From the Director: Happy Holidays!
The NJ LTAP technology transfer team wishes everyone a joyous holiday season! 2016 was a very busy year for us.
We rolled out many new training workshops; attended local, state, and national events; gave a new look to our marketing pieces with a new logo; and published multiple newsletters and technical briefs. We hope that you found our services useful in the past year and that you continue to look to us with your training and technical assistance needs.
The entire team thanks you for your continued commitment and all that you do in your daily work to tackle safety, infrastructure, environmental, congestion, and capacity issues. While there is much work to do and there may be further challenges ahead, we end 2016 better able to serve the transportation industry and all roadway users.
Janet Leli, Director
Roadside Safety Hardware (FHWA Memorandum)
The following information has been made available by the Federal Highway Administration–New Jersey Division Office
There have been recent reports of highway crashes involving guardrails that have noted cases of incompatible components being used in the maintenance or repair of terminals. This use of incompatible parts will likely affect the performance of the crashworthy guardrail terminal and may lead to serious injury or death. The purpose of thisnotice is to bring the guardrail terminal installation and repair issues to your attention, along with reinforcing the updating of polices where necessary and potential training opportunities.
In order to encourage the states to provide in-depth training on the installation of barrier and terminal hardware, the Office of Safety led Guardrail Installation and Maintenance Training as part of our Focused Approach to Safety effort. This three-day course involving classroom instruction as well as hands-on demonstrations of safety hardware offered directly by the hardware manufacturers themselves, has been presented to 15 Focus States to date. While the existing contract is ending this year, the effort will be succeeded by the Guardrail Installation and Inspection Training grant program that was included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST)Act. Announcements for the opportunity for each state to host training are expected in 2017.
In the interim please review the details within the attached email and, if necessary, update any policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines relevant to selection, installation, repair, and maintenance of roadside safety hardware. Give strong consideration to:
- A system wide inventory of in-situ roadside safety hardware, especially guardrail terminals
- Accurate identification of safety hardware components in maintenance inventories
- Training of contractors and maintenance forces responsible for guardrail terminal installation and repair
- Training of inspectors who approve new and repaired guardrail terminals
Finally, a Transportation Research Board Circular, “Roadside Safety Design and Devices: International Workshop,” was just published in November 2016. The first article in the circular “Roadside Barrier Installation and Maintenance Issues: The Need for Improved Quality Control,” is quite timely. A PDF of the Circular is available free of charge online at http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/175369.aspx
Road Diets: Safer Roads, Safer Communities
By Rebecca Crowe, FHWA Office of Safety
Across the nation, travelers are continuously looking for ways to find safer and more efficient travel routes. Whether on their daily commute, walking to school, or just trying to get “from point A to point B,” increasing safety for travelers is a win for everyone.
Installing a Road Diet is one way to achieve safer roads. A Road Diet is a roadway reconfiguration that improves safety, convenience, and quality of life for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation passengers. A Road Diet can make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street and can also create room for bicyclists. In addition, this roadway safety solution can be a relatively low-cost option if planned in conjunction with reconstruction or simple overlay projects. Applying a Road Diet is a very inexpensive, simple process: it consists primarily of restriping roadways.
Two excellent examples of this type of Road Diet can be found in the city of Reston, Virginia, on Lawyers Road and Soapstone Drive. The two projects both took away one lane in each direction and added a center turn lane. These installations were so successful that in late 2015 they received a National Roadway Safety Award for Infrastructure and Operational Improvements.
To find out if a Road Diet is right for your area, download our Road Diet Informational Guide today: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/info_guide/.
To learn more about Road Diets use cases and scenarios, download the Road Diet Case Studies Guide: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/case_studies/roaddiet_cs.pdf.
Check out the full article on FHWA’s Safety Compass Newsletter
New Jersey To Launch New Weigh Station Technology
Trenton – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials recently announced the launch of new weigh station technology, NJPass, which allows pre-enrolled commercial truck fleets in New Jersey to bypass weigh stations.
The Department partnered with International Road Dynamics, Inc. (IRD) to develop a system that permits NJPass equipped vehicles to bypass the three inbound weigh stations in the state, located at I-78, I-80, and I-295. This will help save money on fuel and reduce drive times – a significant contributor to shipping costs – while reducing back-ups at weigh stations and improving highway safety.
“This system will help to improve the operation of New Jersey’s weigh stations by focusing on higher risk carriers and provide more efficient use of our limited New Jersey State Police resources,” said Paul Truban, NJDOT’s manager of the Bureau of Freight Planning and Services. The State Police Transportation Safety Bureau runs the New Jersey weigh stations.
Any trucking company can apply to enroll in the program. The New Jersey State Police will then be able to be more discriminatory in terms of which commercial carriers, vehicles and drivers are pulled into the weigh stations based on their credentials and history. Enrolling companies will pay an annual fee calculated by fleet numbers and the length of time the company elects to participate in the program.
NJPass is offered by IRD, which provides a variety of intelligent transportation systems, including virtual weigh stations and remotely controlled weigh stations.
Interested carriers can contact NJPass sales at 866-903-0333 or on the web at www.njpass.net
What Drives Highway Safety Improvements
By: Dana Gigliotti and Karen Scurry
In 2015, more than 35,000 people in the United States lost their lives in motor vehicle-related crashes. Every time a crash results in death or serious injuries, it affects countless families, friends, employers, and communities in ways that have lasting and far-reaching effects.
The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a Federal Highway Administration program that funds State safety projects intended to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. States may use HSIP funds for infrastructure improvements that address safety concerns (for example, intersection design, pedestrian crossings, and retrofits to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions).
In 2012, FHWA embarked on a new and improved approach to managing HSIP. This core Federal-aid program now requires transportation performance management as a basis for improving highway safety. The new focus will enhance data-driven safety decisions, improve collaboration across a wide range of safety partners, provide transparency for the public, and, most importantly, save lives.
Legislation Outlines Changes to HSIP
Under HSIP, States receive in total approximately $2.3 billion annually to implement their programs of highway safety improvements. Congressional legislation establishes program requirements, and FHWA regulations further clarify and prescribe requirements. States then develop programs that best meet their needs.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which went into effect on October 1, 2012, continued HSIP as a core Federal-aid program and outlined some changes to the program. States are now required to regularly evaluate and update their strategic highway safety plans and post HSIP annual reports on FHWA’s Web site.
Find out the final rules and much more from FHWA’s Public Roads Newsletter
NHTSA Certification is Not Just a Label
Vehicle safety is a primary concern for anyone building, selling, buying or using a work truck. A series of laws and regulations help ensure motor vehicles sold in the U.S. meet specified safety standards. There are numerous reasons why vehicle certification—the process by which companies in the manufacturing chain attest that a vehicle meets the standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — is important.
Work truck purchasers may obtain a vehicle in a variety of ways, such as from a dealer or leasing company. In either circumstance, the buyer likely works with the dealer or leasing company to specify body and equipment type needed. As a result of various financing methods, a truck purchaser may or may not be the actual consumer or end user. For example, the end user might be an employee with no financial interest in the vehicle, and the purchaser could be a company that leases to the business using the truck.
If you purchase a completed and certified truck from a dealer’s lot, and put it into service without making any modifications to it, you may not have significant certification concerns. This would not be the case if you are involved in spec’ing the truck or performing work on it after receipt. If you, as the purchaser, do any further manufacturing, modification or repairs, there could be considerable certification concerns. To the extent you are involved in the design of your truck by specifying preferred body and equipment, you take some responsibility for the end product.
In order to protect yourself, your company and employees, it’s important to understand the motor vehicle safety standard certification system and any direct or indirect responsibilities or liabilities you could be accepting. For instance, if a final-stage manufacturer or alteror says the body and equipment you want cannot be properly certified on the chassis specified, work with them to find the right chassis/body/equipment combination.
Proper certification gives you assurances the work truck you purchased—and your employee is driving—is compliant with the latest Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Understanding the certification process will help ensure your trucks provide drivers all the safety benefits resulting from those standards. Failure to recognize the certification process—and putting workers into uncertified or improperly certified vehicles—could expose you to liability.
Being knowledgeable about FMVSS certification will allow you to better assess the vendors building your trucks. It will also help you create specifications for the trucks you wish to purchase as well as protect your business and employees. More fleet management-related resources are available at ntea.com/fleetresources.
FMCSA Establishes National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.
“An overwhelming majority of the nation’s freight travels by truck, and millions of passengers reach their destinations by bus, so creating a central, comprehensive, and searchable database of commercial motor vehicle drivers who violate federal drug and alcohol testing requirements has been a departmental priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This system will be a new technological tool that will make our roads safer.”
Once the clearinghouse is established, motor carrier employers will be required to query the system for information concerning current or prospective employees who have unresolved violations of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations that prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). It also requires employers and medical review officers to report drug and alcohol testing program violations.
The drug and alcohol clearinghouse final rule annual net benefits are an estimated $42 million, with crash reductions resulting from annual and pre-employment queries by FMCSA-regulated motor carriers.
“This is a major safety win for the general public and the entire commercial motor vehicle industry,” said FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling. “The clearinghouse will allow carriers across the country to identify current and prospective drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol, and employ those who drive drug- and alcohol-free. Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol will no longer be able to conceal those test results from employers and continue to drive while posing a safety risk to the driving public.”
Read the full USDOT Press Release here
ARTBA Launches Professional Certification Program to Mitigate Onsite Risk
The ARTBA Foundation’s Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) program was established in 2016 “to ensure the safety and well-being of construction workers, motorists, truck drivers, pedestrians and their families by making transportation project sites worldwide zero-incident zones.”
This is achieved by providing and encouraging an accredited certification program to the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC 17024) Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons as administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The program was developed by the senior executives from America’s leading transportation design and construction firms, senior federal and state transportation agency officials, and top labor union officials.
- Read the Candidate Handbook, FAQs (test dates, topics, costs, etc.) and eligibility requirements.
- Complete the application. You will pay for your exam at the end of the application. If you are eligible, the ARTBA certification department will email you within 15 business days, with an approval of your application and instructions to on how to schedule your exam.
- Schedule your exam with a Pearson VUE test center. Find the nearest test center.
Learn more about the program at the ATRBA Website
Climbing the Ladders of Opportunity
By Danielle Coles
The American Dream promises that no matter who you are or where you are from, if you work hard and follow the rules, you should be able to secure a good job, support a family, and find a niche in your community. It promises that there are no limits to success, and that humble beginnings can develop into extraordinary endings. However, for many socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, the American Dream is not always achievable. Limited access to job opportunities, quality education, and healthy food; lack of adequate living wages and affordable housing; unstable home environments; and financial illiteracy can all serve as barriers to economic mobility.
Since 2009, the Obama Administration has made several historic investments to create ladders of opportunity and help all Americans climb the rungs to a better future. The Administration also charged key Federal agencies with developing innovative initiatives to rebuild sustainable communities and connect people with jobs and other essential services.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation created a Ladders of Opportunity policy initiative. This initiative focuses on enhancing economic opportunities for underserved populations (minorities, low-income populations, persons with disabilities, older adults, and individuals with limited English proficiency) by investing in transportation projects that better connect communities to essential services–such as employment centers, health care, schools, healthy food, and recreation–more safely, reliably, and affordably.
Ladders of Opportunity has three concepts–work, connect, and revitalize–that promote thoughtful workforce development programs assisting disadvantaged people and businesses, a multimodal transportation system that improves connectivity, and revitalized transportation infrastructure that supports equitable business and residential development.
FHWA Updates Safety Performance Management Website
The Federal Highway Administration has recently released an updated version of their Safety Performance Management website that includes plenty of resources supporting the Safety PM Final Rule. Among the categories of helpful information are policies and guidance documents, fact sheets and webinar recordings, target-setting resources, and safety data resources.
States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations are using system information to make safety investment and policy decisions. This process is critical to the Highway Safety Improvement Program. The Safety PM Final Rule (effective April 2016) established five performance measures to be included for the five-year rolling averages:
- Number of fatalities
- Rate of fatalities per 100 million VMT
- Number of serious injuries
- Rate of serious injuries per 100 million VMT
- Number of non-motorized fatalities and non-motorized serious injuries
To Review the online resources available for Safety PM, please visit here.
Ice and Snow: Remove It Before You Go
Remember to remove all ice and snow from your vehicle before driving, especially from the hood, windows and roof. It’s the law in New Jersey! Motorists who fail to do so face fines of $25 to $75 for each offense, regardless of whether the ice and snow is dislodged from the vehicle. If flying ice or snow causes property damage or injury to others, motorists face fines of $200 to $1,000 for each offense. There are approximately 500 fatalities in the United States per year due to icy road conditions.
- Drive slowly (at or below the posted speed limit) and adjust your speed for the changing road conditions.
- Turn on your headlights, using low beams when traveling in snow.
- Increase your following distance. In winter weather, travel at least eight to ten seconds behind the car in front of you.
- If you skid, don’t brake or accelerate. Remove your foot from the gas, and gently steer your car in the direction of the skid.
To read more important winter safety tips, click here!
Additional NJTR-1 Training Announced
Starting January 01, 2017 at 0001 hours, all Law Enforcement Agencies that conduct crash investigations in the State of New Jersey will be required to utilize the updated NJTR-1 form. LTAP will once again conduct training related to this new form starting in April 2017. All police agencies are encouraged to attend this training to learn about the various changes. Training will be held in 10 different locations around the state for your convenience. Please go to https://test-ru-cait.pantheonsite.io/cait//njtr1-crash-form-refresher to register today.
Integrated Water Management: A Guide for City Leaders
Water management isn’t just for utility leaders anymore – all city leaders must prioritize effective and equitable water management as part of creating a livable, thriving city. Urban water systems are facing new threats from climate change in addition to perennial concerns over water quality and supply.
These challenges are systemic and demand a new approach, requiring political leaders to join in working to create more resilient water systems. Integrated water management (IWM) offers a framework for managing all water within cities as a resource, reducing waste while capturing value, and seeking to integrate water into other city planning. The benefits of IWM can extend well beyond better resource management, from economic development opportunities and creative funding to improved recreational areas.
This report provides an overview of the potential for IWM in cities from the big-picture framework down to examples of tools used by cities on the ground. IWM includes tools like protection of natural lands near waterways, conservation, capture of rain as a resource, an end to “waste” water, and planning for climate resilience.