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Use of Uniformed Police Officers on Federal-Aid Highway Construction Projects Executive Summary Presentation Prepared by Editor’s Ink Subcontractor to.

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Presentation on theme: "Use of Uniformed Police Officers on Federal-Aid Highway Construction Projects Executive Summary Presentation Prepared by Editor’s Ink Subcontractor to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Use of Uniformed Police Officers on Federal-Aid Highway Construction Projects Executive Summary Presentation Prepared by Editor’s Ink Subcontractor to Henderson Assoc. June 8, 2000

2 Overview of Presentation Background Survey Policies Effectiveness Summary Recommendations

3 Background TEA-21 required DOT to: “…conduct a study with States, State transportation departments, and law enforcement organizations, on the extent and effectiveness of use of uniformed police officers on Federal-aid highway construction projects.”

4 Background Survey –Federal Register Notice Federal Register Survey Questions General Comments encouraged –AASHTO Survey Analysis of Policies & Studies

5 Federal Register Respondents by Category N = 95

6 State Transportation Agency Respondents Respondents

7 Law Enforcement Respondents Respondents

8 Survey

9 Survey Respondents by Category N = 70

10 Survey Responses The total number of survey respondents was 70. Not all survey respondents answered all questions. Therefore the number of respondents (N) is DIFFERENT for EACH QUESTION.

11 Size of Law Enforcement Agency Only 25 Responses Average = 1,123 Range = ,644 Median = 3,388

12 Size of Jurisdiction All > 100,000 population

13 Policies

14 Does Agency Have Policy? N = 61

15 Does Agency Have Policy? Written policies generally provide for hiring off-duty police officers to work construction zones, although a few States use only on-duty officers Funding from DOT, usually Some “yes” responders said they had “unwritten” policies

16 What is the Source of Funding for UPO Program? N = 68

17 Extent of Use of UPOs Survey Data Analysis of Policies Submitted

18 Circumstances Where UPOs Most Often Used Nighttime operations Lane or road closures High speed/ Hi volume traffic

19 Only a Few Agencies Use UPOs in All Projects Arizona (unwritten policy) Rhode Island City of Boston

20 How is Number of Officers Determined? Responses vary widely Job site factors –location –traffic volume/speed –nighttime operations –complaints, problems, or special operations Available funding Procedural factors Manpower factors

21 Off-duty Only, or On-Duty As Well? N = 57

22 Use of Off-Duty vs On-Duty UPOs (Based on Survey Data & Policies Submitted) On Duty Off Duty

23 92% of Respondents said UPOs used Marked Vehicles at Construction Projects No response Yes 92% No 4% Varies 4%

24 Officer Positioning & Gear 11% of survey respondents said they require officers to be outside vehicle 33% require high-visibility clothing

25 24% of Survey Respondents said their State Conducts a UPO Training Program

26 Who’s In Charge? Who Developed the Policy? Who Determines the Number of Officers? Are UPOs included in the Planning Process?

27 Who Developed the Policy? N = 30

28 Who Determines Number of Officers? N = 63

29 Joint Effort Between Which Parties? N = 26

30 Are UPOs Included in Planning Process? N = 60

31 Effectiveness of Policies Survey Data--Mostly Opinion, but Indicates Positive Effects Hard “Real World” Data is Scarce Academic Research also Scarce, but Generally Positive

32 Effects of Policies: Academic Studies Generally Positive Results Document that UPO Presence Reduces Speed as much as or more than other traffic control methods Some guidelines available

33 Effects of Policies: Academic Studies Transafety Paper, Noel, et al, 1987 Compared: 1. MUTCD flagging procedure 2. MUTCD flagging procedure w/ add’l flagger hand motions 3. marked police car w/ lights & radar 4. UPOs standing to control traffic

34 Effects of Policies: Academic Studies Noel et al found: “The law enforcement methods demonstrated a stronger speed reduction capability; particularly when lane closures result in two or more lanes open.”

35 Effects of Policies: Academic Studies Transportation Research Board, Richards, et al, 1985 Findings: Flagging & law enforcement were best methods. Best flagging methods reduced speeds an average of 19% Best Law enforcement methods reduced speeds by an average of 18%.

36 Has Your Agency Conducted Studies on use of UPOs in Work Zones? N = 58

37 Studies by States A few states track # of citations, # of collisions, injuries, etc. Generally do not provide conclusive data on effectiveness Some law enforcement agencies provided info on budget, # of officers assigned, etc.

38 General Respondents by Category N - 25

39 General Comments Received General comments were overwhelmingly supportive AASHTO 1997 Policy Resolution supports use of Federal-aid funds for UPOs in work zones 2 of 10 highway industry associations had methodology suggestions: –AHAS: encourages gathering more hard data –IIHS: recommends study of automated enforcement as supplement to UPOs

40 Summary Findings Report documents widespread use, and support for, the use of UPOs in work zones. (extent) Little hard data available on actual effects of policies. Survey data show State policies and procedures vary widely.

41 Issues Summary Policies vary Re: –Circumstances Where UPOs are Required –Number of Officers Required –Training, Procedures, & Supervision Conflicting Missions (Traffic Control vs. Speed Enforcement)

42 States Served By FHWA Mobile Asphalt Laboratory Asphalt Trailer Visited

43 Issues Summary Funding and Personnel Availability Payment of Officers –Rates (overtime vs straight pay) –Benefits & Retirement

44 Recommendations: Agencies should consider... Developing written guidelines to address: –situations where UPOs recommended –work zone traffic control planning process –officer pay/benefits, work procedures, etc. Training UPOs in proper MUTCD work zone signage and flagging procedures.

45 Recommendations: Agencies should consider... Gathering better data on traffic safety incidents at Federally funded highway work zones in order to assess effectiveness of work zone traffic control techniques. Using new technologies, such as automated enforcement and intrusion alarms, as well as UPOs.


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