U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Report of Findings [FHWA Docket No. FHWA-1999-5387]
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a notice in the Federal Register on November 1, 1999, inviting public comment regarding the extent and effectiveness of State utilization of uniformed police officers on Federal-aid highway construction projects.
Although the study was mandated to be conducted with States, State transportation departments, and law enforcement organizations, the Federal Register notice invited other interested parties to comment where applicable. Comments received in response to the Federal Register notice constituted the informational basis for the Congressionally-mandated study. A copy of the Federal Register notice may be found in Appendix A of this report.
The notice stated that safety, operational, and financial factors related to the use of uniformed police officers on Federal-aid highway projects are of particular concern, and requested specific comments to 20 pertinent survey questions. The notice stated that responses were requested to facilitate analysis of study results, but not required: "...interested persons are encouraged to provide any information relevant to their experience and in whatever format proves most effective for conveying such information.... We recognize...that certain interested persons may wish to introduce information that is useful to our study but not conducive to the question/answer format prescribed here. We encourage and will actively consider any information responsive to the issue of stationing uniformed police officers on Federal-aid highway construction projects."
Federal Register Survey Questions: The survey questions published in the Federal Register may be found in Appendix A.
Federal Register Responses: The FHWA received 64 direct
responses to the Federal Register notice, including 39 questionnaire
responses and 25 general comments. In addition, the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) submitted 40 survey responses
from State highway agencies, 31 of which were accepted. (Note: Nine of the AASHTO
responses were from agencies that had also responded directly to the FHWA in
response to the Federal Register notice. In compiling responses, only
one submittal was considered per State highway agency, so the total number of
survey responses analyzed was 70.)
For more information about survey respondents, see Section IV, Profile of Respondents.
To encourage State highway agencies to respond to the Federal Register notice, AASHTO surveyed the members of its Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH) on December 22, 1999. The SCOH members represent highway agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO received 40 survey responses, which it compiled and submitted to the FHWA.
AASHTO Questions:AASHTO revised and renumbered the Federal Register questions to facilitate survey analysis, and omitted questions that did not pertain to State highway agencies. The list of AASHTO questions is included in Appendix B. In most cases, the revisions had no bearing on the survey results. The few cases where the edited questions seemed to affect the survey responses are noted in the discussion of survey results in Sections V through VIII of this report.
Where there was a conflict between the answers that a State highway agency submitted to the FHWA and the answers the same agency submitted to AASHTO, the FHWA contacted the State highway agency to resolve the discrepancy. Where the discrepancy could not be resolved, the response was not considered.
In addition, where both the highway agency and the law enforcement agency in the same State responded, and their responses to a particular question were the same, only one of the responses was included in the results. This prevented the survey results from being skewed to over-represent the policies within a single State.
Although 70 respondents addressed the survey questions, not all the respondents
answered all the questions. Therefore, the number of respondents for each question
varied. Full documentation of the results of the study is available on request
from the FHWA.
In addition to the aforementioned analyses, 25 Federal Register responses were received that provided general comments but did not address the survey questions. The FHWA also analyzed other documents submitted to the docket, including copies of agency policies, and studies that have been conducted on the use of uniformed officers in highway work zones. This report summarizes the results of the survey as well as other direct submissions to the Federal Register.