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FHWA Establishing New Research Center to Help State Transportation Departments

RoadWork NL
  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced plans to establish a Safety Training and Analysis Center (STAC) at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to assist the research community and state Departments of Transportation (DOTs). [caption id="attachment_14587" align="alignleft" width="300"]diagram of STAC function This graphic shows how the data will flow through STAC. (Image: FHWA)[/caption] The FHWA said the center will create training to support research and analysis focused on addressing the safety of the roadway environment, specifically the impact of roadway features on driving behavior, and provide technical assistance to highway safety data stakeholders, primarily state DOTs. FHWA intends to use the STAC to analyze the data, conduct research, and develop tools to address high priority issues of national significance. “The STAC will support the mission of FHWA’s Office of Safety Research and Development to use a data-driven, systematic approach to reducing highway fatalities and making our roads safer,” said Aladdin Barkawi, SHRP2 Safety Implementation Coordinator. FHWA is currently identifying critical user needs and plans to analyze how these needs are currently being met to determine the most useful services the STAC could provide to stakeholders. It recently held a workshop at which stakeholder representatives exchanged ideas and offered suggestions for desired services to be provided by the STAC. “There will also be an environmental scan of other data support centers in the U.S. Department of Transportation, other agencies, and quasi-public organizations,” said Carol Tan, who heads FHWA’s Safety Management Team. "Information about how these centers have met customer needs will be incorporated into the assessment.” The FHWA believes that the STAC's use of data could significantly improve safety conditions on the road. “Having such rich data and technical support at Turner-Fairbank will be of great value to states that want to dig deeper into roadway characteristics and driver behavior issues that impact highway safety,” said Tony Furst, FHWA’s Office of Safety Associate Administrator. Read more at the FHWA's announcement.
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