U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Office of International Programs

FHWA Home / Office of International Programs

Appendix B Amplifying Questions

The purpose of this scan is to identify practices, issues, challenges, and innovative procedures that the host countries use in responding to incidents. The major interest of the team members is in the activities and coordination efforts that take place after an incident is detected. The team members are interested in a wide range of perspectives, including those of transportation agencies (at all levels) and emergency responders (fire, police, medical), as well as removal efforts, traffic control at the incident site, communication between the various stakeholders, and all related issues. While the team members recognize that the most significant incident response efforts are associated with urban areas, we would also like to know about incident response actions associated with incidents that occur outside of urban areas.

  1. What do you do to plan and train for incidents?
    1. What agencies, organizations, groups, and companies are involved in responding to incidents?
      1. How does this change according to different types of incidents?
    2. What are the laws, policies, memoranda, etc., that impact how you respond to incidents?
      1. Are there forums for planning and organizing incident response/management activities (such as debriefing of major incidents, planning in advance for traffic control and alternate routes, etc.)?
    3. What provisions have been developed for long-term road closures?
    4. How do you train/certify personnel for incident response?
      1. Traffic control (flaggers, use of devices, etc.)
      2. Hazardous materials
      3. Towing and recovery
  2. How do you respond and operate onscene during an incident?
    1. Who is in charge and does that change as an incident evolves?
      1. Is there a national policy for defining the command structure at an incident?
      2. When an official from one responding agency arrives onscene, are other responders provided with its size-up information?
    2. Is there a program, policy, or legislation for quick clearance of incidents (i.e., removing vehicles, goods, and debris from the roadway as quickly as possible without concern for damage to the vehicles, goods, or debris)?
    3. What practices and procedures are employed for positioning of emergency response vehicles when arriving at highway incidents?
    4. What practices and resources are used for recovery and clearance of incidents, and what are the most successful approaches?
      1. How are towing and recovery services provided?
      2. Are there financial incentives for reduced clearance time?
    5. How do you provide traffic control onscene?
      1. What standards exist for traffic control?
      2. Who is responsible for providing traffic control?
      3. How do you manage the end of the queue?
      4. How is traffic control used to protect responders while maintaining safe traffic flow?
    6. Is the emphasis on onscene patient care or rapid evacuation to hospital care?
  3. What tools, systems, and communication technologies do you use during (in response to) an incident?
    1. What systems and or technologies are in place to enable interagency communications responding to and onscene (voice, data, and video)?
    2. How do you inform road users of an incident and the impact of the incident on traffic flow?
      1. Use of roadside technologies
      2. Media outlets
      3. Personal communications
    3. What is the role of dispatch, emergency, and traffic management centers in responding to an incident?
    4. Please provide a list of equipment carried on response vehicles and photographs of vehicles for the following types: EMS (ground and air response to scenes), police, fire, rescue/extrication, service patrol, transportation agency, recovery, etc.
    5. What future systems are being researched and developed for incident response?
  4. How do you manage and administer resources? How do you evaluate performance to help administer resources (performance measures)?
    1. What are the budgeting issues and processes related to incident response and scene management? How are budgeting needs of different responding organizations coordinated?
    2. How are incident management programs budgeted and prioritized in the budget process? How do the budgeted amounts for incident management compare to the value of maintenance investment and capital construction investment? Who determines the priorities, and how do they decide? Are incident management program budgets directly tied to achieving certain performance levels?
    3. What system performance measures are used to measure the effect of the incident response program on the performance of the transportation system? Examples would be motorist travel time, average speed, vehicle or person hours of delay, travel reliability, transportation safety, response times, clearance times, etc.
    4. What data systems are used (e.g., transportation and public safety) and how are differences in definitions of data elements used by these disparate agencies reconciled to obtain more complete data about an incident?
  5. Provide a set of typical scenarios and ask for a typical response. Relate scenarios to each question.
    1. #1: Disabled vehicle on shoulder — no impediment to traffic flow
    2. #2: Crash blocking one or more lanes
      1. No injury
      2. Minor injury requiring transportation to hospital
      3. Critical injury requiring transportation to major trauma center
      4. Fatality
    3. #3: Hazardous material or roadway damage requiring road closure for extended period of time

NOTE TO HOST: If possible, the team members would like to see examples of the latest, most innovative vehicles that might respond to a typical incident (police, EMS, DOT, fire).

<< Previous Contents Next >>
Page last modified on November 7, 2014
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000