Research Program


Beginning with Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), 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. The projects listed below are being or will be performed in-house or contracted out by NHTSA and the Volpe Center.

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.)

More Information on BTSCRP from TRB


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.


Impact of the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana on the Driving While Impaired (DWI) System

This project will examine the impact of medical marijuana and the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana on the driving while impaired (DWI) system.

Status: The Phase I summary report for this project is complete and can be viewed here. A press release regarding the completion of Phase I is available here. A kickoff meeting for Phase II has been held and project tasks are underway.

Collect Drug Use Data from Drivers Arrested for DUI or DUID

This project will examine the prevalence of drug use among drivers arrested for DWI and/or DUID through self-reported data and/or biological samples.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Summarize Major Data Sources of Drugged Driving Information

This project will identify sources of data on drug use and drugged driving as well as synthesize the information and illustrate strategies for pulling together information across data sources.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

State of the Practice of State-Managed Ignition Interlock Programs

This project will provide an inventory of the key program elements of state-managed ignition interlock device (IID) programs and how states manage IID data.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Summary of THC Per Se Limits

NHTSA will develop a white paper to summarize the current research on the connection between THC use and driving performance and crash risk; current DUID laws with per se limits; and the consequences of adoption these limits.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Use of Oral Fluid Testing Devices

This project will determine the use of on-site oral fluid testing devices in the U.S. and abroad and examine the protocols for using these devices as well as legal issues regarding their use.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Lab Test of Oral Fluid Devices

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

Status: Project tasks have been completed and a final report is under review.

Effectiveness of Interlock Enhancement Counseling on Recidivism Reduction

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

Status: Under development.

Other Issues

Motorcycle Conspicuity and Crash Risk

This project will explore how riders can increase their conspicuity and consider incentives that may encourage riders to wear high-visibility clothing or modify the visibility of their motorcycle.

Status: Project tasks have been completed and the final report is available here.

Hazard Perception and Distracted Driving Training Intervention for Teens

This research will include a study exploring the effects of adding modules to train novice drivers in hazard identification and the dangers of electronic device usage.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

A Gap in Outreach: Distracted Driving Education is Needed for Younger Children

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

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

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: Project tasks are currently underway.


State of Knowledge and Practice for Automated License Plate Readers

This project will examine issues associated with the use of Automated License Plate Readers for traffic safety in general and for license suspension, revocation, and restrictions in particular.

Status: Project tasks have been completed and a final report is under review.

Meta-Analysis of Research on Electronic Speed Feedback Signs

This project will synthesize existing studies to evaluate the effectiveness of speed feedback signs to serve as a resource for highway safety practitioners interested in reducing speeding and speeding-related crashes.

Status: Project tasks have been completed and a final report is under review.

Study of Law Enforcement Liaison Programs

This research will conduct a scan of LEL programs across the states to better understand the current landscape and program effectiveness, and develop and validate LEL performance measures and program management guidelines.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

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

This research will produce a report detailing the types of approaches used and best practices in promoting law enforcement participation in traffic safety programs.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

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

This project will develop tools to help law enforcement agencies and their partners calculate the level of enforcement needed to effectively deter dangerous driver behavior.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Performance Standards Assessment Tool for Disbursement of Law Enforcement Grants

This project will analyze best approaches to developing performance standards for traffic enforcement activities and create a tool for implementation of these approaches.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Communications & Messaging

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

This project will review theories of behavior change and risk communication and how they are relevant to the impaired and distracted driving messages and materials currently in use.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.

Social Media for Highway Safety

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

Status: Project tasks have been completed and the final report is available here.

Risk Communications Strategies for Occupant Protection

This project will consider how risk communication strategies can be used to most effectively deliver the occupant protection safety messages.

Status: Project tasks are currently underway.