Multidisciplinary Safety Team

Mission: To build effective safety collaboration and trusted relationships among enforcement, engineering, and other traffic safety-related disciplines through ongoing stakeholder meetings where local traffic safety issues are addressed.

Iowa’s Statewide Multidisciplinary Safety Team (MDST) Program is a coordinated effort between Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program, Iowa Department of Transportation, and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. This joint effort supports the opportunity to help facilitate the development and operation of local multi-discipline safety teams to help identify and resolve local crash causes and enhance crash response practices. These teams include a wide range of local and state safety participants from various backgrounds. These professionals meet on a regular basis to discuss safety topics, problems, projects, and improvements along local roadways within regional areas of Iowa.


  • Improve traffic safety
  • Develop interagency cooperation
  • Help resolve local safety issues
  • Identify and mitigate crash causes
  • Improve crash response practices
  • Identify funding opportunities

Who is Involved?

  • Education
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergency Responders (Fire and Medical)
  •  Engineers
  • Law Enforcement
  •  Planners
  •  Public

Most of these groups focus on being proactive in mitigating local crashes and traffic safety concerns, but some of the groups focus on how they can improve crash response practices. Training opportunities for professionals involved with these teams include the Strategic Highway Research Program or SHRP 2’s National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program. 

This SHRP2 Solution strengthens the incident management programs currently offered by response agencies and provides a common platform for training the responder community. Additionally, the training enhances quick clearance efforts and improves the safety of responders and motorists. Responders learn firsthand new multiagency standards and best practices.  


By coordinating communication and collaborating with other stakeholders, participants gain a broader perspective on safety issues and learn best practices from professionals outside their area of expertise. This ultimately leads to the development of solutions that may not have been considered otherwise.

Program Assistance

In addition to the other services the Iowa LTAP offers, the Statewide MDST program can assist with a number of technical services that can help further develop existing safety groups, establish new relationships, and foster growth of innovative and effective safety practices within the transportation community in the state of Iowa. One of the program’s main goals is interagency collaboration and information exchange. This approach will improve communication on technical transportation issues among professionals from local governments, cities, counties, metropolitan planning organizations and regional entities, and the DOT statewide. Some of the services the MDST program assists with include the following:

  • Provide technical briefs, technical reports and research documentation
  • Provisions for technical and safety workshops
  • Outreach and technology services
  • Traffic safety assessments
MDST Showcase

Wrong Way Driver Detections and Treatments along US 30 near Ames, Iowa

Over 80 wrong way drivers have been officially reported along US 30 corridor between Boone and Nevada, Iowa, over the past five years. The Iowa Department of Transportation in concert with local enforcement agencies and the Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University have formed a multidisciplinary safety team to address this issue. Enhanced signing, painting, lighting, and use of technology through intelligent transportation systems tools are being used to detect and inform drivers and 911 centers.