Iowa's Statewide Traffic Records Advisory Committee (STRAC)

How it started

In early 1994 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) invited states to apply for grants to conduct assessments of their traffic records systems, and to establish statewide committees for strategic planning. Iowa responded and was the first state to receive the grant, holding the first meeting of the new traffic records committee on June 1, 1994.

Tasks accomplished

StraPP (Iowa's Strategic Planning Project) accomplished three major tasks: an assessment by reviewers from outside the state, a statewide conference on highway safety information systems, and the strategic plan itself.

  1. State of Iowa Traffic Records Assessment - June 19-24, 1994, Embassy Suites, Des Moines

  2. Iowa's First Statewide Conference on Highway Safety Information Systems - November 2-3, 1994, Best Western Starlite Village, Waterloo, Iowa
  3. Iowa's Traffic Records Strategic Plan, September 28, 1995

Transition to a standing sub-committee of SMS

After the cooperative agreement with NHTSA was concluded, the StraPP committee renamed itself the Statewide Traffic Records Advisory Committee (STRAC) and continued to meet three or four times a year to review progress and to share new technologies and opportunities for cooperation. The legacy of StraPP is that many inter-agency and multidisciplinary teams are now at work in major traffic records initiatives around the state. Former StraPP members and new STRAC members work together in many ways outside of the committee proper: meetings of STRAC are both a summarization of work achieved and a look toward what the future holds.

The group is co-chaired by Robert Thompson, Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, Iowa Department of Public Safety, and Joyce Emery, Office of Traffic and Safety, Iowa Department of Transportation.

Role in Section 411 funding

To qualify for the highest level of 411 funding, an implementation grant, states were required to meet three criteria. Iowa met all three: it had a statewide multidisciplinary traffic records committee, a strategic plan for traffic records, and the approval of the committee for the proposed 411 funding.

Since the inception of Section 411 funding, a key task of STRAC is to update the strategic plan and fine-tune the 411 proposal for the following year's submittal. Section 411 funds are administered through the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, Department of Public Safety.

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by Michael D. Pawlovich