Stewardship/Oversight Agreements – Safety Considerations
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Guidance has been provided, dated April 14, 2006, on the development of stewardship/oversight agreements. Section VII of the guidance notes the need to clearly describe State versus Federal responsibilities for five program areas, including safety.
To assist Divisions with the development of the safety portion of the agreement, the Office of Safety offers the following thoughts to consider (and sample agreement, attached). These thoughts are organized by the five core elements for safety, as defined by the Agency’s risk management and program delivery improvement efforts.
Title 23 CFR, Section 924 clearly delineates the requirements for States to participate in the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), and although this will be revised over the coming year, the principles will not change. Planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting will be critical components to the success of the program. Key elements to include in a stewardship/oversight agreement for the overall safety program include:
Sample Agreement for Safety Stewardship and Oversight
Highway Safety Improvement Program
The State will manage, enhance, and evaluate the overall HSIP program in accordance with 23 CFR, Section 924, with quality improvement reviews by the Division on a three year cycle, or as otherwise needed. The State may request flexibility in the use of the funds, as allowed by SAFETEA-LU section 1401(a)(1)(e), through written request to the Division. The Division will review the request, and if the State meets the flexibility requirements, approve the flexibility provision, up to 10%, on an annual basis. The Division will also make eligibility determinations.
The State will annually submit required reports on the effectiveness of the HSIP program, including the HSIP report and the highway-railway crossing report, and the 5% report, on or before August 31.
Strategic Highway Safety Plan
The State will submit its approved Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) in order to exercise flexibility and eligibility options allowed through SAFETEA-LU. The Division will review the process by which the SHSP was developed and provide its determination regarding compliance of the processes with the requirements of SAFETEA-LU. If the state does not have an approved Plan prior to October 1, 2007, HSIP apportionments will remain at the 2007-year level in subsequent years.
Crash Data Systems and Analysis
The State will maintain, and FHWA will participate in, a traffic records coordinating committee (TRCC). The State will work toward a comprehensive, statewide data system that includes all public roads by 2009, in accordance with FHWA’s phase-in schedule.
FHWA will work in partnership with NHTSA to assure Federal requirements are met, and will adopt a review cycle through the TRCC and actively participate in the reviews.
Required Safety Programs
The State will assure timely submission of “split letters” when safety transfer funds are involved, designating the percent of funds applied to NHTSA and FHWA safety programs. In addition, the State will provide appropriate certifications to the Division. The Division will be responsible for administering these funds, for reviewing and submitting the certifications, and for periodic program reviews of the funds (possibly in conjunction with the HSIP reviews).
The State and Division will develop and/or maintain a written agreement on how safety will be addressed on 3R and preventive maintenance projects, in accordance with FHWA requirements for these programs.
The Division will review the use of the safety planning factor as part of its HSIP reviews and MPO certification process.
The State and Division will perform process improvement reviews of other safety program elements, as needed, such as Safe Routes to School, High Risk Rural Roads, design standards, MUTCD compliance, work zones, etc.
Focused Safety Programs
Within the State’s SHSP, safety emphasis areas will be established based on safety data. The State will develop action plans and strategies for each emphasis area to identify and implement projects that will significantly reduce the number of fatal and serious injury highway crashes. The FHWA may provide technical assistance to the State, as requested.
Web-based HSIP Courses