Initially created to identify the most effective current and emerging road safety improvements and deploy them on rural roads, The National Center for Rural Road Safety is a leading resource to help transportation agencies reduce deaths on their roadways. As it heads into its second tenure, the Center recently announced a new approach and team to help address the needs of local agencies and rural transportation practitioners.
The National Center for Rural Road Safety, also known as the Rural Road Safety Center (RRSC), offers training, technical assistance, the national roadway safety champion certificate program, and research designed to help rural transportation agencies improve safety and reduce deaths on their roadways.
Funded by a new $6 million, 4-year award from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Center is entering its second tenure and has recently announced a new approach that focuses in on workforce training for rural issues, efficient operations for training delivery, and robust communication and resource sharing.
The Center has also announced a new team — including Janet Leli, associate director of Technology Transfer and director of the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program (NJLTAP) at the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) — who will be the training manager.
“CAIT provides workforce and professional development opportunities to local public agencies, training approximately 6,000 transportation professionals annually in nearly 200 different courses,” Leli said. “We are excited for this new opportunity to use our training approach and work with experts at The National Center for Rural Road Safety to help reach new audiences and improve safety on roads across the nation.”
Jaime Sullivan, director of the Center, said the new team is a federation of national rural road safety specialists hand-picked to meet the unique challenges of today’s transportation agencies.
Each line of effort has a lead, with Sullivan at the top as director. In addition to Leli leading the training efforts, Cameron Ishaq, principal management consultant and managing partner from Fasterhorse, LLC will serve as operations manager. Kevin Elliott, a senior strategic communication specialist from Applied Research Associates, Inc., will manage communications.
The larger team also includes instructional system designers, professional trainers, safety data analysis specialists, a media production team, and researchers and specialists in building transportation safety culture and the Safe System Approach.
Other members of the new RRSC are:
- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB)
- The Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Researchers from the Western Transportation Institute; the Center for Health and Safety Culture; and members of the Montana LTAP, all at Montana State University, where the National Center for Rural Road Safety is also housed
- Researchers from the Alabama Transportation Institute at the University of Alabama
- IDT Group
- Meetings Northwest, to manage the bi-annual National Summit for Rural Road Safety
“Roadway practitioners are facing unprecedented challenges, especially on their rural systems,” Sullivan said. “We have refreshed this center and dialed in this team to meet those practitioners where they are and offer them a helping hand.”