Transportation safety is a priority issue for transportation planners, engineers, policy makers, and citizens. At all levels of government, transportation safety efforts and programs traditionally take a multidisciplinary approach to safety that includes engineering, enforcement, education, and evaluation. While transportation safety has increased significantly over the last several decades, recent increases in roadway fatalities in the United States are a rising concern.
In 2016, the Austin City Council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan to address transportation safety. The Action Plan, developed by Austin’s Vision Zero Task Force, is a data-driven approach to reduce both the number of lives lost and the number of serious injuries on Austin roads to zero. As part of the City’s efforts to implement the Action Plan, the City of Austin and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) undertook foundational research to identify best practices and guidance for developing effective educational campaigns, based on regional and national experience. This work intends to inform local and regional transportation safety education programs and help craft a coordinated regional approach.
The research detailed in this document focuses on transportation safety education approaches that aim to address the underlying values, beliefs, and norms that influence the way people act while moving around the region by car, train, bicycle, bus, motorcycle, on foot, or other mode of travel. Due to the interrelated nature of regional transportation in Central Texas, researchers gave special attention to the practices, strategies, and examples that highlight regional collaboration and coordination.
This report provides a foundation of best practices and an evaluative framework for transportation safety education campaign approaches. The findings are based on several project activities, including a scan of academic literature; a review of current best practices in transportation safety education; a survey of existing transportation safety programs in Central Texas; and interviews with select transportation safety professionals in U.S. cities.