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Section 3: STEP Yearlong Proposals

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Introduction

Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects reimburse for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, failure to use occupant restraint systems, intersection traffic control violations, driving while intoxicated, and/or driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor, and enforcement of state and local ordinances on cellular and texting devices. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices, local police departments, and inter-governmental coordination entities, e.g. Councils of Government (COGs). STEP projects may only be proposed for a single year (yearlong) grant term.

All STEP yearlong proposals must include:

  1. a problem identification, (see Chapter 2, Section 3)
  2. a project plan, including objectives, performance measures and targets
  3. an operational plan
  4. a budget (See Section 7 of this Chapter for detailed budget instructions).
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Eligibility

All jurisdictions are eligible for yearlong STEP grants regardless of population. Potential subgrantees choose the type of STEP grant they are interested in by completing the Program Element Selection Page (under the View, Edit and Complete Forms menu) in the project proposal.

For more information on completing the Program Element Selection Page and assistance on choosing the type of STEP grant and entering the information into the eGrants proposal form page, see “ Program Element Selection in the eGrants help system.

NOTE: Law enforcement agencies can only apply for a yearlong STEP or a STEP Wave, not both.

NOTE: Communities with yearlong STEP grants will be allowed to participate in mobilizations, e.g., Click It or Ticket (CIOT) or Impaired Driving Mobilizations (IDM), using special funds if they are approved for mobilization funding. STEP mobilization grants are NOT selected through the annual RFP process. See Section 6 of this chapter for more information on how these grants are selected.

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STEP – Yearlong Proposals

Proposals for yearlong STEPs are limited to one or a combination of the following elements:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)/Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol by a Minor - to reduce the number of alcohol impaired and driving under the influence of alcohol and other drug-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities; to reduce the number of DUI of alcohol-related crashes where the driver is under age 21.
  • Occupant Protection (OP) - to increase occupant restraint use in all passenger vehicles and trucks (safety belt and child safety seat usage).
  • Speed - to reduce the number of speed-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
  • Intersection Traffic Control (ITC) - to reduce intersection-related motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities. This STEP targets intersections with a high frequency of crashes within metropolitan areas.
  • Distracted Driving (DD) - to reduce the number of distracted driving related crashes, injuries and fatalities. This STEP element provides for enforcement of state and local ordinances on distracted driving arising from the use of cellular and texting devices in vehicles.

    NOTE: A community must submit one proposal that covers the desired traffic safety elements. Proposals that address two or more elements will be titled “Comprehensive” by the eGrants system.

    NOTE: Speed enforcement must be conducted at sites that have less than 50% compliance as determined by speed surveys, or at sites with compliance rates of 50% or more that have been pre-approved by TxDOT. Additional documentation, such as crash data, will be required to show that these sites warrant increased enforcement.

    NOTE: Grants with an OP element will be required to conduct seat belt enforcement during the annual Click it or Ticket mobilization and detail enforcement activities through the May Performance Report, or the Memorial Day Performance Report for STEP Wave grants.

    NOTE: Grants with a DWI element will be required to conduct DWI enforcement during the annual Labor Day Impaired Driving mobilization and detail enforcement activities through the August Performance Report, or the Labor Day Performance Report for STEP Wave grants.

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STEP - Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Proposals

Proposals for yearlong STEP Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) projects must include enforcement of all of the following components:

  • Speed
  • Occupant Protection, and
  • Hazardous Moving Violations.

The objective of CMV campaigns is to reduce CMV crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving vehicles with a body type of “Semi-Trailer” or “Truck Tractor.”

Texas Transportation Code, Section 522.003(5), defines a Commercial Motor Vehicle as a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport passengers or property that:

  • has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
  • is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and/or
  • is transporting hazardous materials, and is required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part 172, Subpart F.

NOTE: Law enforcement agencies that propose a yearlong STEP project may also apply for a STEP CMV project; however, a CMV project must be submitted as a separate proposal. To apply for a STEP CMV grant, please contact eGrantshelp@txdot.gov.

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Problem Identification

Baseline information must be provided by the subgrantee in order to identify local traffic enforcement related activity. A baseline is a number serving as a foundation for subgrantees to measure pre-grant traffic enforcement activity. This information should exclude any activity generated with STEP grant dollars. Once the baseline is established, these figures will be used to compare with the subsequent year’s grant traffic enforcement activity.

A baseline number is for the most current 12 months (or comparable time period) of complete data, excluding any activity generated with STEP grant dollars. Potential subgrantees should always provide the most recent certified local data available for baseline information. For example, if the most recent data available for a first-year project is through May 2015, then the baseline year would be June 2014 through May 2015.

See Baseline Information in the eGrants help system for more information and assistance on entering the problem identification into the eGrants proposal form pages.

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Project Plan

The Project Plan requires each city/county to enter data (numbers) showing what it plans to do with the increased enforcement effort. Potential subgrantees should fill in the target number for each element of the proposed STEP. (Remember to use the baseline previously provided to establish the target for the objective/performance measure). Each STEP proposal must show realistic enforcement numbers and that the enforcement hours match the proposed budget.

See “Objectives and Performance Measures” on the eGrants Proposal Help Page for more information and assistance on entering the problem solution into the eGrants proposal form pages.

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STEP Indicator

The scoring criteria will award a point range based on the data entered compared to the statewide performance average, or STEP indicator, for each enforcement element selected. The following is a breakdown of the statewide average, or STEP indicator, for each enforcement element. The STEP indicator is a target or goal rather than a quota, and has been found to be an average enforcement performance measure across the state. All STEP grants contain the following language:

“Nothing in this agreement shall be interpreted as a requirement, formal or informal, that a peace officer issue a specified or predetermined number of citations in pursuance of the subgrantee’s obligations hereunder.”

“Department and subgrantee acknowledge that Texas Transportation Code, Section 720.002, prohibits using traffic offense quotas, and agree that nothing in this agreement is establishing an illegal quota.” Note: This clause has been added for FY 2016 grants.

Please use the following example as a guide when calculating enforcement numbers and budget.

Statewide Averages (STEP Indicators):

  • Occupant Protection – Worth one and one-half (1.5) points per citation; 1.67 to 2.0 citations per enforcement hour worked.
    • Example: 100 hours x 1.67 citations per hour = 167 citations
    • Example: 167 citations ÷ 1.67 citations per hour = 100 hours
  • Speeding – Worth one (1) point per citation; 2.5 to 3.0 citations per enforcement hour worked.
    • Example: 100 hours x 2.5 citations per hour = 250 citations
    • Example: 250 citations ÷ 2.5 citations per hour = 100 hours
  • Intersection Traffic Control – Worth two (2) points per citation; 1.25 – 1.5 citations per enforcement hour worked.
    • Example: 100 hours x 1.5 citations per hour = 150 citations
    • Example: 150 citations ÷ 1.5 citations per hour = 100 hours
  • Distracted Driving – Worth two (2) points per citation: 1.25 – 1.5 citations per enforcement hour worked.
    • Example: 100 hours x 1.5 citations per hour = 150 citations
    • Example: 150 citations ÷ 1.5 citations per hour = 100 hours
  • DWI – Worth eighteen (18) points per arrest; one (1) DWI arrest for each six-hour enforcement period worked.
    • Example: 100 hours ÷ 6 hours = 16.67 DWI arrests
    • Example: 16 DWI arrests x 18 points = 288 points ÷ 100 hours = 2.88 points per hour
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor– Worth six (6) points per arrest; one DUI of Alcohol by Minor arrest for each two-hour enforcement period worked.
    • Example: 100 hours ÷ 2 hours = 50 DUI of Alcohol by Minor arrests
    • Example: 50 DUI of Alcohol by Minor arrests x 6 points = 300 points ÷ 100 hours = 3.0 points per hour
  • CMV – Worth two (2) points per citation (all CMV citations); 1.25 – 1.5 citations per enforcement hour worked
    • Example: 100 hours x 1.5 citations per hour = 150 citations
    • Example: 150 citations ÷ 1.5 citations per hour = 100 hours

NOTE: For assistance on calculating a proposed STEP element indicator, see the STEP Element Calculator located on the eGrants Help Page.

NOTE: Warnings, either verbal or written, are not considered citations and therefore cannot be applied toward the performance measures identified in the grant.

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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. Salaries being claimed for PI&E activities must be included in the budget. See Proposal Help for Salaries and Fringe Benefits (100 & 200) information. Minimum numbers of PI&E activities for a yearlong STEP are indicated below:

  • Presentations required: - 4
  • Media Exposures required - 4
  • Community Events required - 2

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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Operational Plan

The goal of the Operational Plan is to assist law enforcement agencies in defining roadways and locations where enforcement efforts will be concentrated when working on a STEP yearlong project.

Potential subgrantees proposing a STEP yearlong project must complete the Operational Plan, located on the Operational Plan page of the proposal. For assistance in completing the Operational Plan, see Operational Plan Instructions located on the eGrants Help Page.

Any modification made to the Operational Plan after the grant is executed does not require an amendment to the grant agreement. However, the subgrantee must follow the Operational Plan modification procedures found in “Supplemental Approvals” before any enforcement is conducted in the related sites.

The Operational Plan is located under “Supplemental Approvals,” and can be found under “Examine Related Items” (beneath “All Submitted and/or Approved RFRs”). To submit an amended Operational Plan, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Select “Create New” under “Supplemental.”
  2. Select “I Agree,” when prompted “Are you sure you want to create a Supplemental Report?”
  3. Under “View, Edit, and Complete Forms,” choose “Operational Plan.”
  4. Follow the instructions and complete the Operational Plan form and enter “Save.”
  5. Complete the checklist request process by changing the status of the form (found under “Change the Status”) to “SR Submitted.”

Once the status of the request has been changed to “SR Submitted,” the request will be electronically forwarded to the appropriate Project Manager for review. Once the Operational Plan has been approved, the requesting agency will be notified and then will be able to conduct enforcement in the modified sites.

For Speed and Occupant Protection sites, survey data must be submitted with the grant document to support the Operational Plan. A yearlong grant will only require one pre and one post survey, unless the Project Manager requires additional surveys. Surveys should be filled out accurately and completely.

Potential subgrantees must follow the “Speed Survey Protocol and Instructions” and the “Occupant Restraint Observer Protocol - Surveys,” found on the eGrants Help Page under “ STEP OP and Speed Survey Tools.

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Maximum Funding Amounts for Yearlong STEP Proposals

A maximum funding amount has been established for STEP proposals submitted by communities based on the population of the community and available crash data. A community can apply for more than one STEP element, but no more than the following amounts will be awarded to a community for all enforcement activities during a fiscal year. Communities may request less than the maximum.

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Population of Jurisdiction

Amount

1 – 4,999

$20,000

5,000 – 25,000

$40,000

25,001 – 50,000

$70,000

50,001 – 125,000

$110,000

125,001 – 300,000

$250,000

300,001 – 700,000

$480,000

700,001 and greater

$1,000,000



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