Chapter 1: IntroductionAnchor: #i1004345
Section 1: OverviewAnchor: #i1004350
Purpose of Manual
The purpose of this manual is to establish program and project management procedures for subgrants and contracts in support of the Texas Traffic Safety Program. This manual does not, however, address all Traffic Safety Program regulations in regard to program content or other technical criteria. Occasional references to other Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) functional manuals are also necessary.
The Traffic Operations Division (TRF) will review this manual on an annual basis to ensure that procedures remain current and accurate. Revisions will be made as soon as possible to accommodate any changes in state or federal laws or regulations.Anchor: #i1004379
Users of Manual
This manual is intended for use by TxDOT personnel, state and local government officials, subgrantees and contractors, researchers, and any others interested in procedures in support of the Texas Traffic Safety Program.Anchor: #i1004391
Definition of Subgrantee
Unless otherwise indicated, all references to “grants” in this manual refer to traffic safety grants. Likewise, all references to “subgrantees” refer to recipients of traffic safety grants.Anchor: #i1004404
Availability of Manual
This manual is available online through the TxDOT intranet at: http://gsd-ultraseek/txdotmanuals/tfc/index.htm
and on the Internet at:Anchor: #i1004424
Electronic Documents and Forms (eGrants)
In keeping with TxDOT’s overall move toward electronic documents and forms, the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division-Traffic Safety Section (TRF-TS) has developed this manual and related forms in conjunction with the Texas Traffic Safety Program so that the appropriate information can be entered and submitted electronically through the TxDOT Traffic Safety Electronic Grants Management System (eGrants).
The eGrants system is a web-based solution for the application, scoring, and ongoing management of grants within the Texas Traffic Safety Program. The system allows users to create and submit grant proposals, manage grant projects, and submit Performance Reports and Requests for Reimbursement (RFRs) electronically for TxDOT review and approval.
The benefits of the features provided by eGrants are presented below.
- Flexibility & Modularization. The eGrants system provides the ability to support multiple subgrantees, multiple program types and multiple grant programs in different divisions of TxDOT by implementing independent templates, business flows, profiles, etc. that leverage a single underlying platform.
- Role-based Security. eGrants provides a role-based security and encryption facility that allows all levels of access to administrators, peer reviewers, and end users, while protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access.
- Integrated Reporting. The system provides the ability for the generation of all required reports.
- Wide User Base. A user-friendly system is provided that will be used by staff, subgrantees and other customers (i.e. state and federal agencies).
- Consistent User Interface. eGrants provides a more efficient and consistent format, making the grant process easier for staff and subgrantees.
- Framework for Information (Electronic File of Record). The system provides a framework to manage and collect information in a centralized relational database with data accessible through commonly available technology, such as web browsers.
- Reduction of Paperwork/Data Entry. eGrants effectively reduces or eliminates the need for duplicate data entry, mailing, distribution, and storage of mass amounts of hard copy documentation.
- Increased Accuracy of Data. The system applies business rules, automatic error checking, and automatic calculations.
- Better communication. Improved communication is provided via e-mail notification, system messages, and online notes and comments.
NOTE: Wherever this manual requires grant-related submissions of documents to TRF “in writing” or “in written form,” these submissions may also be made through the eGrants system.Anchor: #i1004499
The mission of the Texas Traffic Safety Program is to identify traffic safety problem areas and implement programs to reduce the number and severity of vehicular crashes through the statewide Traffic Safety Program.Anchor: #i1004509
Program Goal and Objective
The goal of the Texas Traffic Safety Program is to use information, data, technology, resources, and skills to identify priority traffic safety issues, plan initiatives, generate coordinated action, and evaluate and communicate results. The program objective is to operate the program in a manner that reduces crashes, injuries, deaths, and their related losses.
For additional information on the Texas Traffic Safety Program, see:Anchor: #i1004527
The Texas Traffic Safety Program uses federal, state and local funds. Federal traffic safety funds are primarily administered and distributed to the states by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Proposals selected for inclusion in the Highway Safety Plan (HSP) become cost reimbursable grant-in-aid agreements.Anchor: #i1004537
The Texas Traffic Safety Program is administered by the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division, Traffic Safety Section (TRF-TS) in Austin.
Within TRF-TS, there are 30 Traffic Safety Specialists (TSSs) located in 25 TxDOT district offices. These TSSs coordinate and manage the Texas Traffic Safety Program at the local (district) level, with direction and guidance from TRF headquarters in Austin.Anchor: #i1004552
Core program responsibilities include:
- developing and administering the annual HSP
- managing traffic safety projects in federally designated priority program areas and in other areas as determined by problem identification processes
- providing oversight and assistance in the development and implementation of traffic safety projects statewide and at the local level
- developing traffic safety policies and procedures using district, division, and other stakeholder input
- communicating and coordinating Traffic Safety Program activities
- providing state agency and federal liaisons
- ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations
- administering traffic safety evaluation and research
- providing legislative information on traffic safety issues
- reviewing, approving, and executing grants, contracts, and subcontracts
- maintaining an inventory listing of accountable equipment purchased by subgrantees with federal funds
- providing operational oversight to assure conformity with program and project management policies and procedures
- monitoring the activities, results, and expenditures of approved state agency grant agreements
- implementing and maintaining an internal project monitoring system
- closing out traffic safety project and program areas as appropriate
- reporting to the governor’s highway safety representative and federal oversight agencies on the status of traffic safety projects
- preparing and submitting an Annual Report to the NHTSA
- negotiating and preparing grant agreements
- processing, administering, and monitoring grants
- processing and recommending Requests for Reimbursement (RFRs) for approval
- reviewing and approving Performance Reports
- providing information regarding local activities as may be required or requested by the state or federal grantor agency
- assisting in the development, implementation, and monitoring of projects and activities, such as procedures development, needs assessments, and public education campaigns
- conducting child safety seat inspections and distributing seats as needed
- representing TxDOT at various state and local committee and task force meetings.
Titles and Office Designations
This manual uses the following titles and abbreviations to designate individuals and offices involved in the Texas Traffic Safety Program:
Staff member responsible for managing one or more program areas.
Staff member responsible for managing project grant agreements.
Subgrantee or contract person responsible for the oversight and management of a project grant agreement.
Texas Department of Transportation (also referred to as “the Department”).
Traffic Operations Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Traffic Safety Section within the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division.
TRF-TS Traffic Safety Specialist (TSS), designated within a TxDOT district.