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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:

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STEP Wave Requirements

STEP Wave grants may consist of one element or a combination of two or more of the following elements:

  • DWI/DUI of Alcohol by Minor- Jurisdiction Wide (DWI enforcement effort must be focused at locations where there is an over-representation of alcohol-related crashes and/or DWI/DUI of Alcohol by Minor 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.
  • Distracted Driving – Jurisdiction Wide (focus on enforcement of state and local ordinances on cellular and texting devices).

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 three required Wave periods and may choose up to three optional Wave periods identified below.

Required Wave Periods:

  • Christmas/New Year’s
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day.

Optional Wave Periods:

  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Spring Break
  • Independence Day
  • 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 and no more than seven 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 per Wave period
  • Media Exposures required – two per Wave period
  • Community Events required – one 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, distracted 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, distracted 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 the 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 the TxDOT 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 Step Wave Calendars located on the eGrants Help Page under “STEP Tool Box” for the applicable FY STEP Wave Calendar and associated 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 $40,000 per agency.

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