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NDSU and ND Highway Patrol Receive Funding for Projects to Improve Commercial Vehicle Safety

Posted: Oct 7, 2021

NDSU's Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $600,000 for projects to improve commercial vehicle safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is funding both projects.

In one project, UGPTI will develop and host the third in a series of Commercial Vehicle Safety Summits in 2022. The project received $440,964 in support from the FMCSA. The event will bring together researchers from universities and staff from law enforcement and driver licensing agencies to develop partnerships to improve commercial vehicle safety and commercial driver license compliance. The focus of the 2022 summit will be to reduce distracted driving among commercial vehicle operators and improve commercial vehicle safety in work zones.

"The overall goal for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit is to share information to save lives. States exchange ideas regarding partnerships, research projects, new processes, and best practices they have implemented to improve commercial vehicle safety, notes Brenda Lantz, director of UGPTI's Commercial Vehicle Safety Center. "In particular, we highlight partnerships with universities, and the capabilities they have to assist agencies to meet their goals."

In the second project, UGPTI researchers will develop a commercial motor vehicle crash dashboard in collaboration with the ND Highway Patrol. The dashboard will integrate data from a variety of sources across the state to provide up-to-date information and enhance decision-making tools for state and local road managers and enforcement agencies as they direct resources to enhance road safety.

North Dakota's natural resource-based economy generates a relatively high level of truck traffic activity and had one of the four highest truck crash incidence rates in 2018 among states according to FMCSA data. "Helping decision makers across the state identify critical commercial vehicle safety concerns and visualize where problems are occurring will help them make education and enforcement decisions that have the largest impact on crash reductions," notes Kim Vachal, director of UGPTI's Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center. That project will receive $178,836 in support from FMCSA.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol will be a partner in both projects.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050