In order to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries on our Nation's road network, roadway safety professionals must routinely integrate safety in their projects and programs. In response, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) established the Office of Safety Peer-to-Peer technical assistance program as a form of technical assistance for State, local, and rural agencies to adequately address safety problems on the roads they maintain.
The purpose of the program is to provide technical assistance that helps agencies develop and implement effective roadway safety programs. Experts with the knowledge of Federal-aid safety funding programs, policy, infrastructure, design, and data volunteer to provide technical assistance to their peers. This peer network provides access to valuable guidance and information from people who share similar backgrounds and have faced the same challenges.
While assistance is available on a broad range of roadway safety topics, applicants to the program most frequently request technical assistance on challenges within (but not limited to) these topics:
Please note that technical assistance is also available from Safety Specialists in FHWA Division Offices or from the Safety and Design Team in the FHWA Resource Center. Contact the Division Office or Resource Center directly.
Any public-sector transportation agency may apply for technical assistance from the program. Requests for more intensive technical assistance (site visit, training workshop, or facilitated peer exchange) must be coordinated with the State's FHWA Division Office. Contact information for each Division Office Safety Engineer can be found on the respective Division websites.
Technical assistance is generally delivered through the following mechanisms:
Technical assistance from a peer can be delivered via phone calls, email exchanges, web-conferences, or site visits. The level of peer technical assistance varies and is proportionate depending on the agency's need. Requesting agencies may state their preferred delivery method when submitting the request, though not all preferences can be accommodated. A program manager in the Office of Safety will review all preferences to ensure that assistance is delivered in the most effective and efficient manner.
Training is another form of assistance provided under the technical assistance program. Training instructed by experienced peers or technical experts (e.g. FHWA Resource Center staff) can be provided to State and local road practitioners, and may be coordinated as an independent session at a hosting agency location or in conjunction with existing conferences and workshops. Training can also be delivered through train-the-trainer sessions coordinated through agencies such as Local/Tribal Transportation Technical Assistance Program (LTAP/TTAP) Centers staff, metropolitan planning organizations, and State DOT Local Programs staff. Workshop length and focus will vary as training is tailored to meet the needs of the requesting agency. Finally, training can also be delivered by web-conference or through other similar distance learning methods.
Priority approval will be granted to agencies that request training on a topic that is of mutual interest to multiple agencies across the State and/or region. Therefore, when training is provided for a requesting agency, FHWA will ask that the hosting agency also promote and make the course available to neighboring jurisdictions. Agencies requesting training will need to review and agree to a list of hosting requirements before the request can be reviewed. Hosting requirements are available from the Office of Safety technical assistance coordinator and can be found online at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/training/p2p/. Request for training requires at least 90 days advance notice. Each training request must be coordinated with the State's FHWA Division Office.
Facilitated peer exchanges can be conducted onsite or by web-conference. Exchanges may be programmatic or project specific.
Peer exchanges can occur in three different formats:
Priority approval will be granted to agencies that request a peer exchange on a topic that is of mutual interest to multiple agencies across the State and/or region. Therefore, if a peer exchange is approved for a requesting agency, FHWA will ask—when applicable—that the hosting agency also promote and make the event available to other State, local, and/or rural road agencies that would benefit.
Any public agency is eligible to apply for a peer exchange; however, it must be for the benefit of roadway safety. Requests for a peer exchange must be submitted at least 90 days in advance of the desired event date. Each request for a peer exchange must be coordinated with the State's FHWA Division Office.
Agencies may request technical assistance by:
Once a request for assistance is received, it will be reviewed to ensure that it meets the Program's eligibility requirements for assistance. If the request is approved, an Office of Safety program manager will contact the requesting agency to discuss a proposed course of action and then proceed with implementing the agreed-upon assistance (see Types of Technical Assistance).
It is critical that the technical assistance program collects information about the effectiveness and value of the assistance it provides. To this end, the program will work collaboratively with the recipient(s) of technical assistance (the requesting agency) to obtain evaluation information after assistance has been provided. This information helps the program and the Office of Safety stay informed about technical assistance needs of its customers, trends in roadway safety, and potential gaps in types of peer assistance it provides.
The technical assistance program requires the requesting agency to complete the following evaluations:
The program also requests feedback from the peer or peers who provided the technical assistance. For larger events there are resources to assist with the reporting requirements.
Assistance is available on other roadway safety topics as well. Contact the technical assistance program at 866-727-FHWA to discuss your need. Technical assistance is also available directly from FHWA Safety Specialists in FHWA Division Offices or from the Safety and Design Team in the FHWA Resource Center.
Technical assistance provides access to valuable guidance and information as well as input from people who share a similar background and have faced the same challenges. The list of benefits is long, but here are just a few that you can expect.
Peer assistance can be facilitated via phone calls, email exchanges, general instruction, or site visits—all depending on your agency's needs. The Program delivers technical assistance through the following mechanisms: