Pedestrian Safety and Culture Change

Seminar Speaker: 
Ron Van Houten, Western Michigan University
Event Date: 
Friday, May 16, 2014, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT

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Summary: This session will describe the process and results of a NHTSA study that showed a change in driver culture of yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks on a citywide basis. The research won the Pat Waller award from the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board in January of this year. The approach to changing road user behavior focused on an integrated approach that include Enforcement, Engineering, and Educational efforts that were designed to be dovetailed together and that included a social norming component. Additional information will be provided on engineering solutions that can facilitate changes in pedestrian level of service and safety.

Bio: Dr. Van Houten is a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He has worked in the area of pedestrian safety for thirty years. He is past chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s pedestrian committee and a member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He has published extensively in the area of pedestrian safety and recently received along with Dr. Louis Malenfant, Richard Blomberg and Dr. Brad Huitema the Waller Award from the Transportation Research Board for their paper on changing driving culture by increasing driver yielding right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks on a city wide basis with high visibility enforcement.