Safety Organization Spotlight
In order to highlight some of our partner organizations that also focus on safety, the Safety Center has created this “Safety Organization Spotlight” page for the following organizations:
Safekids.Org: “Safety Starts with Education”
At the National Center for Rural Road Safety, we use a multidisciplinary approach to educate road users and enhance safety culture around the country. This cultural approach is especially necessary, as achieving sustainable safety goals will only be realized through the reduction of risky behaviors, the increased awareness of best practices, and the widespread acceptance of safety initiatives. Since education is one of the key avenues in which we try to spread that message, the Safety Center is proud to feature Safekids.org as a valuable resource in keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Safekids.org has an extensive network of over 400 coalitions in the United States and partners in more than 30 countries with the expressed aim of working with families and communities to keep children safe. Consequently, a large portion of their work concentrates around the efforts to keep children safe from traffic injuries.
Parents can find blogs from experts in the field, entertaining videos with celebrity appearances for you and your children that will help entertain, as well as educate you about best practices, stories from other families, and newsletters with interesting stories and safety tips each month. You can find everything from instilling a safety mentality for your child at a young age, to simply making sure your car seats are optimized for safety.
Educators and parents alike can also find safety plans on the website, geared towards helping children navigate traffic environments safely as a pedestrian. In today’s world of handheld gaming systems and cell phones, the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian are at an all-time high. These lesson plans will help you explain to children how to judge the speed of vehicles, proper navigation of a crosswalk, and the importance of weather reflective clothing at night while on their bicycles.
The videos on the Safekids.org site are complemented by safety tips that you can use to guide you and your child while you watch the video. The tips contain fast facts, information from research reports, and presentations from child and road safety conferences. There are also great infographics which you can share on social media or in the classroom. Educators and parents alike can also take advantage of their “Countdown2Drive” campaign, which helps build trust and respect between teen drivers and their parents. By completing the online sign-up, teens are taught the importance of distracted driving, dealing with other passengers in the car, and other vital safety tips. Most importantly however, parents are also reassured about what their teens are being taught, culminating in a comprehensive passenger agreement between the two parties that results in an educated teen driver, and parent who can be confident in their teen’s readiness.
Our Safety Sidekick readers are encouraged to use the resources available on the Safekids.org website within their own organizations and communities. The website content is conveniently broken up into different age groups, so you can find information for everything from babies, to toddlers, to pre-teens, and teenagers. Whether you are buckling an infant into a car seat, teaching your seven year old how to ride a bike, guiding your fourteen year old on the safest way to the school bus top, or giving your seventeen year old car keys for the first time, Safe Kids has you covered. These are PSA and local outreach campaign adaptable resources that can be easily modified to fit specific networking needs. Visit the site today and see what Safekids.org has for you!
Road to Zero Coalition
The Road to Zero (RTZ) goal is safe mobility for all people and will work to develop priorities; take action individually and collaboratively; and encourage partners and stakeholders to take action to meet the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities by 2050.
The National Safety Council (NSC) leads the initiative as a partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, there is a steering group comprised of 16 organizations that that serves as the leadership of RTZ.
RTZ started in October 2016 with three interconnected paths:
- Coalition – RTZ invites you join the RTZ coalition made up of nearly 400 unique stakeholder organizations dedicated to ending traffic fatalities on our roadways by 2050. There is no cost to join and we hold quarterly meetings in D.C. which are webcast live. All organizations and individuals are welcomed to be part of the solution.
- Grants – NSC, as the leader of the Coalition, will administer a $1 million per year (for 3 years) for Road to Zero Safe Systems Innovation Grants. Seven inaugural winners were announced in March 2017, with awards going to organizations committed to roadway safety. Grants will be open again for submission in mid-December 2017. Emphasis is placed on the strengthening existing roadway safety programs, supporting technology improvements and implementing a Safe Systems approach, which supports a shift in roadway safety culture and greater collaboration. NSC also is contributing $1 million over the three years to support the Coalition and administer the grants program.
- Future Vision – The Road to Zero is developing a long term plan outlining options to reach zero fatalities by 2050. This product is a result of a wide variety of stakeholder input over seven days of listening sessions. This document will be used by policymakers to develop the programs and solutions necessary.
RTZ success means moving beyond the business-as-usual approach and requires meaningful collaboration across disciplines and traditional boundaries; a strong sense of urgency and accountability; and stepped-up action, including the willingness to consider new, innovative and pioneering approaches to stop the upward trend of those dying on our roadways.
If you know others who could benefit from our coalition, please pass along this information to them. You will find more information at nsc.org/roadtozero and a link to their membership application.
West Region Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC)
The West Region Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC) was established by the Federal Highway Administration to bring together transportation organizations, workforce advocates, and educational institutions to develop partnerships that apply knowledge, experience, and resources to strategically build a strong transportation workforce for the future. The WRTWC, housed at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, serves a ten-state Western region: Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. The West Region Center is one of five regional workforce centers that make up the National Network for the Transportation Workforce.
VISION: An actively engaged regional network hub and “One Stop Shop” for transportation workforce development opportunities, partnerships, and resources.
The WRTWC mission is to serve as a resource to support, grow and maintain a skilled and career-ready transportation workforce in the West. The Center is network focused and engages existing regionally based programs, to catalyze new strategic partnerships, to leverage resources, and to communicate programs and best practices to educators, employers and those on the transportation career pathway.
The WRTWC is additionally participating in the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative (NTCPI), funded by the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It was launched to identify the education, curriculum, training, and experiential learning required to produce competent transportation workers in five disciplines: safety, planning, operations, engineering, and the environment. The West Region Transportation Workforce Center is leading the effort to establish career pathways for transportation safety professionals. The vision for the Transportation Safety Career Pathways Initiative is to create opportunities and experiences that attract the next generation to safety careers as well as a roadmap for acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will lead to professional leadership in this critical field. For more information on this initiative, visit: http://wrtwc.org/center-initiatives/safety-career-pathways-initiative/.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC)
Increasing seat belt use in rural Utah counties, growing traffic safety culture to reduce impaired driving in a small community in Minnesota, and exploring the attitudes and beliefs of law enforcement officers about traffic safety enforcement are just three exciting projects at the Center for Health and Safety Culture.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) is an interdisciplinary center within the Western Transportation Institute of Montana State University serving communities and organizations through research, training, and support services to cultivate healthy and safe cultures. The Center is dedicated to applying research to develop sustainable solutions to complex social problems.
At the Center, our research focuses on understanding how culture impacts behavior, particularly behavior associated with health and safety. A cultural approach involves cultivating health and safety across all layers of the social environment (see Figure 1) that impact the behaviors of interest. By focusing on the multiple layers of the social environment involved in a behavior, change is more likely to be sustained over time.
For example, our project to increase seat belt use in rural Utah counties focuses not only on getting individuals to wear their seat belts, but also getting individuals to take actions to increase the likelihood that others wear a seat belt. The project is growing behaviors like:
- Increasing the number of families with a rule about always wearing a seat belt;
- empowering drivers to act on their existing sense of responsibility to get others in the vehicle to wear a seat belt; and
- bolstering workplace policies regarding seat belts.
Aspects of the approach we are researching in Utah are based on the idea of safety citizenship. Safety citizenship behaviors are defined as prosocial actions that extend beyond an individual’s own safety to support the safety of others. These actions include voicing opinions, intervening to help others, reporting unsafe situations, staying informed, initiating change, and being a steward for existing safety programs. Several of the Center’s projects seek to leverage safety citizenship to improve traffic safety. A project in a small community in Minnesota is seeking to grow bystander engagement to reduce impaired driving. A project in Idaho is seeking to change the conversation about distracted driving to engaged driving and empower people to speak up and ask others not to drive distracted.
Two important projects involve cultural assessments to help us then develop effective interventions. A project for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is exploring the shared values, attitude, and beliefs associated with driving under the influence of cannabis and alcohol – a growing concern as more and more states explore the legalization of cannabis. A project sponsored by the Pooled Fund on Traffic Safety Culture (hosted by the Montana Department of Transportation) is exploring the attitudes and beliefs of law enforcement officers about engaging in traffic safety enforcement. This assessment is occurring in four states and involves a variety of law enforcement agencies (i.e., state, municipal, and county). The findings will inform potential strategies traffic safety and law enforcement leaders can use to increase consistent traffic safety enforcement activities.
The Center recently completed a project for the National Center for Rural Road Safety about the cultural factors that influence engagement in traffic safety training within departments of transportation. Soon, the Center will complete its similar study on the cultural factors influencing traffic safety training within local and tribal agencies.
Sharing with others what we have learned from our research and engaging in conversation with those working to address health and safety is very important to us. The Center is proud to host its first Symposium on June 20-22, 2018 to support the evolution of science and practice in health and safety. The purpose of our Symposium is to explore how positive culture improves health and safety, understand the latest science, and gain new insights. With an agenda including safety citizenship, workplace engagement, psychological reactance, leadership, and communication skills, the Symposium provides an opportunity to discuss the role of culture in improving health and safety with practice leaders from across the US. Conversations will generate new knowledge and develop new partnerships. To view the detailed agenda, visit: https://chsculture.org/outreach-events/symposium-2018.
To find out more about our current and past projects, research, and upcoming events, visit our website at www.chsculture.org.
The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF)
The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization located in Washington, DC. Since 1995, RSF has been a leading champion of infrastructure and engineering solutions for improving highway safety in the United States. Taking a public health-oriented focus on injury prevention, RSF is committed to advancing a safe systems approach to road safety that seeks to eliminate risks from the built environment and push the country Toward Zero Deaths.
RSF offers a number of programs and resources in service of its mission. These include providing educational materials on lifesaving crash countermeasures like rumble strips, roundabouts, and median barriers, as well as a free online Clearinghouse for Older Road User Safety (ChORUS). RSF’s signature educational offering, the Roadway Safety Guide, serves as a soup-to-nuts primer on road safety as an integral component of community safety overall, and is currently on its 2nd edition.
RSF is grateful for the support it receives from its member organizations, as well as multiyear cooperative agreements it has had with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Among other things, RSF has partnered with FHWA to offer a biennial awards program, the National Roadway Safety Awards, which recognizes outstanding safety achievements by public agencies nationwide and promotes winning projects for replication elsewhere.
Finally, RSF runs the U.S. Road Assessment Program (usRAP), an innovative and proactive tool for data-driven safety analysis. usRAP uses video and photo data of road infrastructure to star rate roads for safety on a familiar 1-5 scale, much like traditional ratings for vehicle safety have been published. These star ratings and the investment plans they yield provide engineering guidance on targeting safety projects to achieve the greatest return on investment. RSF was one of the inaugural recipients of the Road to Zero Coalition’s innovation grants, for which it was charged with developing online training courses to support usRAP’s growing user base. Additionally, usRAP is the domestic affiliate of the International Road Assessment Programme, a UK-based charity that has as its vision a “world free of high-risk roads.”
More information about RSF can be found online at www.roadwaysafety.org. ChORUS is available at http://www.roadsafeseniors.org, and usRAP is online at http://www.usRAP.org. RSF is grateful to the National Center for Rural Road Safety for maintaining an archive of a usRAP training webinar it conducted through the center, which is available at http://ruralsafetycenter.org/resources/list/usrap-an-innovation-in-data-driven-safety-analysis/.