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Section 4: STEP Wave Proposals

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Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Waves are campaigns centered on high-traffic holiday periods. Participants may design their own enforcement program based on their specific community's traffic problems.

All STEP Wave proposals must include:

  1. a problem identification (see Baseline Information in the eGrants help system)
  2. a project plan, including objectives, performance measures and targets (See Law Enforcement Objective/Performance Measure and Law Enforcement Summary in the eGrants help system)
  3. a budget (See Section 7 of this chapter) for detailed budget instructions.
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STEP Wave Requirements

STEP Wave grants may consist of one (1) element or a combination of two (2) or three (3) of the following elements:

  • DWI - Jurisdiction Wide (DWI enforcement effort must be focused at locations where there is an over-representation of alcohol-related crashes and/or DWI arrests).
  • Speed - Jurisdiction Wide (Speed enforcement should be focused on areas where there is at least a 50% noncompliance with the posted speed limits and/or a higher number of speed-related crashes).
  • Safety Belt - Jurisdiction Wide.

Law enforcement agencies may choose the element(s) that will comprise their STEP enforcement effort. Speed and occupant protection elements will request survey data. This data must not be older than 13 months prior to the start of the grant, and must follow TxDOT survey data protocol. These procedures are available on the eGrants Help Page Toolbox at “ STEP OP and Speed Survey Tools.

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Enforcement Periods

Law enforcement agencies must work two (2) required Wave periods and may choose up to four (4) optional Wave periods identified below.

Required Wave Periods:

  • Labor Day and Memorial Day

Optional Wave Periods:

  • Halloween,
  • Thanksgiving,
  • Christmas/New Year’s,
  • Valentine’s Day,
  • Spring Break,
  • Independence Day, and
  • Special Event Period.

A Special Event Period is defined as a time period where the community sees an increase in traffic volume and increased enforcement would prove beneficial (Examples: county fairs, local rodeos, conventions, beach/lake traffic etc.). The “Special Event Period” consists of a minimum of four (4) and no more than seven (7) consecutive days of enforcement. “Special Event Periods” cannot be scheduled during any of the other required or optional Wave periods.

NOTE: If chosen, optional periods become a requirement of the executed grant agreement.

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Public Information and Education (PI&E) Activities

Law enforcement agencies are required to provide Public Information & Education (PI&E) activities, including the distribution of PI&E materials, throughout the project. Minimum numbers of PI&E activities for STEP Wave projects are indicated below:

  • Presentations required: – one (1) per Wave period
  • Media Exposures – two (2) per Wave period
  • Community Events – one (1) per grant period

See PI&E Objective/Performance Measure in the eGrants help system for more information and assistance on entering the problem solution into the eGrants proposal form pages.

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STEP Wave Description of Activities

Activities associated with STEP Wave projects include:

  • Pre-Surveys: Conduct pre-observational surveys for each Wave period to establish safety belt usage rates and/or speed limit compliance prior to conducting any Wave enforcement activity. Surveys are only applicable to STEP Wave grants consisting of “Occupant Protection” and/or “Speed” components. A pre and post survey is required after each STEP Wave.
  • Pre-Media Campaign: Conduct local media events immediately before the enforcement effort to maximize the visibility of enforcement to the public. These media events tell the public when, where, how and why the safety belt, impaired driving and/or speed limit laws are being enforced.
  • Enforcement Effort: Intensify enforcement through an overtime STEP that places primary emphasis on increasing the number of citations or arrests for non-use of occupant restraints, impaired driving and/or speeding, during peak holiday traffic.
  • Post-Surveys: Conduct post-observational surveys for each Wave period to determine safety belt usage and/or speed limit compliance. Measure the impact of media/enforcement effort. Surveys are only applicable to STEP Wave grants consisting of “Occupant Protection” and/or “Speed” components.

    NOTE: The post survey can be used for the pre survey results for the following STEP Wave unless your TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist (TSS) states otherwise.

  • Post-Media Campaign: Conduct local media events to tell the public why the safety belt, impaired driving and/or speed laws are important and the results of the wave.
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STEP Wave Calendar

See the appropriate STEP Wave Calendar located on the eGrants Help Page, for applicable STEP Wave activity dates.

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Maximum Funding Amounts for STEP Wave Proposals

The number of STEP Wave grants will be limited to available funding. The maximum reimbursable amount allowable for a grant is $20,000 per agency.

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