Research Program


GHSA selects and monitors projects under a highway safety research program chartered by the U.S. Congress. The program, the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP) is authorized to receive $2.5 million annually, funding that is withheld from the Section 402 grant program. Project selection began in FFY 2014 and continues annually.

Projects financed through FFY 2014-2017 federal funds (and a few in subsequent years) 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. However, the funding source and objective of the program remains the same.

Visit TRB's BTSCRP website


GHSA encourages its member states to submit potential research project problem statements each year. The GHSA Research Committee monitors and facilitates the program. At the staff level, the program is supported by the GHSA Executive Director and Research and Program Consultant.

GHSA Research Committee members

NCREP Projects

The projects listed below are being or will be performed in-house or contracted out by NHTSA and the Volpe Center. Status is current as of December 2020.


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

To examine how states’ DWI systems evolve with the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.

Status: Phase I complete; summary report here and news release here; Phase II draft final report under review

Collect Drug Use Data from Drivers Arrested for DUI or DUID

To 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: Final report under review

Major Data Sources of Drugged Driving Information

To identify sources of data on drug use and drugged driving and note strengths and weaknesses.

Status: Final report under development

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

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

Status: Recruitment and data collection delayed due to COVID-19

Summarize Per Se Limits for Marijuana Impairment

To 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: Final report under development

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

To 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: Final report under review

Conduct Laboratory Testing of Oral Fluid Testing Devices for Drugs

To evaluate the accuracy and sensitivity of on-site drug testing devices in a controlled laboratory setting.

Status: Final report in print review

Effectiveness of Interlock Enhancement Counseling on Recidivism Reduction

To assess features in an Interlock Enhancement Counseling program by comparing treatment and control groups.

Status: Establishing data sharing agreements with participating agencies

Other Issues

Hazard Perception and Distracted Driving Training Intervention for Teens

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: Original study sites withdrew due to COVID-19; requesting new study sites; data collection to begin in 2021

Child to Adult Intervention for Distracted Driving

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

Status: Data collection to commence Fall/Winter 2020

Impact of Access Management (AM) Techniques on Driver Behaviors

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

Status: Data analysis complete; interim report due 2/2021

Driver Licensing Practices Scan

This project will summarize current licensing practices in the U.S. and internationally, including approaches not currently required in the U.S.

Status: Under development

Meta-Analysis of Electronic Speed Feedback Signs

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

Status: Final report in print review


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

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

Status: Final report under review

Study of Law Enforcement Liaison Programs

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

Status: Phase 1 final report under review; optional task planning underway

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

To identify measures that can be used to gauge if support for HVE has changed and determine whether changes have occurred; and to 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: Final report under review

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

To 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: Final report under review

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

To 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: User guide complete; final report under review

Combined High Visibility Enforcement Campaign Review

To conduct a literature review on HVE campaigns focused on more than one behavior and determine best practices.

Status: Under development

Motorcyclist Safety

Motorcycle Conspicuity and Crash Risk

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

Status: Final report

Examine Novice Motorcyclists' Attitudes About High-Visibility Gear

To advance understanding of conspicuity and develop and evaluate a training module.

Status: Under development

Communications & Messaging

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

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

Status: Final project deliverables (webinar slide deck, user guide, final report) under review

Social Media for Highway Safety

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

Status: Final report

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

To 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: Final report under review