On Wednesday, August 12, the Western Transportation Institute (WTI), Montana State University (MSU), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) co-hosted a national forum to raise awareness on “The Importance of Focusing on Transportation Safety in Rural America.”
NHTSA officials had
originally planned August field tours to western states and public lands to
view rural safety conditions and engage with state and local stakeholders on
initiatives to enhance rural transportation safety. WTI was slated to host one
of the public meetings on the MSU campus. Due to current travel restrictions,
the entire field visit was transformed into a virtual forum.
Jason Carter, MSU Vice President of
Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education, served as the webinar
host, providing the welcome address and introducing remarks by NHTSA Deputy
Administrator James Owens, USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S.
Senator Steve Daines (MT), and U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte
In a panel discussion moderated
by WTI Director David Kack, presenters provided an overview of critical
rural transportation issues that impact the safety and effectiveness of the
entire national transportation network, as well as current initiatives to
enhance travel through rural areas:
Nic Ward, Director of the Center for Health and Safety Culture at MSU, discussed the importance of addressing driver behavior to improve safety and gave an overview of how traffic safety culture approaches can be effectively used for issues such as seat belt usage, speeding, and impaired driving.
Loren Smith, USDOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, introduced the federal ROUTES Initiative, which addresses transportation infrastructure disparities between rural and urban areas. He included an overview of the new ROUTES Applicant Toolkit, which is designed to help rural agencies access federal grants and resources.
On March 25, Center for Health and Safety Culture Director Nic Ward led a webinar for the National Center for Rural Road Safety on “Traffic Safety Culture Messaging.” More than 300 people attended the forum, which summarized different forms of traffic safety culture messages, discussed the importance of a positive message “frame,” and presented aspects of message design to overcome audience resistance. The webinar is available for viewing on the Safety Center’s Archived Webinar webpage.
The National Center for Rural Road Safety will offer a free webinar on Wednesday, March 25 on “Traffic Safety Culture Messaging.” It will feature information on the forms, frame, and design of effective traffic safety messages, which are developed by applying an understanding of traffic safety culture. The webinar will be presented by Center for Health and Safety Culture Director Nic Ward. Webinar registration information is available on Safety Center website.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) has announced a new webinar for March, entitled “The Center for Health and Safety Culture: Who We Are and How We Support Efforts to Improve Health and Safety.” This free event will be presented on Wednesday,March 18, 2020 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (Mountain Time)
This webinar will introduce CHSC and its staff, the Positive Culture Framework for improving health and safety, and the many services offered to support communities and organizations in their efforts to transform culture. The Center uses the latest science to address complex social issues to improve health and safety in a sustainable way and can help organizations and communities reach their health and safety goals. For more information or to register in advance, visit the CHSC webinar webpage.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture, in partnership with the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund, will lead a free webinar on December 3 on “Traffic Safety Culture and Its Relationship to Vision Zero.” The webinar will provide an overview of traffic safety culture theory, terminology, and methods, based on the newly published TSC Primer. For more information and to register, visit the CHSC Upcoming Webinars page.
Two new traffic safety culture publications, drafted by Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) researchers for the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), have been featured in the last two national newsletters of the National Academies of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB).
Kari Finley, Jay Otto, Nic Ward and Jamie Arpin authored “Proactive Traffic Safety: Empowering Behaviors to Reach Our Shared Vision of Zero Deaths and Serious Injuries,” a primer that defines proactive traffic safety and offers strategies and examples of how agencies can integrate it into their own safety programs and initiatives. This resource includes specific tips and communication tools for working with stakeholders and conducting public education events.
Finley, Otto, and Ward also developed the “Traffic Safety Culture Primer,” which introduces the concept of traffic safety culture and how it influences road user behavior. It provides examples of how growing a positive traffic safety culture can be used to enhance safe behaviors around issues such as impaired driving and seat belt use within an organization or at the community level.
Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) Director, Dr. Nic Ward, will be a keynote speaker at the EU Safety Conference in Luxembourg in October 2019. Dr. Ward’s presentation is titled, “Safety Culture: Creating a Sense of Responsibility for Safety in the Population at Large.” The Conference, organized by EuroSafe and the Luxembourg Institute of Health, will cover a wide range of topics related to injury prevention and safety promotion, such as road safety and safety at work. There will be opportunities for cross-cutting communications between sectors and disciplines to address issues such as: translating research into practice and policy, injury related socio-economic inequities, ageing societies, technological developments, social marketing, alcohol, fatigue, and distraction. More information about this international conference is available at the EU Safety 2019 website.
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will host a webinar featuring research by a team from the Center for Health and Safety Culture. MDT recently released the final report for “Understanding Law Enforcement Attitudes and Beliefs about Traffic Safety,” which aimed to understand how the culture within law enforcement agencies impacts engagement in traffic safety enforcement. CHSC researchers, including Jay Otto, Kari Finley, Kelly Green, and Nic Ward, led the research on behalf of the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund program. The team conducted surveys and interviews with 19 law enforcement agencies in four states to collect data for the assessment.
The webinar, which will provide an overview of the research results, will be held on Monday, July 8. Learn more and sign-up at the registration website. The final research report and a project summary report are available on the MDT project webpage.
Thank you, Montana State University News, for your feature article on the new Traffic Safety Culture book. MSU News interviewed CHSC Director Nic Ward for “MSU Researcher Co-authors Book on New Approach to Traffic Safety,” which was featured on the MSU News website. “It’s a new way of looking at an old problem,” said Ward; “Traffic safety has traditionally looked at engineering, enforcement and education as a way to make drivers behave safely. Because most crashes are the result of driver behavior, it is imperative to understand how culture influences driver behavior.”
Traffic Safety Culture: Definition, Foundation, and Application includes major contributions by the staff of the Center for Health and Safety Culture. CHSC Director Nic Ward was one of the three book editors and co-authored several chapters. Center staff and affiliated Montana State University faculty who also co-authored book chapters include Jay Otto, Kari Finley, Kelly Green, Eric Austin, and William Schell. (Legal disclaimer: Editors receive a royalty payment from the publisher.)
In April, Emerald Publishing released a new reference book entitled Traffic Safety Culture: Definition, Foundation, and Application, which includes major contributions by the staff of the Center for Health and Safety Culture. CHSC Director Nic Ward was one of the three book editors and co-authored several chapters. Center staff and affiliated Montana State University faculty who also co-authored book chapters include Jay Otto, Kari Finley, Kelly Green, Eric Austin, and William Schell. (Legal disclaimer: Editors receive a royalty payment from the publisher.)
Citation: Ward, N., Watson, B., and Fleming-Vogl, K (Eds.). (2019). Traffic Safety Culture: Definition, Foundation, and Application. Bingley (UK): Emerald Publishing.