U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
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|Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-002 Date: January/February 2012|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-002
Issue No: Vol. 75 No. 4
Date: January/February 2012
Since establishment of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in 2005, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been leading the way in creating tools and providing guidance to help States improve the safety of their highway infrastructure. FHWA's most recent efforts include developing a series of Web-based training courses through the National Highway Institute (NHI) to help State and local agencies understand and advance HSIP implementation.
With the goal of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries on public roads, HSIP requires State departments of transportation to develop and implement a comprehensive statewide plan, called a strategic highway safety plan (SHSP). Until recently, however, there was no training available related to developing and implementing those plans. But now NHI has added five new Web-based courses, including two focused specifically on SHSP development and implementation.
"At FHWA, we continue to work to help States implement HSIP and reach the goals laid out in their strategic highway safety plans," says Karen Yunk, a transportation specialist with FHWA's Office of Safety. "The objective of this series of Web-based courses is to fill the knowledge gap and to make HSIP training opportunities readily accessible to everyone, regardless of location."
A team of FHWA and NHI experts developed the following new HSIP and SHSP courses, all of which are now available for scheduling through NHI's Web site.
HSIP Overview (FHWA-NHI-380110). This 1.5-hour Web-based course provides a basic understanding of the purpose of HSIP and the processes for planning, implementation, and evaluation. Because data are the foundation of the HSIP, the course also provides an overview of safety data, including collection and management methods, sources, quality measures, and methods for overcoming data challenges.
HSIP Project Identification (FHWA-NHI-380111). In this 8-hour blended-format course, participants complete 10 online lessons and two instructor-facilitated Web conferences. The course provides the background and information necessary for identifying HSIP projects. Participants learn how to choose between various screening methods. They also learn to identify and evaluate various countermeasures and to prioritize projects based on measures of economic effectiveness.
HSIP Project Evaluation (FHWA-NHI-380112). During this course, participants complete six online lessons and two instructor-facilitated Web conferences. The 5-hour training provides a description of how to evaluate safety effectiveness, an overview of fundamentals needed to perform these evaluations, and information about why safety effectiveness evaluation is necessary. Participants learn to conduct observational before-and-after studies.
SHSP Development (FHWA-NHI-380113). To help participants gain a basic understanding of the SHSP development process, this 4-hour Web-based course covers the purpose and benefits of SHSPs, the legislative and regulatory requirements, and the importance of data. The course is most appropriate for transportation professionals who are new to or unfamiliar with the SHSP process and for States in the process of updating or planning to update their SHSP.
SHSP Implementation (FHWA-NHI-380114). In this 4-hour course, participants complete three online lessons and five instructor-facilitated Web conferences. Instructors provide strategies and examples of the SHSP implementation processes to help safety partners manage their State's safety plans. The course presents the SHSP Implementation Process Model, which provides a framework to help States assess, compare, and adjust their own implementation efforts.
NHI offers these new courses in two ways: (1) with a particular State as a host agency for in-State participants or (2) with NHI as the host agency with participants from multiple States. For sessions hosted by a particular State, instructors can tailor content to focus on the issues or concerns specific to the host agency. For sessions hosted by NHI, participants from multiple States can learn from the experiences of their peers, particularly during the Web conferences. In either case, the courses highlight the best practices in place today and offer examples of successful implementations.
"These courses are great because of how adaptable they are to an agency's needs," says Yunk. "They can be taken individually or as a series, and their Web-based format ensures that anyone who needs HSIP training can get it."
Alicia Sindlinger is a contributing editor for Public Roads.