FHWA Proposal Develops National Performance Measures for Safety

March 14, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

hway interchange_byAFAnyone who has read through the Office of Management and Budget’s grant reform guidance (and I would hope that all grants stakeholders already have) knows that improving performance is a critical goal for the future of grants management. Although not directly linked to the guidance, the Federal Highway Administration published a proposed rule in the Federal Register this week that would develop new safety performance measures for the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Section 1203 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) states that performance management will transform the highway program by refocusing it on national transportation goals, increasing the program’s accountability and transparency, and improving project decisionmaking through performance-based planning and programming. The proposal establishes measures for state departments of transportation to use to carry out the highway safety program and to assess serious injuries and fatalities per vehicle mile traveled, and the number of serious injuries and fatalities.

Specifically, the rule proposes that states and metropolitan planning organizations set and report specific annual targets to lower fatality and serious injury numbers for the program. What’s more, it also proposes consequences for states that do not meet or make significant progress toward meeting those targets. In essence, improve safety — or else!

It will be interesting to see the comments that states submit on this proposal. It’s one thing to say that states need to improve performance, but it’s another thing for them to actually put these measures into practice. Comments on the proposal are due June 19. If you have any major concerns with the proposal, let the FHWA know.

What are your thoughts about this proposal and other efforts to improve performance? Let us know.

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