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NHTSA grant program to update state crash reporting

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A federal grant program aimed at updating state crash reporting systems could enhance the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s ability to set safety standards in a more timely manner, a press release says

NHTSA recently opened applications for $350 million in grants to states for updating and standardizing their systems while allowing for full electronic data transfer to NHTSA, the release said. 

The data, which includes improving accuracy, timeliness, and accessibility of fatality data, will be shared between the states. The collection also will include pedestrian, cyclist, and “other vulnerable road user” data. 

Each state has until May 1 to apply and up to five years to implement changes after receiving a grant.

“These grants will mean more state data coming to NHTSA faster, which means we can put this information to good use in pursuing our shared safety goal – saving lives,” said Sophie Shulman, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator, in the release. “State data tells us what’s happening on our roads and allows us to develop effective and responsive strategies, countermeasures, research, rulemakings, and consumer education campaigns.” 

The grant was established through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The act partly focused on improving multiple crash data programs administered by NHTSA. This includes coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a way to share injury data from vehicle crashes with states. 

It also includes expanding NHTSA’s Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS) by adding more sights and broadening the scope of on-scene investigation protocols. The system uses NHTSA field teams to do detailed investigations of crashes. 

State crash data submitted to NHTSA is used in multiple crash data systems by the federal agency. The systems are used to identify highway safety problems and assess the effectiveness of motor vehicle standards. 

In recent years, NHTSA has focused on changing vehicle standards to include more safety technology. 

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and NHTSA announced last month that 20 automakers met a 2016 commitment to equip nearly all the light vehicles they produce in the U.S. market with automatic emergency braking (AEB). It also has proposed a mandate for AEB on vehicles more than 10,000 pounds. 


Photo courtesy of CHRISsadowski/iStock

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