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Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information Collection, Titled: Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Federal Highway Administration

Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information Collection, Titled: Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements

Michael Howell
Federal Register
June 16, 2011

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 116 (Thursday, June 16, 2011)]
[Pages 35264-35266]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14892]



Federal Highway Administration

[U.S. DOT Docket No. FHWA-2011-0058]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments 
for a New Information Collection, Titled: Reports, Forms and 
Recordkeeping Requirements

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Request for comments.


SUMMARY: The FHWA invites public comments about our intention to 
request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for a new 
information collection, which is summarized below under SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION. We published a Federal Register Notice with a 60-day 
public comment period on this information collection on February 26, 
2009. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: Please submit comments by July 18, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket ID Number FHWA-
2009-0054 by any of the following methods:
    Web Site: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Department of Transportation, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

Director, Office of Safety Research and Development, HRDS-07, Turner-

[[Page 35265]]

Fairbank Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration, 6300 
Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101, tel. 202-493-3365 between 8 a.m. and 
5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, or Paul J. 
Tremont, Ph.D. (same address) at 202-493-3338.

    Title: Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements.
    The FHWA invites public comments on our intention to request the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve a total of 30 field 
and laboratory research studies that will include collections of 
information from the general public. These studies will be conducted 
over a period not to exceed 3 years with an annual burden of 
approximately 2000 hours and a grand total burden of approximately 6000 
hours. These collections are integral to the performance of various 
analytical, field, and laboratory human factors research projects that 
FHWA intends to conduct in support of its mission of improving safety 
and increasing mobility on our Nation's highways through National 
Leadership, Innovation, and Program Delivery. The laboratory and field 
research FHWA conducts usually involves observations of driver behavior 
in controlled experimental settings. In the field and laboratory, these 
studies are non-intrusive, as most data are driver performance data and 
are automatically acquired.

Research Areas and Associated Collections

    The FHWA Office of Safety Research and Development intends to 
conduct analytical, field, and laboratory research projects focused on 
highway safety that will require acquisition of human performance data 
from small samples of the driving public. This research is directed at 
human factors issues within the following broad program areas: (A) 
Infrastructure design including innovative intersection configurations 
and signage and roadway markings; (B) highway operations; (C) older and 
younger driver issues; and (D) pedestrian and bicyclist concerns. Given 
that the focus of the research in the above areas is on human factors 
issues, it will require that data be collected on a few key demographic 
variables such as age, gender, and driving experience, however such 
data will not be linked to personal identifying information. Before any 
study is conducted under this approval request, a thorough review will 
be undertaken to ensure such data is not currently available, and that 
the proposed study does not duplicate other work.

Situations That Require Collections of Information--Examples From Each 

    Category A (Infrastructure Design). An example from Category A 
would be a study designed to test an innovative intersection design 
such as a Double Crossover Diamond Interchange (DCD). This is a highly 
efficient intersection design, but if not properly implemented, it 
could potentially cause confusion. In a DCD, drivers cross over to the 
left side of the highway, with the result that opposing traffic is 
placed on their right side. When testing DCD implementations, FHWA 
needs to know whether drivers perceive any ambiguity in the signage, 
and if they have any orientation problems seeing opposing traffic on 
their right side. Other innovative intersection designs would also 
benefit from similar information acquired from drivers. Roadway 
departure is another problem area that could benefit from individual 
driver data. For example, it would be helpful to observe drivers' 
interactions with roadway geometry and signage so that such information 
can be applied to design decisions that can lead to reductions in 
roadway departures.
    Category B (Highway Operations). One of the many challenges 
confronting highway engineers is designing a signal system that 
maximizes throughput and minimizes delay. Excess delay can have the 
unintended consequence of encouraging drivers to run red lights. This 
problem can be examined by observing drivers' behavior under differing 
signaling conditions. However, direct verbal reports of drivers are 
often needed to determine why drivers are making their decisions. For 
example FHWA may learn from questioning drivers that they would be less 
likely to speed up when approaching a signal if they knew the signal 
system would recognize this behavior and respond accordingly. One way 
this might happen is by advising the motorist earlier of the impending 
signal change. Driver interviews performed under this study area can 
provide information on many key issues including behavioral adaptation, 
decision making, and reaction times to signal phases and changes. This 
kind of information could lead to improvements to signal controllers 
that increase mobility and improve safety. Speed management is another 
area that could benefit from interview data. For example, lower speed 
limits in construction zones are difficult to enforce, and interview 
data with drivers can provide information on better methods of 
restraining driver speeds in these hazardous situations.
    Category C (Older and Younger Drivers). The driving behaviors of 
these two high risk groups are of interest for almost all FHWA safety 
related studies. For example, older driver's performance as they 
negotiate new designs informs the engineer of those aspects of the 
design that present potential safety problems, and may be in need of 
modification. In contrast, young drivers present a separate set of 
challenges for highway engineers. Their ability to negotiate a new 
design may be less of a concern, however; it is necessary to understand 
how these drivers perform as they drive through these new designs. This 
is important as some younger drivers may be willing to take extra risks 
in situations where ambiguity exists. Such information from younger 
drivers will help engineers determine areas of potential ambiguity in 
design and modify these areas as necessary to ensure they are not 
introducing safety hazards.
    Category D (Pedestrians and Bicyclists). Research related to 
pedestrians and bicyclists arises from the need to determine the most 
effective ways to accommodate these infrastructure users. While overt 
pedestrian and bicyclist behavior needs to be directly observed to 
enable engineers to determine potential safety hazards to these user 
groups. For example, when a new intersection design is being introduced 
(e.g., a triple lane roundabout) it is especially advantageous to 
acquire data that shows how pedestrians and bicyclists negotiate such a 
new design. The needs of disabled pedestrians are also considered when 
researching new intersection treatments, and in these efforts FHWA 
works closely with the U.S. Access Board to ensure that novel 
intersection treatments accommodate their needs. Another example of 
research in this area is determining bicyclists' reactions to such 
treatments as separately marked bicycle lanes, signage, and overall 
roadway configuration.

Description of How Field and Laboratory Study Participants Will Be 

    Participants for research studies will be acquired by advertisement 
in local papers, by the distribution of flyers, or by postings to the 
internet. Typically, interested parties contact FHWA and they are asked 
a few questions to determine whether they qualify for the study. These 
questions involve such issues as age, driver familiarity with the 
location or scenario being used, number of miles driven per year, and 

[[Page 35266]]

Estimate of the Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 
Resulting From These Information Collections and Requests for Comments

    Experimental Participants: Approximately 6,000 roadway users drawn 
form the general driving population.
    Frequency: This approval request is for 30 studies over a 3 year 
    Estimated Average Burden per Respondent: FHWA estimates data 
acquisition from persons participating in research will require on 
average about 1 hour per person.
    Estimated Total and Annual Burden Hours: Assuming 20 studies will 
be Laboratory based (Simulator), and 10 will be Field based (Field 
Research Vehicle), the burden is calculated as follows:
    Laboratory Experiments: 20 Simulator * 210 participants * 1 hour = 
    Field Experiments: 10 studies * 180 participants * 1 hour = 1800 
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: = 6000 hours
    Estimated Annual Burden Hours (over 3 years) = 2000 hours.
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
these information collections, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collections are necessary for FHWA's performance; (2) the accuracy of 
the estimated burden; (3) ways for FHWA to enhance the quality, 
usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that 
the burden could be minimized, including the use of electronic 
technology, without reducing the quality of the collected information. 
FHWA will respond to your comments and summarize or include them when 
requesting clearance from OMB for these information data collections.

    Authority:  The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on June 10, 2011.
Michael Howell,
Acting Chief, Management Programs and Analysis Division.
[FR Doc. 2011-14892 Filed 6-15-11; 8:45 am]

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