A recent study supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrated that an element of the driving culture could be changed on a city-wide basis using a multifaceted program that systematically applies psychological behavioral principles on a community level.
In a two-year LRRB-funded research study, the University of Minnesota will review the City of St. Paul’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety and investigate whether a similar program to the NHTSA-supported study could be applied to changing the driving culture related yielding to pedestrians and speed compliance on arterial and collector roads on a citywide basis.
The study will add value to developing livable communities by: 1) analyzing effectiveness of previous and implemented countermeasures to change two significant targets (yielding to pedestrians and speed reduction); 2) investigating whether effectiveness could be transferred to other safety areas; and 3) examining long-term maintenance of the behavior changes produced by program implementation.
Due to early successes and support, the project has received public attention. Several articles and press releases have been written to date, including: “Stop for Me,” “Signs shame drivers in stopping for pedestrians in St. Paul,” Drivers stopping for pedestrians on the rise in St. Paul, U of M study finds,” and more.