U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

NHTSA State Legislative Research & Development Program

THE CHALLENGE

theta. was hired to provide legislative resource reports, data collection, and summary charts to NHTSA’s Office of Government Affairs, Policy, and Strategic Planning and provide accurate information about the yearly changes in US states and territories laws on traffic safety. These reports include producing traffic law digests on topics and summary charts of State traffic safety laws on emerging issues and other policy and data research. In addition, we created visualizations and reports on the yearly traffic legislation differences in ways never done previously.

THE PROJECT

As an NHTSA contractor, theta. has gained exposure and knowledge on various topics concerning Research & Data, Laws & Regulations, and the general collection and dissemination of road and traffic public safety information. Among those topics of concern, we studied Occupant Protection, Occupant Restraints Research & Data, and Laws & Regulations that occasionally had a crossover with equipment defects. This work gave us high-level exposure to the interventions being conducted to impact highway and traffic safety positively.

THE RESULT

For the NHTSA work described above, theta. produced several product innovations for NHTSA.

Innovation #1: We shortened the turnaround on creating reports and reviewing traffic law changes and statistics substantially. We devised a process for highlighting and identifying changes from year to year that transformed a 1000+ page, four-month per-digest update process into a 6-week sprint process.

Innovation #2: We expanded the scope of laws and statutes we populated for NHTSA to include medical marijuana use that has become legal across many states and municipalities. We led that data collection and research on behalf of NHTSA and added new appendixes to past digests and ongoing deliverables.

Innovation #3:  theta. believed that 1000+ digests were too dense for State DOT’s and Traffic Law Enforcement organizations to use in any practical way. To make the use of these digests easier to consume, theta. proposed and created Interactive Maps for our digests that produced maps and displayed a delta between older and newer laws that contained significant changes. As a result, anyone could see color-coded states with changes in a particular topic and focus on those sections rather than searching a document for more extended periods for specific changes.

The [theta.] team always responds quickly and professionally to our requests. All of their deliverables are of the utmost professional manner.

Susan KirinichOffice of Government Affairs, Policy, and Strategic Planning - NHTSA