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Directions in Highway Safety, Spring 2007 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Spring 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 1

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NHTSA Offering Speed Management, Facilitator Training Workshops

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In 2005, GHSA and NHTSA cosponsored the National Forum on Speeding: Strategies for Reducing Speeding Related Fatalities and Injuries. The Forum's major conclusion, supported vigorously by all participants, is that speeding is a critical highway safety issue that requires and deserves high priority and adequate resources. This is evidenced by the inclusion of the speeding issue in 67 percent of the approved states' Strategic Highway Safety Plans.

To assist states in implementing speed-reduction plans, NHTSA offers various tools.

One such tool is the regional speed management workshops. Speed management involves the methodologies to derive appropriate and rational speed limits, enforce those speed limits appropriately and, develop a public communications and media campaign. It embraces a collaborative effort between the engineering, law enforcement, judicial and public policy maker disciplines. The speed management process involves evaluation of crash data for speeding-related crash problems. The roadway segments are reviewed for engineering considerations, particularly whether the correct speed limit is posted. Enforcement, including buy-in from the criminal justice system, is crucial to the success of the program. Finally, a strong communications and media campaign must be included as part of the plan.

The initial training courses are facilitator training sessions designed to prepare the participants to conduct train-the-trainer sessions in their home states and communities. Upon completion of the two-day training, those participants are encouraged to work within their state to conduct additional facilitator training as well as work with local communities to develop comprehensive speed management plans. Attendees will be requested to conduct, as soon as practical, at least one Speed Management Workshop and Speed Management Workshop Facilitator Training session within their state.

Speed Management Workshop Facilitator Training is designed for highway safety leaders and policy makers at the state level. These initial sessions bring together these leaders to review the concept of speed management and prepare them to conduct train-the-trainer sessions in their home states. Coordination for the initial phase of training is facilitated through the NHTSA Regions.

Attendees of the initial facilitator training should include persons from the engineering, law enforcement, judicial and public policy disciplines. Costs for four participants from each state are paid by NHTSA. Finally, this initial phase of the Speed Management Workshop Facilitator Training requires participants to develop a plan for conducting train-the-trainer sessions in their state.

For the second tier of Speed Management Workshops, attendees of the initial train-the-trainer sessions instruct end-user trainers to conduct Speed Management Workshops at the local level. Attendees of the second tier of sessions are equipped with the necessary information to conduct end-user Speed Management Workshops at the local level. Again, the workshops bring together the engineering, law enforcement, judicial and public policy disciplines.

The final goal of the Speed Management Workshop process is to provide locals and community-level highway safety leadership, traffic engineers, law enforcement and citizens within the community with an understanding of and implementation plan for the speed management process. Attendees learn how to create a comprehensive plan for promoting speed management concepts and develop community-based speed management action plans.

Redding, Connecticut Police Chief Douglas Fuchs is implementing the tenants of speed management in his city. In an interview with the Redding Pilot, Chief Fuchs said, "It appears like this [technique] is well worth pursuing to see if it works in our community.We'll look at the environmental design of the roads and the signage. It will be a process of education followed by enforcement. Anything that can be done to reduce crashes is worth looking into."

Speed Management Workshop Facilitator Trainings have been completed in the NHTSA New England and Pacific Northwest Regions. For more information about Speed Management Workshops, contact your NHTSA Regional Office.