Research Program

Background

Congress created the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP) to be administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and jointly managed by GHSA and NHTSA. Funding is set at $2.5 million and is withheld from the Section 402 grant program each Federal Fiscal Year (FFY). Project selection began in FFY 2014 and continues annually.

Projects financed through FFY 2014-2017 federal funds are administered by NHTSA with assistance from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. These  projects are listed below.

Beginning in FFY 2018, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) is facilitating most new research projects through the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Project (BTSCRP). The name of the program was changed to BTSCRP in 2017 to clarify its purpose and to distinguish it from other TRB research programs.

Visit TRB's BTSCRP website

GHSA Role

GHSA member states are invited to submit potential research project problem statements. The GHSA Research Committee monitors and facilitates the program. At the staff level, the program is supported by the GHSA Executive Director and Senior Director of Communications and Programs.

NCREP Projects

The projects listed below are being or will be performed in-house or contracted out by NHTSA and the Volpe Center. Status current as of December 2019.

Impairment

Examination of the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana on the DWI System

This project examines how states’ DWI systems evolve with the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.

Status: The Phase I is complete; find the summary report here and news release here. The Phase II draft final report is under review.

Collect Drug Use Data from Drivers Arrested for DUI or DUID

This project will collect self-reported data about over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drug use, and biological samples to detect the presence of these drugs among drivers arrested for DUI and/or DUID.

Status: Project tasks are underway, with data collection nearing completion.

Major Data Sources of Drugged Driving Information

This project will identify sources of data on drug use and drugged driving and note strengths and weaknesses.

Status: Project tasks are underway, with data sources list and summaries drafted.

State of the Practice of State-Managed Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Programs

This project will provide an inventory of state-managed interlock programs, their key program elements and how states manage IID data.

Status: Project tasks are underway, with recruitment and data collection to commence soon.

Summarize Per Se Limits for Marijuana Impairment

This project will develop a white paper summarizing research on the connection between THC use and driving performance and the likelihood of increased crash risk as well as the impact of per se limits and laws.

Status: A draft white paper is being generated, with an annotated bibliography developed.

Oral Fluid Testing Devices for Drugs: Where and How Used?

This project will determine the use of on-site oral fluid testing devices in the U.S. and abroad, scan agency protocols, and examine legal issues regarding their use.

Status: Project tasks are underway.

Conduct Laboratory Testing of Oral Fluid Testing Devices for Drugs

This project will evaluated the accuracy and sensitivity of on-site drug testing devices in a controlled laboratory setting.

Status: A final report is under review.

Effectiveness of Interlock Enhancement Counseling on Recidivism Reduction

This project will assess features in an Interlock Enhancement Counseling program by comparing treatment and control groups.

Status: Under development.

Other Issues

Motorcycle Conspicuity and Crash Risk

This project explores acceptable ways for riders to increase their conspicuity identifies incentives to encourage riders to wear high-visibility clothing or modify the visibility of their motorcycle.

Status: The final report is available here.

Hazard Perception and Distracted Driving Training Intervention for Teens

This research will conduct a study to explore the effects of adding modules to train novice drivers in (1) hazard identification and (2) the risks associated with using electronic devices while driving on their subsequent crash and citation rates.

Status: Training software updates continues.

A Gap in Outreach: Distracted Driving Education for Younger Children

This project will test bystander interventions to determine their effectiveness and inform development of new interventions for school-age children.

Status: A literature review is completed and evaluation design is under review.

Impact of Access Management (AM) Techniques on Driver Behaviors

This project will identify a set of AM techniques and quantify their impacts on driving behaviors using available data.

Status: Interviews are completed, and data quality review is underway.

Examine Novice Motorcyclists' Attitudes About High-Visibility Gear

This project will advance understanding of conspicuity and develop and evaluate a training module.

Status: Under development.

Enforcement

State of Knowledge and Practice for Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs)

This project will conduct preliminary qualitative research on the feasibility of using ALPRs as countermeasures to improve traffic safety.

Status: A final report is under review.

Meta-Analysis of Electronic Speed Feedback Signs

This project will synthesize studies evaluating the effectiveness of speed feedback signs to reduce speeding and speeding-related crashes.

Status: A final report is under review.

Study of Law Enforcement Liaison Programs

This research will conduct a scan of LEL programs across the states including position descriptions, program objectives, reporting requirements and performance strategies.

Status: Project tasks are underway, with invitation letters sent and data collecting commencing soon.

Study to Determine any Change in Law Enforcement Support for High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) and Approaches for Promoting Law Enforcement Participation in HVE

This project will identify measures that can be used to gauge if support for HVE has changed and determine whether changes have occurred. It will also inventory the types of approaches to promote law enforcement participation in HVE, develop metrics to determine whether participation changed, and document benefits, challenges and noteworthy practices.

Status: Project tasks are underway, including several interviews with key stakeholders.

Synthesis of Studies that Relate Amount of Enforcement Activity to Safety Outcomes

This project will perform a meta-analysis to evaluate the tools law enforcement agencies and partners use to assess the level of enforcement needed to have a deterrence effect in their communities.

Status: Research review and data extraction are completed and a final report is under development.

Tools to Develop Performance Standards for Grant-Funded Traffic Enforcement Initiatives

This project will develop criteria for performance standards; identify approaches; identify factors to assess performance; develop statistical models; determine the optimal model; and develop it into a tool for application and test the tool in various locations.

Status: Project tasks are underway, including one state training session.

Communications & Messaging

Review of Risk Communication Strategies and Existing Impaired and Distracted Driving Safety Messages

This project will review messages and materials, theories and models of behavior change, and risk communication theory and how these are relevant to impaired and distracted driving.

Status: Project tasks are underway with draft technical and communications reports completed.

Social Media for Highway Safety

This research investigated the extent to which state highway safety offices are using social media and the opportunities, benefits and challenges it poses.

Status: The final report is available here.

Review of Risk Communications Strategies and Existing Occupant Protection (OP) Safety Messages

This project will conduct a literature review of theories of behavior change, risk communications and communications theory and their relevance to OP as well as review and catalog existing messages.

Status: Project tasks are underway with draft technical and communications reports completed.