Drug testing and road safety: what you need to know March 2022 DOT HS 813 264 The topic of drugs while driving is both of great interest and very complex. As awareness of the issue has grown, discussions on the use of data on the presence of drugs among road users have increased. This report continues this discussion by examining the process for obtaining and reporting data on drug use from those involved in motor vehicle accidents. It examines processes along the way and the resulting data captured in NHTSA FARS – a national census of motor vehicle fatalities in the United States. The report describes the challenges of drug testing and reporting in the United States. The limitations identified here are not necessarily limited to drug testing or the FSAF and are presented to inform discussions about drugs and driving and to lay the foundation for improved data collection and reporting. For an accident to be included in the FRO database, it must contain a motor vehicle travelling on a highway that resulted in the death of at least one person as a result of the accident within 720 hours (30 days). The FROS database is a cornerstone of NHTSA`s information collection systems and has provided federal and state agencies, legislators, stakeholders, and researchers with key data on motor vehicle fatalities for all types of road users and on all public roads. It is internationally recognized for the breadth and depth of its data. For example, FARS data on alcohol-impaired driving has been the basis for planning, research, and policy development at the state and national levels for decades. In contrast, reporting drug use on a variety of potential substances and with different testing protocols in forensic laboratories and in states can lead to confusion about what the results mean at the local or national level. The question of whether to test, what to test and how to test for drugs is determined at the local level.

Currently, the limitations described in this report limit the interpretation of drug test results, including comparisons between jurisdictions or over time. In other areas of research where data are missing or incomplete, estimates may still be useful. This is not the case with FARS drug data. These missing data cannot be imputed using statistical techniques, as they are not missing “random” – a property necessary for imputation of missing data. For example, limited panels of drug tests and false-negative results result in underestimation of drug prevalence; Conversely, false-positive drug test results can lead to overestimation. The report discusses NHTSA`s actions to improve the quantity and quality of drug data in its FARS. Pedestrians and bicycles National Review of Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Education in Driver Training This report is a review of education and training materials for drivers across the country on the focus on safety education for pedestrians, cyclists and micromobility, as well as specific content such as illegal school public transit and stop arm laws. Evaluation of High-Visibility Enforcement of Bicycle Passage Laws March 2022 DOT HS 813 248 This study selected Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Knoxville, Tennessee, to implement High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) programs to improve compliance with laws requiring cyclists to maintain a minimum distance when passing bicycles. In Grand Rapids, a local ordinance required giving up 5 feet, and in Knoxville, state law and local ordinance required at least 3 feet to pass.

Police in both cities used the same type of ultrasonic meter to determine if drivers passing the lures on bicycles were too close. The ultrasonic meter was modified to store data and was used to collect evaluation measures from two groups of data collection users – “staged cyclists” who repeatedly rode on routes where law enforcement was concentrated and “volunteer cyclists” who used their bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. Each city has developed its own advertising program to increase the visibility of law enforcement. BPA programs continued in each city for approximately 4 months. The results showed that the average crossing distance in both cities during the reference period was already well above the applicable legal requirement, but the violations (passes less than 5 feet in Grand Rapids and less than 3 feet in Knoxville) were still high (26.0% in Grand Rapids and 5.0% in Knoxville). At the end of the PDB programs, statistically significant increases in average passing distance and significant reductions in non-compliance were achieved in both cities. The police had no problems with the ultrasonic meter to identify violations and decided to issue more warnings than speeding tickets. To encourage the use of the DUID tool, NHTSA has funding for a limited number of agencies and organizations to help address the challenges identified in the tool`s findings. Any state, local, territorial or tribal agency that plays a role in combating drug-impaired driving and has completed at least one section of the DUID tool is eligible. Several collaborating organizations are encouraged to submit a joint application whenever possible. Funds cannot be used to pay officer salaries, overtime, equipment that is not fully depreciated during the project, or construction. Performance of older drivers in six naturalistic studies November 2021 DOT HS 813 181 The conventional wisdom is that older drivers reduce their risk of crashes by regulating themselves and limiting their driving to situations they believe they can navigate safely.

However, crash data shows that older drivers are still more likely than middle-aged drivers to contribute to crashes. NHTSA has sponsored several studies of older drivers over the past decade that included naturalistic observations of driving exposure and often included similar methods and measures for measuring daily driving habits. During the same period, TRB sponsored the SHRP 2 study on naturalistic driving, in which more than a thousand participants aged 60 years and older participated. The goal of this project is to combine data from previous NHTSA studies to obtain more statistical power to determine how age, gender, clinical scores, and highway driving scores affect exposure and driving behavior. Analyses of the NDS data will provide a better understanding of the relationship between functional measures, driving habits and exposure based on a much longer exposure time than NHTSA data. Characteristics of State Law Enforcement Liaison Programs: Survey Results March 2022 DOT HS 813 259 This study improved the understanding of state law enforcement liaison programs (LELs) in the United States by providing information on their characteristics, including functions, responsibilities, and activities. The study included an online survey of LLs and their State Highway Safety Office (SHSO) program managers to identify program characteristics and practices. A total of 105 LEOs and 31 SOA representatives participated in the surveys. Almost 75% of LELs responded that they were directly accountable to their HSSA. Over 75% of LELs were for impaired driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and speed management.

Most LELs recruited beneficiaries, provided information and training to law enforcement agencies (LEAs), served as a point of contact between the SHSO and LEA communities, and established relationships with LEAs, advocates and stakeholders. Almost 75% of LELs reported that their performance had been evaluated. Commonly reported metrics included the number of in-person visits to LEAs and remote contacts, attendance at events and conferences, and the number of LEAs participating in mobilizations. Analyses using LEA grant take-up rates and several characteristics of the LEL program revealed no trends. Other unmeasured factors, such as state size, type of LEA, differences in state traffic laws, and enforcement culture, may play a role in obtaining LEA grants and participating in NHTSA road safety campaigns. However, specific characteristics of the LIE such as superior communication and interpersonal skills, knowledge of national road safety laws and general policing methods, links with LEAs, and high energy and charisma were identified as important factors for a productive programme. Synthesis of studies linking the extent of enforcement to the magnitude of safety outcomes June 2022 DOT HS 813 274-A This report includes the results of a research project conducted by the Volpe Center on behalf of NHTSA and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) as part of the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP). which identifies and funds research and evaluation projects aimed at improving and extending countermeasures for the safety of national roads. One such topic is measuring the impact of different amounts of traffic monitoring on changes in safety outcomes.

The project team identified 80 relevant studies for inclusion in the synthesis. The current literature supported only findings on the application of occupant protection. No association was found between enforcement levels and safety outcomes for distracted driving, impaired alcohol, speeding or aggressive driving.