Local transportation agencies are vital in the effort to improve roadway safety in Florida, because they design, operate, and maintain their own roadways and assist the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) toward achieving our collective target of zero serious injuries and fatalities. FDOT uses its Florida Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) to improve the skills and increase the knowledge of local and transportation workforces on roadway safety via training and technical assistance.
FDOT encountered numerous challenges, including limited options for no-cost safety-related trainings for employees of Florida local transportation agencies, and low attendance at the trainings that were available. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 only exacerbated FDOT’s concerns, as in-person learning was severely disrupted.
To address the overall problems on safety-related training, Florida LTAP Center housed at Center for Urban Transportation Research developed and implemented its cost-efficient approaches to achieve no-cost safety-related trainings to all attendees, and used innovative approaches to increase attendance of these trainings. Florida LTAP also successfully transitioned from in-person training to online webinars to effectively address the significant impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Within three years, over 50 new courses were added to LTAP offerings and training attendance increased substantially. The current Florida LTAP virtual safety-related trainings attract an impressive average of 434 transportation professional attendees per training session.