Vol. 6, Nos. 1 & 2 Spring-Summer 2010
Stories This Issue:
Taking SafeTREC on the Road to Korea Researchers Kitae Jang and John Bigham Represent SafeTREC on a Visit to Partners and Counterparts
As soon as the GPS unit on the dashboard started its familiar "wah-wah" baby crying sound, the driver slowed down.
So did those in the other cars near him on the freeway.
As soon as the "wah-wah" warning stopped, he resumed his speed. So did everyone else. >>>
Five years after it was funded in the 2005 federal transportation bill, Safe Routes to Schools has programs in every state. As of January 2009, $370.6 million had been awarded.
Last year, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership sponsored SafeTREC and PPH Partners to look at Safe Routes to School programs at 10 low-income schools that took part in The Safe Routes to School Local School Project. >>>
PLANSAFE Beta Testing and User Interface Refinement: the pilot testing and further refinement of a forecasting tool that will significantly help state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations to include safety in their transportation planning processes, as required by federal law.
UC Berkeley Campus Periphery Safety: SafeTREC will collect new data, analyze existing trip and safety data and relate it to the campus geographically, and examine existing recommendations for safety measures and make recommendations for new or additional ones.
Public Health and Transportation The purpose of this project is to study the impact of transportation policy on public health for an analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is intended to serve as a guide to policymakers in upcoming decisions about federal transportation policy.
Methodology for Applying Safety Treatments to Rail-Highway At-Grade Crossings In this project, SafeTREC will develop a methodology to determine the appropriate treatments for specific types of rail-highway at-grade crossings in California.
Tuesday, June 15: "Road Safety in Queensland, Australia: Mopeds, Scooters and Motorcycles" Presented by Ross Blackman, PhD student/Research Officer, Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q).
April 20: "Advanced Driver Training" Presented by Robert Cole and Robert Thompson from Drive RSTC.
March 9: "Risk Adaptation to Technological Safety Interventions: Insights from a Meta-analysis" Presented by Offer Grembeck, PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering It is conventional wisdom in the traffic safety field that when safety-improving interventions are introduced, users may adapt to the improved safety and take additional risks. To look into this issue more deeply, a meta-analysis across a diverse range of safety interventions to improve the safety of various activities was conducted. Here, the basic analysis principles will be presented, followed by the results. It was found that: (i) conventional wisdom is right—adaptation exists; (ii) adaptation is influenced by the perceptibility of the safety intervention. These findings could contribute to the development of more robust safety interventions.
SafeTREC in the News:
July 1: SafeTREC Researcher Doug Cooper on ABC Channel 7 explaining the Leibowitz Effect on Rail Crossing Safety...."According to science, there is a reason many human beings get into these kinds of accidents. Human beings have an inability to judge large objects, moving towards them at fast speeds. It's the Leibowitz effect.
"'We're just not very good at it because when you think of something coming directly at you, the only way you have to judge its speed, is how quickly it grows in your field of vision. And at first it's very slow, and its only at the very end, that it seems to bloom,'" said UC Berkeley [SafeTREC] researcher Doug Cooper..."
June 14: Law enforcement agencies usually let squad cars handle high-speed pursuits: ... Thomas Rice is a researcher at the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley. He said more than twice as many people are killed on motorcycles today than a decade ago, largely due to more bikes on the road. Law enforcement use of motorcycles has remained relatively unchanged. Some agencies are even rethinking the value of using motorcycles. Simon Washington, the director of the Berkeley center, said the real issue may not be the motorcycles themselves, but how they are used.—Riverside Press-Enterprise
May 28: "A Privilege, Not a Right" To get an idea of the scale of the enormous toll from traffic crashes, imagine that, every month, we lost nearly the same number of people who were killed on 9/11. Additionally about seven times as many people will suffer severe injuries, which can result in years of disability, lost income and painful and costly rehabilitation.—Jill Cooper is the associate director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley, commenting in the New York Times "Room for Debate" blog on the question: Do We Tolerate Too Many Traffic Deaths?May 21: SafeTREC Community Pedestrian Safety Workshop Participants in the news Bicycle plans continue: Glendale city officials say they will move ahead with updating the 15-year-old Bikeway Master Plan after securing a $150,000 grant. That Glendale hasn’t updated its bike plan since 1995 has kept the city out of the running for millions in funding from the California Department of Transportation, which requires local governments to update their plans every five years to qualify for infrastructure improvement grants. (Glendale NewsPress)
See related story: Glendale Officials and Staff Experience Berkeley's Streets Firsthand on a Two-Day Tour April 22 & 23: They pedal around Berkeley and visit sites on foot, guided by SafeTREC and City of Berkeley staff, on a tour of some of the things that Berkeley is doing for pedestrian and bicycle safety.