental protection, air quality, economic prosperity). 2f. Identify the availability of current highway safety training and education programs. 3 – Understand the origins and characteristics of traffic safety data and information systems and their use in managing highway safety. 3a. Describe state and local information systems and data elements that can be used for X X X X safety management (e.g., crash, roadway inventory, driver/vehicle registration, citation, hospital/EMS, surveys, operations data, etc.). (Continued)

16 Table 6 (Continued) Universities Core Competency and Learning Objectives 1 2 3 4 3b. Describe the specialized national databases available for safety management and X X X how they address deficiencies in the systems above (e.g., FARS, GES, CVISN, and WISQARS). 3c. Describe the process by which crash data are collected, including constraints X X X X associated with accurate, reliable field data. 3d. For each of the information systems, describe strengths and weaknesses as well as X X opportunities for improvements (compliance with MMUCC and NEMSIS and automated collection methods). 3e. Ability to access and use traffic safety and public health data systems for identifying X X and tracking crash trends, targeting high-risk groups, and planning programs at the national, state, and local levels. 3f. Describe the importance of using crash injury or fatality data to evaluate the X X X X implications of safety management actions, policies, and programs. 4 – Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to assess factors contributing to highway crashes, injuries and fatalities, identify potential countermeasures linked to the contributing factors, and implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the countermeasures. 4a. Identify current and potential highway safety problems using suitable scientific X X X methods (e.g., those controlling for regression-to-the-mean). 4b. Identify the linkages among human factors and behavior, vehicle design, roadway X X X X design, design, and the environment and their interactions with respect to identified crash problems. 4c. Identify effective countermeasures that address specific crash factors. X X X X 4d. Establish priorities for alternative interventions/countermeasures based upon their X X expected cost and effectiveness and select countermeasures to implement (e.g., utilizing current science-based research methods such as NCHRP Report 500 series and NHTSA/FHWA Highway Safety Guidelines). 4e. Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented intervention/countermeasure using X X appropriate statistical techniques in safety management [e.g., use of Empirical Bayes (EB) and/or case-control designs]. 4f. Understand the importance of computing the expected safety cost/benefit associated X X X with implementing a countermeasure as the difference between the crashes, fatalities, and injuries likely to occur with the countermeasure in place and the number of crashes, fatalities, and injuries expected to occur if the countermeasure were not implemented. 5 – Ability to develop and administer a highway safety management program. 5a. Utilize scientific management techniques in planning, implementing, and evaluating highway safety programs. 5b. Identify strategies to integrate and amplify safety in transportation planning processes. 5c. Explain the need to provide leadership and funding for ongoing service/support enhancements such as professional development, staff education and training, upgraded computer hardware and software and more. 5d. Establish multidisciplinary relationships necessary to support effective highway X X X safety initiatives. 5e. Identify opportunities for internal and external coalition-building and strategic X communications for highway safety initiatives.

programs (i.e., two courses as opposed to one) are provided with a broader and deeper understanding of safety context and perspective as reflected by the cov- erage of Core Competency 1. Understanding crash data collection and safety data systems (Core Com- petency 3) is also a strong point of the programs. Many actually provide students the opportunity to work with and conduct analyses with crash data. More importantly, the areas of more consistent cov- erage included science-based principles as reflected in learning objectives 1b, 4a, 4d, and 4f. Instructors in these programs are covering the fundamental safety analysis issues as important in their own right. It is ev- ident that there is consistently better coverage of the core competencies within the safety programs com- pared to universities offering a single course. CONCLUSIONS The scan of U.S.-based university courses in safety identified relatively few current offerings within engineering programs (29 of 117) and a com- parable lack of coverage within public health pro- grams (7 of 34). Findings support the hypothesis that highway safety is underrepresented in transportation curricula throughout the United States. An in-depth review of course materials revealed that many cur- rent safety courses are not addressing several key issues identified by the safety core competencies (12). Many courses that utilize engineering texts (both design- and operations-oriented) represent the content as “safety-oriented.” This finding further supports the working hypothesis that there is a prevalent view, even among university educators, that “good” design and operations, as described in professional guidebooks, will lead to quantifiable safety improvements. The relative lack of existing safety research material to provide a more funda- mental and rigorous safety educational experience is a particular concern. This digest is not intended to criticize individual courses or universities, but rather to identify and shed light on an important educational deficiency that ex- ists throughout the United States. While progress con- tinues to be made in the development of better tools and analysis techniques for safety management, these techniques are absent in most university-based edu- cation programs. Perhaps more importantly, there are only a handful of universities that treat safety as a discipline in its own right, with principles and a scientific perspective underlying its practice and fu- ture development. Correct and sustained use of con- temporary techniques can only be assured if the safety-science perspective is understood and ac- cepted by the workforce. This situation must change if reductions in highway fatalities and injuries are to be sustained into the future. It is unrealistic to as- sume that new, more effective strategies will be de- veloped and implemented by professionals trained using old materials. HIGHWAY SAFETY CORE COMPETENCIES Core Competency 1 Understand the management of highway safety as a complex multidisciplinary system. Learning Objectives Highway safety professionals should be able to: 1. Describe highway safety as a complex, in- terdisciplinary, multimodal discipline de- voted to the avoidance and/or mitigation of fatalities, injuries, and crashes. 2. Understand, value, and utilize science-based highway safety research and its application 17 Table 6 (Continued) Universities Core Competency and Learning Objectives 1 2 3 4 5f. Identify sources of current research that support effective highway safety X management (e.g., NCHRP Report 501, TRIS, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review, SAE, Injury Prevention) 5g. Understand the value of leveraging resources for highway safety program implementation. X 5h. Assess and promote effective outreach/public involvement program development and implementation.

as fundamental to achieving further im- provements in highway safety. 3. Describe the demographic trends underlying the need for comprehensive and integrated highway safety management (e.g., social, cultural, age, gender). 4. Describe the classification of highway crash and injury severity factors and their rela- tionship to the crash event (i.e., pre-crash, crash, and post-crash) by using models such as the Haddon Matrix. 5. Identify how crash contributing factors interact. 6. Explain how effective safety management can be used to prevent morbidity and mor- tality associated with crash events. 7. Explain the “Four E’s” of traffic safety: engi- neering, education, enforcement, and emer- gency medical services. 8. Recognize the effectiveness of combining countermeasures/interventions to achieve im- provements in safety. 9. Recognize how highway user decision- making is influenced by highway design, transportation planning, traffic operations, and vehicle design. 10. Recognize the barriers that hinder collabo- ration across and within institutions. 11. Identify and demonstrate opportunities and the ability to improve safety through col- laboration with individuals from diverse cultural, disciplinary, and educational back- grounds and institutions. Core Competency 2 Understand and be able to explain the history of highway safety and the institutional settings in which safety management decisions are made. Learning Objectives Highway safety professionals should be able to: 1. Understand the historical figures, benchmarks, and decisions underlying highway safety. 2. Identify the safety aspects of major trans- portation legislation. 3. List and describe the goals of interest groups with a stake in safety-related policy, legisla- tion, and investment decisions. 4. Describe the institutional roles and respon- sibilities within which safety is managed (e.g., local, regional, state, and federal gov- ernment, transportation modes, and the private sector). 5. Explain and provide examples of the impor- tance of highway safety relative to other trans- portation priorities (e.g., congestion mitiga- tion, environmental protection, air quality, economic prosperity). 6. Identify the availability of current highway safety training and education programs. Core Competency 3 Understand the origins and characteristics of traf- fic safety data and information systems to support de- cisions using a data-driven approach in managing highway safety. Learning Objectives Highway safety professionals should be able to: 1. Describe state and local information systems and data elements that can be used for safety management (e.g., crash, roadway inventory, driver/vehicle registration, citation, hospital/ EMS, surveys, operations data, etc.). 2. Describe the specialized national databases available for safety management and how they address deficiencies in the systems above (e.g., FARS, GES, CVISN, and WISQARS). 3. Describe the process by which crash data are collected, including constraints associated with accurate, reliable field data. 4. For each of the information systems, describe strengths and weaknesses as well as opportu- nities for improvements (compliance with MMUCC and NEMSIS and automated col- lection methods). 5. Access and use traffic safety and public health data systems for identifying and track- ing crash trends, targeting high-risk groups, and planning programs at the national, state, and local levels. 6. Describe the importance of using crash in- jury or fatality data to evaluate the implica- tions of safety management actions, policies, and programs. Core Competency 4 Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to assess factors contributing to highway crashes, injuries, and 18

fatalities, identify potential countermeasures linked to the contributing factors, apply countermeasures to user groups or sites with promise of crash and injury reduction, and implement and evaluate the effective- ness of the countermeasures. Learning Objectives Highway safety professionals should be able to: 1. Identify current and potential highway safety problems using suitable scientific methods (e.g., those controlling for regression-to-the- mean). 2. Identify the linkages among human factors and behavior, vehicle design, roadway design, and the environment and their interactions with respect to identified crash problems. 3. Identify effective countermeasures that ad- dress specific crash factors. 4. Establish priorities for alternative interventions/ countermeasures based upon their expected cost and effectiveness and select countermea- sures to implement (e.g., utilizing current science-based research methods such as NCHRP Report 500 series and NHTSA/ FHWA Highway Safety Guidelines). 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented intervention/countermeasure using appropri- ate statistical techniques in safety manage- ment [e.g., use of Empirical Bayes (EB) and/or case-control designs]. 6. Understand the importance of computing the expected safety benefit/cost associated with implementing a countermeasure as the dif- ference between the crashes, fatalities, and injuries likely to occur with the countermea- sure in place and the number of crashes, fa- talities, and injuries expected to occur if the countermeasure were not implemented. Core Competency 5 Be able to develop, implement, and manage a highway safety management program. Learning Objectives Highway safety professionals should be able to: 1. Utilize scientific management techniques in planning, implementing, and evaluating high- way safety programs. 2. Identify strategies to integrate and amplify safety in transportation planning processes. 3. Explain the need to provide leadership and funding for ongoing service/support enhance- ments such as professional development, staff education and training, upgraded com- puter hardware and software and more. 4. Establish multidisciplinary relationships nec- essary to support effective highway safety initiatives. 5. Identify opportunities for internal and exter- nal coalition-building and strategic commu- nications for highway safety initiatives. 6. Identify sources of current research that sup- port effective highway safety management (e.g., NCHRP Report 501, TRIS, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Morbidity and Mor- tality Weekly Review, SAE, Injury Prevention). 7. Understand the value of leveraging resources for highway safety program implementation. 8. Assess and promote effective outreach/public involvement program development and implementation. FROM COMPETENCY TO PRACTICE: USING THE HIGHWAY SAFETY CORE COMPETENCIES 19 Competencies ⇔ Knowledge, ⇔ Job Skills, and Descriptions Abilities Learning ⇔ Courses ⇔ Curricula ⇔ Credentials Objectives General The Core Competencies may be used to: • Assess individual abilities relative to a list of standard competencies; • Identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities an organization requires; • Determine workforce requirements (e.g., num- ber of people with what skills, at each level, and in what combination); • Identify prerequisite skills for employees, in- structors, faculty, or researchers; • Develop or modify job descriptions; • Assess the skill level of a team and develop recommendations for hiring, as well as indi- vidual training and assignments; ⇔ ⇔

• Develop model curricula; • Use as learning objectives in course develop- ment, which in turn influences course content, instructional methods, and assessment; • Assess course materials to determine how thorough or complete the material is for a given audience or purpose; • Make decisions about education and training activities to undertake, offer, or recommend; • Advise students interested in a particular pro- fession; and • Use as the basis for credentials, certificates, or degree programs. Educational Institutions Students can review competencies to make de- cisions in selecting careers, schools, and courses. Educators may use competencies to assess and modify existing courses, develop new courses, or propose as new curricula. Educational Institutions may use competencies to identify or specify the skills of faculty, instruc- tors, or researchers; select course offerings; adjust required curricula, advise students interested in a particular career; and offer specialized certificates or degrees. Certification Programs should use clearly iden- tified competencies as the basis for curricula or eval- uation upon which credentials are granted. Professional Institutions or Committees may use competencies to advise other organizations of min- imum or ideal skills, and to develop model curricula. Safety Organizations Human Resources Departments may use the com- petencies to identify what knowledge, skills, and abilities the organization as a whole requires, adjust job descriptions and announcements, and work with other departments and managers to hire for those skills. Training Coordinators use the competencies to assess what topics should be available to meet train- ing needs. Ideally, the coordinator would identify a source of training for all competencies applicable to their audience. With the help of a clearinghouse, co- ordinators should be able to map competencies to courses. Supervisors may use the competencies to as- sess the level of a team’s skills and make recom- mendations for individual training, assignment, and hiring to enhance the skills of the team and its members. Employees use competencies to assess ones own abilities relative to a list of standard competencies, for a current or considered job or career path, and to make decisions about training or activities to under- take. Technology Transfer Agents Training Developers and Authors should use competencies as the bases for learning objectives, content, instructional and communication techniques, and assessment. Instructors may compare competencies to exist- ing course material to determine how thorough or complete the material is for a given audience or pur- pose. The comparison may be used to adjust either the course content or the manner in which the course is marketed. Training Centers can use the competencies to as- sess what topics should be available for training. Ide- ally, the center would identify a source of training for all competencies applicable to their audience. With the help of a clearinghouse, coordinators should be able to map competencies to courses. Clearinghouses should make competencies avail- able, and help link customers from competencies to specific resources (documents or training) related to these resources. This may be accomplished by key word searches, but highly specialized data- bases may link records to specific competencies. This service would be useful to any other users of the competencies. Levels of Proficiency A set of competencies may represent the mini- mum criteria or ideal mastery for a position, depend- ing on their application vis-à-vis the role of the posi- tion in the organization to which they are applied. Thus, core competencies could be covered in a one- day course to give a new employee with tangential safety responsibility insight into the field. Full mas- tery of the same competencies may take several years of study or part of a career to achieve, and would be an appropriate expectation for leaders and full-time highway safety professionals. Certifications of any type can therefore help to communicate a particular level or degree of mastery. 20

Model Curricula A curriculum is a program of study, usually in suf- ficient detail to thoroughly address all required learn- ing objectives. Several curricula could be developed for the same set of competencies, depending upon the timeframe, organization, audience, and source materi- als. A model curricula should outline a program of study guaranteed to satisfy all of the intended objec- tives (e.g., competencies), which can be used by an instructor or modified to suit their audience. This combination of ideal and flexibility is especially im- portant when use of the curricula is voluntary. AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The idea for the work reported in this digest was created and conceptualized by the Joint Subcom- mittee on Highway Safety Workforce Development. A group of Subcommittee members met every 3 to 4 months for the past 2 years to guide the develop- ment of the core competencies and oversee the university/training scan which was supported by NCHRP Project 17-18. Subcommittee members who provided early leadership and/or who regularly at- tended those meetings deserve special recognition for their dedication to completing the core competency and university scan initiatives. The group includes: • Susan Herbel, Cambridge Systematics (Chair) • Marilena Amoni, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) • Tom Brahms, Institute of Transportation Engi- neers (ITE) • Ben Gribbon, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) • Frank Gross, Pennsylvania State University • Michael Halladay, FHWA • Kitty Hancock, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) • Barbara Harsha, Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) • Paul Jovanis, Pennsylvania State University • Peter Kissinger, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) • Ken Kobetsky, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) • Clark Martin, FHWA • Tom McGovern, Fisher College • Christopher Newman, FHWA • Rick Pain, Transportation Research Board (TRB) • Jeff Paniatti, FHWA • Scott Poyer, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) • Tom Songer, University of Pittsburgh • Sam Tignor, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute • Joe Toole, FHWA • Michael Trentacoste, FHWA • William Williams, FHWA GLOSSARY OF TERMS Contributing Factors—Risk factors related to the road- user, vehicle, and roadway environment that increase the likelihood of a crash event. Countermeasure—Any program, plan, or action that is implemented to reduce the likelihood or severity of crashes. CVISN (Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks)—Elements of the Intelligent Transporta- tion System (ITS) that support commercial vehicle operations (CVO). CVISN includes information sys- tems owned and operated by governments, carriers, and other stakeholders. It excludes the sensor and control elements of ITS/CVO. EMS—Emergency Medical Services. FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System)—A data- base that contains data on a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public, and must result in the death of an occupant of a vehicle or a non- motorist within 30 days of the crash. FHWA (Federal Highway Administration)—A modal administration within the U.S. DOT with the mission to enhance mobility through innovation, leadership, and public service. GES (General Estimates System)—A database that con- tains data from a nationally representative sample of police-reported crashes of all severities, including those that result in death, injury, or property damage. To be eligible for the GES sample, a police accident report (PAR) must be completed for the crash, and the crash must involve at least one motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way and must result in property damage, injury, or death. Haddon Matrix—A framework used by safety profes- sionals for understanding the relationship among crash contributing factors and for identifying multi- ple countermeasures to address those issues. In high- way safety, this matrix consists of three rows repre- senting time phases (before the incident, during the incident, and after the incident) and four columns 21

representing the road-user, vehicle, infrastructure, and the cultural environment. Interdisciplinary—A group of professionals with expertise in different disciplines who collaborate to develop and evaluate management alternatives. MMUCC (Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria)— Voluntary guidelines developed to improve and stan- dardize state crash data. Multidisciplinary—The involvement of two or more dis- ciplines or professions in the provision of integrated and coordinated services including evaluation and assessment activities. NCHRP Report 500 Series—A series of guides, developed by the National Cooperative Highway Research Pro- gram (NCHRP 17-18), to assist state and local agen- cies in reducing injuries and fatalities in targeted areas. NCHRP Report 501—A tool, developed by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP 17-18), to assist in integrating safety-related imple- mentation actions by proposing a method for bring- ing together agencies within a jurisdiction that are responsible for highway safety. NEMSIS (National EMS Information System)—A method of collecting, analyzing, and sharing local and state EMS data to facilitate improved EMS systems and improved patient care. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- istration)—Established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, as the successor to the National Highway Safety Bureau, to carry out safety programs under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and the Highway Safety Act of 1966. Regression-to-the-Mean—Technical term in probability and statistics to describe the tendency for things to return to normal. In highway safety, this refers to the random nature of crashes and the tendency for rela- tively high or low crash frequencies to regress to the mean in subsequent years. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)—A member- ship society dedicated to advancing mobility engi- neering worldwide. Task-Capability-Interface Model—Provides a conceptu- alization of the necessary tasks related to the driving process and the conditions under which the demands of the task for safe mobility exceed driver capability. TRIS (Transportation Research Information Services)— A searchable database of articles produced and main- tained by the TRB at the National Academies. WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System)—An interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data. REFERENCES 1. Strategic Plan 2003–2008: Safer, Simpler, Smarter Transportation Solutions. U.S. DOT, 2003. 2. ITS Evaluation Guidelines—ITS Integration Self- Evaluation Guidelines [on-line]. U.S. DOT ITS Joint Program Office, 2001 Available from: http://www. its.dot.gov/evaluation [July 22, 2005]. 3. Highway Safety Manual: Two-Lane Highways (Pro- totype Chapter). NCHRP Project 17-18(4). TRB, 2003. 4. Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM). U.S. DOT, 2004. [CD-ROM]. Available from: http:// www.ihsdm.org [July 22, 2005]. 5. SafetyAnalyst. U.S. DOT, 2004. Available from: http://www.safetyanalyst.org [July 22, 2005]. 6. Hauer, E. “The Road Ahead.” Journal of Trans- portation Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 131, No. 5, pp. 333–339, May 2005. 7. A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C., 2001. 8. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. U.S. DOT, 2003. Available from: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot. gov [July 22, 2005]. 9. University Transportation and Accident Prevention Centers. Committee on Traffic Safety Research and Education. Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, Washington, D.C., April 1962. 10. “The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies.” TRB, Special Report 275, 2003. 11. Prevalence of Traffic Safety Content in Graduate Engineering and Public Health Programs: Full Re- port. Gross, F. and P. Jovanis, TRB, June 2005. 12. Traffic Safety Course Offerings in U.S. Graduate En- gineering and Public Health Programs. Gross, F. and P. Jovanis, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, December 2005. 13. Core Competencies for Safety Professionals. TRB Joint Subcommittee on Safety Workforce Develop- ment, June 2005 (Draft). 14. Core Competencies for Injury and Violence Preven- tion. National Training Initiative for Injury and Vio- lence Prevention. Society for Advancement of Vio- lence and Injury Research (SAVIR) and State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA) Joint Committee on Infrastructure Devel- opment, Washington, D.C., 2004. 15. Injury Prevention and Control. 2002–2003 Sum- mary of Research, Faculty Expertise, Curricula, and Training, Association of Schools of Public Health, Washington, D.C., February, 2004. Available from: http://www.asph.org/UserFiles/InjuryAssessment.pdf [July 13, 2005]. 16. Workforce Planning for Road Safety Management. Hauer, E., 2002. Available from: http://www.road safetyresearch.com [July 13, 2005]. 22

Transportation Research Board 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 These digests are issued in order to increase awareness of research results emanating from projects in the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP). Persons wanting to pursue the project subject matter in greater depth should contact the CRP Staff, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. COPYRIGHT PERMISSION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Results Digest 302 examines to what extent core competencies for highway safety professionals are incorporated into existing safety curricula and suggests strategies to expand their application to a broader audience.

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