By Assistant Commissioner Earl M. Sweeney, New Hampshire Department of Safety, Concord, New Hampshire; Chair, IACP Highway Safety Committee The Highway Safety Committee Promotes Traffic Safety, Management, and Enforcement
Assistant Commissioner Earl M. Sweeney, New Hampshire Department of Safety, Concord, New Hampshire; Chair, IACP Highway Safety Committee
ithin the committee structure of IACP, the Highway Safety Committee (HSC) is charged with developing proactive strategies to promote enhanced traffic safety, traffic management, and traffic enforcement.
The HSC consists of 30 members appointed to staggered three-year terms by the IACP President and organizationally is located within the State and Provincial Police Directorate, with its General Chair serving as the IACP Executive Committee member providing oversight. The Committee also receives staff support from that Directorate.
Current HSC members include local and state police administrators and county sheriffs from agencies of various sizes in the United States and Canada, representatives from police training institutions, and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST).
Federal officials from three components of the U.S. Department of Transportation: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly are represented at HSC meetings, along with various non-governmental organizations such as MADD, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Sheriffs’ Association, and auto manufacturers and aftermarket equipment manufacturers. Significant financial support is provided to the Committee through cooperative agreements with NHTSA to carry out various traffic safety initiatives.
The HSC holds three meetings a year: an agenda screening meeting during the winter where our work plan for the year is formulated, a midyear meeting where the bulk of the work is undertaken, and an annual meeting at the IACP Conference in the autumn, where HSC presents the Resolutions Committee with its recommended resolutions for passage by the IACP membership.
Three standing subcommittees appointed by the HSC Chair contribute specialized knowledge and policy recommendations to the HSC.
- The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) oversees the curriculum, standards, and certification of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and DRE instructors who now operate not just in North American but worldwide. The TAP also provides oversight of the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) curriculum and standards. TAP members include active DREs, DRE instructors, state coordinators, a representative of the IACP’s DRE Section, medical professionals, and prosecutors. Changes to curricula and standards recommended by the TAP are debated and eventually are ratified by the HSC.
- The Enforcement Technologies Advisory Technical Subcommittee (ETATS) oversees the development of performance standards for traffic radar, LIDAR, and automated enforcement devices such as red light and speed cameras and their placement on the Conforming Product List published by the IACP. ETATS also oversees the two national laboratories that administer the performance standards and offer periodic certification of these devices. The purpose of ETATS is to ensure quality control in terms of units’ accuracy and reliability, so public confidence is maintained in these devices. It also monitors emerging technology in this area.
- The Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee (LESSS) is dedicated to enhancing the safety of police officers and the public during traffic stops and other roadside contacts. LESSS has worked with police vehicle manufacturers and aftermarket equipment suppliers to address problems of police vehicles struck at the roadside, and developed the three roll-call training videos Your Vest Won’t Stop This Bullet, P.U.R.S.U.E., and Saving Lives . . . One Stop At A Time, focusing on actions that officers can take to enhance their personal safety when engaged in traffic activities and on the importance of traffic law enforcement to motorists’ safety and well-being.
Additional efforts of the HSC and its three subcommittees include:
- Monitoring and providing comment on pending legislation in Congress and on agency rule-making proposals, as well as making recommendations for IACP legislative positions on highway safety-related issues.
- Attendance at, and participation in, various national level committees actively engaged in such activities as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
- Numerous publications designed to assist police administrators in developing and implementing traffic safety programs, including the Highway Safety Desk Book, Traffic Safety Strategies for Law Enforcement, Manual of Police Traffic Services Policies and Procedures, and Impaired Driving Guidebook: Three Keys to Renewed Focus and Success. These are living documents that the HSC regularly updates and that are available on the IACP Web site.
HSC members are all “true believers” in the value of proactive traffic enforcement in saving lives and fighting crime. HSC members are here to serve you and the brave men and women in your agencies who, every day of the year, make communities and roads safer and provide an improved quality of life for citizens. ■