Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory; Notice of Availability, 42973-42975 [2018-18325]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 165 / Friday, August 24, 2018 / Notices basis for any such claim and, if possible, a summary of your submission that can be made available to the public. Privacy Act In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL–14 FDMS, accessible through www.dot.gov/privacy. To facilitate comment tracking and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the agency for alternate submission instructions. Authority: 49 CFR 1.93(a), 46 U.S.C. 55103, 46 U.S.C. 12121 * * * Dated: August 20, 2018. By Order of the Maritime Administrator. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr. Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–18270 Filed 8–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2017–0081] Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory; Notice of Availability National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: States need timely, accurate, complete, accessible, and uniform traffic records to identify and prioritize traffic safety issues and to choose appropriate safety countermeasures and evaluate their effectiveness. Traffic records program assessments provide States with the information needed to plan traffic records improvement projects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announces the availability of a revised Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory following review of comments received from States, associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For programmatic issues: John Siegler, Office of Traffic Records and daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:17 Aug 23, 2018 Jkt 244001 Analysis, NSA–221, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366–1268; email: John.Siegler@dot.gov. For legal issues: Megan Brown, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the Chief Counsel, NCC–300, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 366–1834; email: Megan.Brown@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background States need timely, accurate, complete, uniform, integrated, and accessible traffic records data to identify and prioritize traffic safety issues, and choose appropriate safety countermeasures and evaluate their effectiveness. The purpose of traffic records assessments is to provide States with useful information on the status of the many systems that make up the traffic records system. Federal statute requires States to certify that ‘‘an assessment of the State’s highway safety data and traffic records system was conducted or updated during the preceding 5 years’’ in order to qualify for a State traffic safety information system improvements grant. 23 U.S.C. 405(c). NHTSA regulations require that the assessment comply with ‘‘procedures and methodologies’’ outlined by NHTSA. 23 CFR 1300.22(b)(4). NHTSA published the Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory (Advisory) (DOT HS 811 644) in 2012 to provide guidance on conducting these assessments. This notice announces the availability of a revised Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory following review of comments received from States, associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals. II. Comments NHTSA received submissions from 23 commenters in response to the October 25, 2017 request for comment. 82 FR 49473–49475. Commenters included the following eleven State agencies and commissions: California Office of Traffic Safety (CA OTS); Colorado Department of Transportation (CO DOT); Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT); Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DE OHS); Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH); Michigan Crash Section (MI Crash); New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (NY GTSC); Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the NC Division of Public Health (NC DPH); Puerto Rico Traffic Safety Commission (PR TSC); PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 42973 joint submission by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Washington Traffic Records Committee (WA Traffic); and joint submission by the Departments of Transportation of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota & Wyoming (5-State DOTs). Three associations and consortiums provided comments: Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP); Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA); and National Safety Council (NSC). One non-profit organization, Consumers Union (CU), provided comments. Eight individual commenters also provided comments: Brook Chipman; Joe McCarthy; Mario Damiata; Nathan Dean; Jay Wall; and three anonymous commenters. Of these comments, three were out of the scope of this notice.1 Three broad categories of comments accounted for more than half of the comments received: comments stating that the assessment is too burdensome, comments seeking more personalized recommendations, and comments seeking more in-person meetings as part of the assessment process. Ten commenters, including States, associations and an individual, stated that the existing Traffic Records Assessment process is burdensome. Specifically, commenters stated that the assessment is burdensome due to the number of questions (some of which they consider redundant), the high standards of evidence required for responses, the time required to respond, and the number of agencies within the State that are required to participate in assessments. Seven commenters, including States, associations, and individuals, requested that assessors provide more personalized recommendations to States at the conclusion of each assessment. Several commenters further asserted that it would be helpful to States if assessors prioritized the most important recommendations to assist States in planning traffic records improvement projects. Twelve commenters, including States, associations, and individuals, argued that the assessment process would be easier and more useful if there were more opportunities for in-person meetings. As a result of these comments, NHTSA has taken a fresh look at the Advisory, as it was not our intent to impose undue burdens on States. In revising the Advisory, we strove to provide maximum flexibility and reduce 1 Two anonymous commenters commented on EPA regulatory issues. One anonymous commenter commented on electric vehicle batteries. E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 42974 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 165 / Friday, August 24, 2018 / Notices the burden on States, while still providing States with guidance and assistance in conducting assessments. Therefore, as explained further below, NHTSA has revised the Advisory to provide States with three options for conducting assessments. These options range from an entirely State-run assessment, in which States control the process and outcomes, to a selfassessment using questions provided by NHTSA, that will result in generalized recommendations, to a more detailed NHTSA-facilitated and funded assessment, which will include inperson meetings and will result in a personalized final report. In addition to reducing burden on States by providing three options for conducting assessments, NHTSA strove to further reduce burden in the optional assessment questions provided in Appendix E of the Advisory. Previously the questions were required for all States and accounted for the majority of the Advisory. Now, however, those assessment questions have been reduced by 16 percent and States are not required to use the questions. The questions in Appendix E will be used only if a State opts to complete an assessment using NHTSA’s questions. Several commenters offered suggestions for specific changes to the questions, which we will address briefly. NY GTSC and the 5-State DOTs argued that using an ‘‘ideal’’ system as a baseline for the assessment sets an unattainable standard. The 5-State DOTs further requested that the Advisory not refer to findings as ‘‘deficiencies’’ because an ‘‘ideal’’ is not a real standard. While NHTSA understands that an ‘‘ideal’’ system is a very high standard, we believe that it provides a useful measure for States strive for, but we do not require States to meet the ideal. We agree that failure to meet an ‘‘ideal’’ does not represent a ‘‘deficiency’’ and have therefore replaced ‘‘deficiency’’ with ‘‘area of opportunity.’’ Seven State commenters requested more flexibility in the evidence required to respond to each question. While States may choose their own standard of evidence when conducting a selfassessment under either of the first two assessment options provided in the new Advisory, NHTSA-facilitated assessments still require States to provide sufficient evidence. However, NHTSA agrees that this evidence may come in different forms. Therefore, NHTSA no longer prescribes ‘‘required evidence,’’ but instead provides guidance for ‘‘suggested evidence’’ that States may want to use to respond to each question. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:17 Aug 23, 2018 Jkt 244001 Four commenters requested more flexibility in the structure of the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. In response, NHTSA has updated both the TRCC narrative and questions to align with the best practices identified in the State Traffic Records Coordinating Committee Noteworthy Practices 2 report, which focuses more on the responsibilities of the TRCC than a specific structure. GHSA suggested that all performance measure questions be combined into a single question in each section of the assessment. While that would reduce the number of questions, it would not reduce the burden on the State to respond to each performance measure and would make it more difficult to identify limitations in any specific performance measure. NHTSA declines to make this change. The ID, MT, ND, SD, and WY DOTs commented that the advisory text implies that States are required to adopt elements beyond the MMUCC minimum and Joe McCarthy asked for clarification that MMUCC is voluntary. MMUCC is a voluntary standard. NHTSA’s intent in the Advisory is to suggest that States can add the MMUCC elements and attributes that are unique to their own environment and operation. We have updated both the text of the Advisory and the questions to reflect this clarification. Several commenters (CO DOT, WA TSC & TRC, 5-State DOTs and Joe McCarthy) stated that the Roadway system outlined in the Advisory should be updated to match the requirements set out by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). NHTSA agrees and has aligned the Advisory and questions to FHWA’s required elements. Three commenters (ATSIP, MA DPH, and NC DPH) found the Injury Surveillance System (ISS) section burdensome, stating that the number of questions in that section was disproportionate to the rest of the assessment questions. NHTSA recognizes that the ISS section has more questions than the other data system sections. However, the ISS system contains five separate component data systems, which is substantially more component data systems than the other sections. MA DPH asked whether the evidence provided for the Injury Surveillance System section of the assessment must be related to traffic data. States may provide any evidence 2 Available online at https:// www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ TRCC%20Noteworthy%20Practices%20Guide %20final%20september%202015.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 from the system, regardless of whether it is traffic-related. III. Overview of the Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory As highlighted above, NHTSA believes it is important to provide States with flexibility in meeting the requirement to conduct an assessment of the State’s highway safety data and traffic records system. Therefore, the Advisory provides guidance on three different assessment processes so that States may choose the process that best fits their needs. First, States may design their own assessment of their traffic safety information systems. NHTSA regulations require States to list all recommendations from their most recent highway safety data and traffic records system assessment and identify whether and how they intend to address those recommendations. 23 CFR 1300.22(b)(2)(ii–iv). A State’s assessment should, therefore, result in a comprehensive set of recommendations that will improve the State traffic safety information systems and inform the State’s traffic records strategic plan. The Advisory lays out noteworthy practices that States may wish to consider when assessing their data systems. Second, NHTSA has developed a selfassessment tool that States may use. The assessment tool consists of a series of questions developed by NHTSA, with the input of subject matter experts, which will generate recommendations based on the States’ responses. This assessment tool is available online at https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/ traffic-records. The questions are in Appendix E of the Advisory. Third, States may opt to participate in NHTSA’s State Traffic Records Assessment Program (STRAP) at no cost to the State. STRAP is a peer assessment process using the questions from NHTSA’s assessment tool. Qualified independent assessors will evaluate the State’s responses and provide recommendations; specific and actionable considerations; and a final report. An experienced facilitator supports this process, which includes two onsite meetings and a webinar report-out. Regardless of which process a State chooses to conduct its assessment, NHTSA GO Teams remain available to States who wish to apply for additional technical assistance. GO Teams provide technical expertise and guidance on specific small- to mid-scale projects that the States want to undertake but that may require other, specialized knowledge. Application forms are available on the NHTSA website http:// E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 165 / Friday, August 24, 2018 / Notices www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/ TrafficRecords/Training_Technical_ Assistance_Application.docx. The full Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory is posted online at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/ Public/ViewPublication/812601. Authority: 23 U.S.C. Section 405(c)(3)(E). Issued in Washington, DC. Terry T. Shelton, Associate Administrator, National Center for Statistics and Analysis. [FR Doc. 2018–18325 Filed 8–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau [Docket No. TTB–2018–0001] Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 71) Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) invites comments on the proposed or continuing information collections listed below in this document. DATES: Comments are due on or before October 23, 2018. ADDRESSES: As described below, you may send comments on the information collections listed in this document using the ‘‘Regulations.gov’’ online comment form for this document, or you may send written comments via U.S. mail or hand delivery. TTB no longer accepts public comments via email or fax. • https://www.regulations.gov: Use the comment form for this document posted within Docket No. TTB–2018– 0001 on ‘‘Regulations.gov,’’ the Federal e-rulemaking portal, to submit comments via the internet; • U.S. Mail: Michael Hoover, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005. • Hand Delivery/Courier in Lieu of Mail: Michael Hoover, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Please submit separate comments for each specific information collection daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:17 Aug 23, 2018 Jkt 244001 listed in this document. You must reference the information collection’s title, form or recordkeeping requirement number, and OMB number (if any) in your comment. You may view copies of this document, the information collections listed in it and any associated instructions, and all comments received in response to this document within Docket No. TTB–2018–0001 at https:// www.regulations.gov. A link to that docket is posted on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/forms/comment-onform.shtml. You may also obtain paper copies of this document, the information collections described in it and any associated instructions, and any comments received in response to this document by contacting Michael Hoover at the addresses or telephone number shown below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Hoover, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; telephone (202) 453–1039, ext. 135; or email informationcollections@ttb.gov (please do not submit comments on the information collections listed in this document to this email address). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comments The Department of the Treasury and its Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), as part of a continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed or continuing information collections listed below in this notice, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Comments submitted in response to this notice will be included or summarized in our request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the relevant information collection. All comments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Please do not include any confidential or inappropriate material in comments. For each information collection listed below, we invite comments on: (a) Whether the information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency’s functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the information collection’s burden; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the information collection’s burden on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 42975 other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide the requested information. Information Collections Open for Comment Currently, we are seeking comments on the following information collections (forms, recordkeeping requirements, or questionnaires): Title: Change of Bond (Consent of Surety). OMB Number: 1513–0013. TTB Form Number: F 5000.18. Abstract: The Internal Revenue Code (IRC), at 26 U.S.C. 5114, 5173, 5272, 5354, 5401, and 5711, requires certain alcohol and tobacco industry proprietors to post a bond in conformity with regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to ensure payment by the bonding company of Federal excise taxes due on such products should the proprietor default. When circumstances of a proprietor’s operation change from the original bond agreement, the TTB regulations authorized under those IRC sections allow the proprietor to complete form TTB F 5000.18, Change of Bond (Consent of Surety), in lieu of obtaining a new bond. Once executed by the proprietor and an approved surety company, the form is filed with TTB, which retains it as long as the revised bond agreement remains in force. Current Actions: This information collection remains unchanged, and TTB is submitting it only for extension purposes. However, TTB is decreasing the estimated number of annual respondents, responses, and burden hours associated with this information collection due to a decrease in the number of TTB-regulated alcohol industry members that are required to file bonds. As amended by section 332 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), the IRC no longer requires bonds for taxpayers who are eligible to pay excise taxes on distilled spirits, wines, and beer using quarterly or annual return periods, provided that such taxes are paid on a deferred basis and, with respect to distilled spirits and wine, the products are for nonindustrial use. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profits. Estimated Number of Respondents: 150. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 150. E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 165 (Friday, August 24, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 42973-42975]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-18325]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0081]


Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory; Notice of 
Availability

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: States need timely, accurate, complete, accessible, and 
uniform traffic records to identify and prioritize traffic safety 
issues and to choose appropriate safety countermeasures and evaluate 
their effectiveness. Traffic records program assessments provide States 
with the information needed to plan traffic records improvement 
projects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
announces the availability of a revised Traffic Records Program 
Assessment Advisory following review of comments received from States, 
associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For programmatic issues: John Siegler, Office of Traffic Records 
and Analysis, NSA-221, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366-
1268; email: [email protected].
    For legal issues: Megan Brown, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the 
Chief Counsel, NCC-300, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 366-
1834; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    States need timely, accurate, complete, uniform, integrated, and 
accessible traffic records data to identify and prioritize traffic 
safety issues, and choose appropriate safety countermeasures and 
evaluate their effectiveness. The purpose of traffic records 
assessments is to provide States with useful information on the status 
of the many systems that make up the traffic records system.
    Federal statute requires States to certify that ``an assessment of 
the State's highway safety data and traffic records system was 
conducted or updated during the preceding 5 years'' in order to qualify 
for a State traffic safety information system improvements grant. 23 
U.S.C. 405(c). NHTSA regulations require that the assessment comply 
with ``procedures and methodologies'' outlined by NHTSA. 23 CFR 
1300.22(b)(4). NHTSA published the Traffic Records Program Assessment 
Advisory (Advisory) (DOT HS 811 644) in 2012 to provide guidance on 
conducting these assessments.
    This notice announces the availability of a revised Traffic Records 
Program Assessment Advisory following review of comments received from 
States, associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

II. Comments

    NHTSA received submissions from 23 commenters in response to the 
October 25, 2017 request for comment. 82 FR 49473-49475. Commenters 
included the following eleven State agencies and commissions: 
California Office of Traffic Safety (CA OTS); Colorado Department of 
Transportation (CO DOT); Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT 
DOT); Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DE OHS); Massachusetts 
Department of Public Health (MA DPH); Michigan Crash Section (MI 
Crash); New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (NY GTSC); 
Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the NC Division of Public 
Health (NC DPH); Puerto Rico Traffic Safety Commission (PR TSC); joint 
submission by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Washington 
Traffic Records Committee (WA Traffic); and joint submission by the 
Departments of Transportation of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South 
Dakota & Wyoming (5-State DOTs). Three associations and consortiums 
provided comments: Association of Transportation Safety Information 
Professionals (ATSIP); Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA); 
and National Safety Council (NSC). One non-profit organization, 
Consumers Union (CU), provided comments. Eight individual commenters 
also provided comments: Brook Chipman; Joe McCarthy; Mario Damiata; 
Nathan Dean; Jay Wall; and three anonymous commenters. Of these 
comments, three were out of the scope of this notice.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Two anonymous commenters commented on EPA regulatory issues. 
One anonymous commenter commented on electric vehicle batteries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Three broad categories of comments accounted for more than half of 
the comments received: comments stating that the assessment is too 
burdensome, comments seeking more personalized recommendations, and 
comments seeking more in-person meetings as part of the assessment 
process.
    Ten commenters, including States, associations and an individual, 
stated that the existing Traffic Records Assessment process is 
burdensome. Specifically, commenters stated that the assessment is 
burdensome due to the number of questions (some of which they consider 
redundant), the high standards of evidence required for responses, the 
time required to respond, and the number of agencies within the State 
that are required to participate in assessments.
    Seven commenters, including States, associations, and individuals, 
requested that assessors provide more personalized recommendations to 
States at the conclusion of each assessment. Several commenters further 
asserted that it would be helpful to States if assessors prioritized 
the most important recommendations to assist States in planning traffic 
records improvement projects.
    Twelve commenters, including States, associations, and individuals, 
argued that the assessment process would be easier and more useful if 
there were more opportunities for in-person meetings.
    As a result of these comments, NHTSA has taken a fresh look at the 
Advisory, as it was not our intent to impose undue burdens on States. 
In revising the Advisory, we strove to provide maximum flexibility and 
reduce

[[Page 42974]]

the burden on States, while still providing States with guidance and 
assistance in conducting assessments. Therefore, as explained further 
below, NHTSA has revised the Advisory to provide States with three 
options for conducting assessments. These options range from an 
entirely State-run assessment, in which States control the process and 
outcomes, to a self-assessment using questions provided by NHTSA, that 
will result in generalized recommendations, to a more detailed NHTSA-
facilitated and funded assessment, which will include in-person 
meetings and will result in a personalized final report.
    In addition to reducing burden on States by providing three options 
for conducting assessments, NHTSA strove to further reduce burden in 
the optional assessment questions provided in Appendix E of the 
Advisory. Previously the questions were required for all States and 
accounted for the majority of the Advisory. Now, however, those 
assessment questions have been reduced by 16 percent and States are not 
required to use the questions. The questions in Appendix E will be used 
only if a State opts to complete an assessment using NHTSA's questions. 
Several commenters offered suggestions for specific changes to the 
questions, which we will address briefly.
    NY GTSC and the 5-State DOTs argued that using an ``ideal'' system 
as a baseline for the assessment sets an unattainable standard. The 5-
State DOTs further requested that the Advisory not refer to findings as 
``deficiencies'' because an ``ideal'' is not a real standard. While 
NHTSA understands that an ``ideal'' system is a very high standard, we 
believe that it provides a useful measure for States strive for, but we 
do not require States to meet the ideal. We agree that failure to meet 
an ``ideal'' does not represent a ``deficiency'' and have therefore 
replaced ``deficiency'' with ``area of opportunity.''
    Seven State commenters requested more flexibility in the evidence 
required to respond to each question. While States may choose their own 
standard of evidence when conducting a self-assessment under either of 
the first two assessment options provided in the new Advisory, NHTSA-
facilitated assessments still require States to provide sufficient 
evidence. However, NHTSA agrees that this evidence may come in 
different forms. Therefore, NHTSA no longer prescribes ``required 
evidence,'' but instead provides guidance for ``suggested evidence'' 
that States may want to use to respond to each question.
    Four commenters requested more flexibility in the structure of the 
Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. In response, NHTSA has updated 
both the TRCC narrative and questions to align with the best practices 
identified in the State Traffic Records Coordinating Committee 
Noteworthy Practices \2\ report, which focuses more on the 
responsibilities of the TRCC than a specific structure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Available online at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/TRCC%20Noteworthy%20Practices%20Guide%20final%20september%202015.pdf.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    GHSA suggested that all performance measure questions be combined 
into a single question in each section of the assessment. While that 
would reduce the number of questions, it would not reduce the burden on 
the State to respond to each performance measure and would make it more 
difficult to identify limitations in any specific performance measure. 
NHTSA declines to make this change.
    The ID, MT, ND, SD, and WY DOTs commented that the advisory text 
implies that States are required to adopt elements beyond the MMUCC 
minimum and Joe McCarthy asked for clarification that MMUCC is 
voluntary. MMUCC is a voluntary standard. NHTSA's intent in the 
Advisory is to suggest that States can add the MMUCC elements and 
attributes that are unique to their own environment and operation. We 
have updated both the text of the Advisory and the questions to reflect 
this clarification. Several commenters (CO DOT, WA TSC & TRC, 5-State 
DOTs and Joe McCarthy) stated that the Roadway system outlined in the 
Advisory should be updated to match the requirements set out by the 
Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Highway Safety Improvement 
Program (HSIP). NHTSA agrees and has aligned the Advisory and questions 
to FHWA's required elements.
    Three commenters (ATSIP, MA DPH, and NC DPH) found the Injury 
Surveillance System (ISS) section burdensome, stating that the number 
of questions in that section was disproportionate to the rest of the 
assessment questions. NHTSA recognizes that the ISS section has more 
questions than the other data system sections. However, the ISS system 
contains five separate component data systems, which is substantially 
more component data systems than the other sections. MA DPH asked 
whether the evidence provided for the Injury Surveillance System 
section of the assessment must be related to traffic data. States may 
provide any evidence from the system, regardless of whether it is 
traffic-related.

III. Overview of the Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory

    As highlighted above, NHTSA believes it is important to provide 
States with flexibility in meeting the requirement to conduct an 
assessment of the State's highway safety data and traffic records 
system. Therefore, the Advisory provides guidance on three different 
assessment processes so that States may choose the process that best 
fits their needs.
    First, States may design their own assessment of their traffic 
safety information systems. NHTSA regulations require States to list 
all recommendations from their most recent highway safety data and 
traffic records system assessment and identify whether and how they 
intend to address those recommendations. 23 CFR 1300.22(b)(2)(ii-iv). A 
State's assessment should, therefore, result in a comprehensive set of 
recommendations that will improve the State traffic safety information 
systems and inform the State's traffic records strategic plan. The 
Advisory lays out noteworthy practices that States may wish to consider 
when assessing their data systems.
    Second, NHTSA has developed a self-assessment tool that States may 
use. The assessment tool consists of a series of questions developed by 
NHTSA, with the input of subject matter experts, which will generate 
recommendations based on the States' responses. This assessment tool is 
available online at https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/traffic-records. The questions are in Appendix E of the Advisory.
    Third, States may opt to participate in NHTSA's State Traffic 
Records Assessment Program (STRAP) at no cost to the State. STRAP is a 
peer assessment process using the questions from NHTSA's assessment 
tool. Qualified independent assessors will evaluate the State's 
responses and provide recommendations; specific and actionable 
considerations; and a final report. An experienced facilitator supports 
this process, which includes two onsite meetings and a webinar report-
out.
    Regardless of which process a State chooses to conduct its 
assessment, NHTSA GO Teams remain available to States who wish to apply 
for additional technical assistance. GO Teams provide technical 
expertise and guidance on specific small- to mid-scale projects that 
the States want to undertake but that may require other, specialized 
knowledge. Application forms are available on the NHTSA website http://

[[Page 42975]]

www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/TrafficRecords/
Training_Technical_Assistance_Application.docx.
    The full Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory is posted 
online at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812601.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. Section 405(c)(3)(E).

    Issued in Washington, DC.
Terry T. Shelton,
Associate Administrator, National Center for Statistics and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2018-18325 Filed 8-23-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P