Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awards grant to UGA’s Traffic Safety Research and Evaluation Group

Researchers from the UGA College of Public Health’s Department of Health Promotion and Behavior have received a $256,458 grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) to evaluate the effectiveness of traffic safety programs in Georgia. The 2018 grant period will be from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.

Led by principal investigator Dr. Carol Cotton, the Traffic Safety Research and Evaluation Group (TSREG) will track, review and analyze grantee performance and effectiveness for the thirteenth consecutive year. This analysis will determine the overall effectiveness of GOHS’ traffic safety programs throughout the state. To date, TSREG has received over $4.2 million in grants from GOHS for this ongoing project.

As the primary agency charged with traffic safety in Georgia, GOHS funds over 100 projects statewide each year, including law enforcement mobilizations, Students Against Drunk Driving chapters, bicycle and pedestrian safety projects, and many others, all designed to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on Georgia roadways. TSREG maintains a comprehensive database of all GOHS grantees to track their performance, including process evaluation, fiscal accountability, reporting and impact. The rating system designed by TSREG uses consistent, objective standards to rate grantees, and provides feedback throughout the fiscal year to allow intervention where necessary to correct deficiencies.

The TSREG team also provides ongoing technical assistance to GOHS grantees and other traffic safety stakeholders; facilitates and evaluates the annual statewide seat belt survey; and will soon begin a pilot study of distraction among teen and young adult drivers. Other forthcoming projects include initiatives to address high-risk pedestrian behaviors and to assess Georgia drivers’ attitudes towards distracted driving laws.

Dr. Cotton is co-author of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Safe Communities Data Toolkit”. She is known throughout the state for her work in the area of administrative license suspensions, throughout the Southeast for her work as a data contractor with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and worldwide for her work on the Rural Roads Initiative’s Regional Community Liaison Pilot Project.

For more information, please visit our Web site at: or contact Dr. Carol Cotton at [email protected] or 706/542-2804.

[PHOTO L to R: Carol Cotton, Ph.D., TSREG Director; Scarlett Woods, Director of Planning and Projects, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety; Lila Ralston, MPH, TSREG Project Coordinator; Stuart Barnes, B.S., TSREG Research Assistant; Darrell Robinson, M.S., TSREG Research Professional.]

– Lila Ralston

Posted October 12, 2017.

Additional coverage at Oct. 27, 2017 ASPPH Friday Letter.