MDT Highlights WTI Research in Fall Newsletter

Western Transportation Institute (WTI) research is prominently featured in Solutions, the research newsletter of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). Three projects that WTI researchers completed on behalf of MDT are highlighted in the current issue:

  • The lead story is an in-depth discussion of “Exploring Traffic Safety Citizenship,” research led by Jay Otto, Kari Finley, and Nic Ward of the Center for Health and Safety Culture.  Traffic safety citizenship is an approach to safety that aims to encourage everyone to behave in ways that support the safety of one another (such as reminding others to wear seat belts).  The goal of this project was to understand which aspects of culture help to predict engagement in these behaviors.
  • Identifying Disparities in Definitions of Heavy Trucks” summarized research by Yiyi Wang, Karalyn Clouser and graduate student Fahmid Hossain to clarify the myriad of state and federal regulations that affect truck drivers, trucking companies, and enforcement agencies. The team developed a useful handbook with charts and photographs to identify the types of vehicles and conditions that fall under specific regulatory guidelines.
  • For “Assessment of the Road Weather Information System (RWIS),” Levi Ewan and Ahmed Al-Kaisy conducted an in-depth review of MDT’s 73 RWIS stations to improve and guide future planning and operations efforts.  The findings addressed data and software needs, benefits and costs, and implementation guidelines.

Read the full MDT newsletter click here.

Transportation Journal Publishes Low-Volume Roads Safety Study

WTI safety researchers Ahmed Al-Kaisy, Levi Ewan, and graduate student Fahmid Hossain have published a study on safety improvements for low-volume roads.  For “Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads,” the research team investigated 27 safety improvements commonly used on high volume roads, and determined that appoximately half would also also be cost-effective to implement on roads with low traffic volumes.

Citation: Al-Kaisy, A., Ewan, L., and Hossain, F. (2017). Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads. Journal of Transportation Safety and Security. Volume 9, Issue 3: pp 369-382.

USDOT Secretary Chao Names Shankwitz to Motorcyclist Advisory Council

WTI’s Craig Shankwitz has been appointed to serve as a Special Government Employee on the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) to the Federal Highway Administration.  His service will enhance the U. S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to address infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists.  Throughout this two-year appointment, Shankwitz will share expertise on the research and application of intelligent transportation systems, especially related to motorcycle improvement safety.  In February of 2017, Shankwitz was selected by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to serve on the Motorcycle Safety Research Consortium.  Shankwitz oversee WTI’s Automated and Connected Vehicle efforts.

Portrait of WTI Researcher Craig Shankwitz

Nic Ward Interviewed for TV during the Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety in Appleton, Wi

Thumbnail image of Nic Ward answering questions relating to safety Culture for abc2 in Appleton Wisconsin.Dr. Nicholas Ward answers questions for abc2 TV during the Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety in Appleton, Wi. Specifically he discusses the importance of Safety Culture as a tool to reduce traffic related crashes and fatalities. The whole interview can be seen here.

http://www.wbay.com/content/news/DOT-hopes-to-change-traffic-safety-through-culture–441567323.html

Interested in Road Safety Culture? For an introductory video, watch this video created by the National Center for Rural Road Safety.

Learn about the ITE Vision Zero Virtual Toolbox

The National Center for Rural Road Safety (Safety Center) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) are co-hosting a FREE, 1.5-hour online webinar about ITE’s new Vision Zero Toolbox. The toolbox showcases best practices, analytical techniques, policy guidance, and communication and educational tools for Vision Zero (the goal of zero traffic fatalities among all road users) to make them easily accessible to practitioners.

The webinar will be offered on Thursday June 1, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Mountain Time). To register for the webinar, please click here. Instructions on accessing the webinar will be sent after your registration is confirmed.

Center for Health and Safety Culture announces webinar on Positive Culture Framework.

 The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) will host a webinar entitled “What is the Positive Culture Framework?” which will introduce the Center’s approach to improving health and safety at the community level.  This framework builds on the shared values, beliefs, and attitudes that already exist in a culture to promote health and safety, and uses a process that can be adapted to address any public health or safety issue. Presenter Katie Dively will share examples of how PCF has been applied in areas such as traffic safety, substance abuse, and violence prevention. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14 at 12 noon (Mountain Time).  To register, click here. (Event password: chsc)

Connected Vehicles Presentation Featured at Statewide Traffic Education Conference

Screen shot of Craig Shankwitz (WTI)Craig Shankwitz spoke to the Montana Traffic Educators Association conference in Great Falls, Montana last week, delivering a presentation on emerging vehicle technologies.  In his remarks, he stated that the connected vehicle technologies are more likely to be widely deployed before autonomous (or driverless) vehicles. Connected vehicles communicate to other vehicles or to roadside infrastructure, which enables important updates and alerts about safety, traffic, or road conditions that can be sent directly to one’s car. Craig’s presentation was featured in a TV news story in Great Falls.