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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 crashes by focusing enforcement efforts on high-crash areas called Enforcement Zones. Officers should focus their enforcement efforts on reducing 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:

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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 apply for both STEP-Comprehensive (STEP-COMP) and STEP Commercial Motor Vehicle (STEP-CMV) 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:

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:

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  • 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.
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  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds.
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  • Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
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  • 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.

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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 the KA crash data provided for their jurisdiction in the RFP document. Agencies not appearing on the budget document can request that information from their TSS. 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

Officers conducting enforcement on a STEP-COMP grant will make enforcement of Impaired Driving, Occupant Protection, Speed, Intersection Traffic Control, and Distracted Driving their top priority during enforcement, although any traffic-related probable cause may be used to initiate a vehicle stop.

In order for a vehicle stop to be counted as part of the agency's grant performance, the vehicle stop must be initiated for infractions witnessed inside of, or in route to an established Enforcement Zone.

For purposes of documentation, each officer's Daily Activity Report (DAR) should reflect the Enforcement Zone in which the stop was made, the time and specific location of the stop (i.e. 4800 block of South Broadway), and at what time individual car stops were made.

The officer should run the offender's driver license for warrants, run the vehicle registration for its history, and must document taking one of the following three actions:

Agencies will still document and report the numbers of such warnings, citations and arrests made on STEP time to TxDOT at the end of each month or enforcement period, but there will be no target numbers established for each individual element. Agencies will be considered to be in compliance with TxDOT performance expectations as long as they maintain an average of 2.5 vehicle stops or more during each hour of STEP-COMP enforcement.

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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:

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.

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  1. Select “Create New” under “Supplemental.”
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  3. Select “I Agree,” when prompted “Are you sure you want to create a Supplemental Report?”
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  5. Under “View, Edit, and Complete Forms,” choose “Operational Plan.”
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  7. Follow the instructions and complete the Operational Plan form and enter “Save.”
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  9. 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.

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Maximum Funding Amounts for Yearlong STEP Proposals

A maximum funding amount has been established for STEP proposals using a three-year rolling average of fatal and incapacitating -injury crash (KA) crash data as reported to the state's CRIS database. Maximum funding amounts are posted along with the agency's average crash numbers in the RFP document.

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