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  1. 1. Instituting a Safety Culture in our Transportation System: Parallel Visions w/some comments on Los Alamos, New Mexico LA-UR-07-3261 <ul><li>Khalil J. Spencer </li></ul><ul><li>Chair, LANL Traffic Safety Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Chair, Los Alamos County Transportation Board </li></ul><ul><li>Board Member, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Information taken from ongoing projects by: </li></ul><ul><li>National Center for Bicycling and Walking </li></ul><ul><li>The American Automobile Assn. Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>LANL’s Traffic Engineering Staff (Charlie Trask, John Bradley… and others </li></ul>
  2. 2. Some background for this talk <ul><li>Presented as invited talk at Pro-bike/Pro-walk 2006 Traffic Justice Project (i.e., I’m not speaking for LANL) </li></ul><ul><li>Hence relevance to Bike to Work Day </li></ul><ul><li>Added LANL crash data (thanks, Charlie Trask and John Bradley) for relevance to local traffic situation </li></ul><ul><li>TJP: How do we better protect people, esp. most vulnerable users: cyclists and pedestrians? </li></ul><ul><li>Promote justice , i.e., instead of designing cars which are safe to crash into other cars (crash-mitigation), design transportation so it is safe for all, including the most vulnerable users—those not in cars! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Present situation at LANL (look at Charlie’s & John’s data) <ul><li>Scores of crashes (up to 100) per year </li></ul><ul><li>Many crash-related complaints, injuries, some debilitating injuries, and three total deaths (1 since 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Many are “at fault” accidents </li></ul><ul><li>What are the costs to business, i.e., sick time, traffic delays, lost productivity, worker morale? (Steve Booth research idea) </li></ul><ul><li>OSHA: When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer is $74,000. Costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Can we institute a safety culture that extends to our drive time and reduces the risk? </li></ul>
  4. 4. LANL Crash Data
  5. 8. Accident type codes: some clearly involve error or malfeasance Parked Vehicle 12 Hit and Run 11 Bicycle 10 Pedestrian 9 Head-on 8 Sideswipe 7 Rear-ender 6 Right angle 5 Too fast/speeding 4 Poor Visibility 3 Driver Inattention 2 Loss of Traction 1 Other 23 Evasive action 22 Follow too close 21 No Pass Zone 20 Cross Centerline 19 Brake Failure 18 Failure to Yield 17 Asleep at Wheel 16 DWI 15 Animal 14 Rollover 13
  6. 10. U.S. vs. elsewhere: 2005 road fatalities per million population (source: European Conference of Ministers of Transport)
  7. 11. Trends not good, either
  8. 12. Can we do better? <ul><li>High hazard industries (HHI) mitigate risks, drive down accidents, reduce corporate & public risk </li></ul><ul><li>What if we used a HHI model to manage traffic safety? </li></ul>Tanker catches fire, causes Calif. road collapse Fallen interchange connects highways to Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge – from
  9. 13. What is a “safety culture” and how would it work? <ul><li>A worldview that asserts that safety is not a goal, but a core value that must be preserved in the workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Not sacrificed to expediency </li></ul><ul><li>Core values drive goals and objectives, not the other way around. </li></ul>
  10. 14. Parallel Visions: AAA Foundation and NCBW <ul><li>AAA Foundation: </li></ul><ul><li>promote a “safety culture.” (develop) a Safety Culture Index (SCI), with which to quantify the present state of affairs ... </li></ul><ul><li>(focus) upon developing safety cultures in highway safety agencies at the state and local levels </li></ul><ul><li>National Center for Bicycling and Walking: </li></ul><ul><li>redefine societal perspective on motor vehicle crashes, reducing their occurrence, and… significantly decreasing the …number of injuries and fatalities. </li></ul>
  11. 15. But the problem…context! <ul><li>Chapter 9: Fragments of a Movement —(Lisa Lewis, Partnership for Safe Driving) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Many…movements ( for roadway safety ) … have something in common…organizing around a single problem…without awareness of or concern for the context in which it is occurring…” </li></ul><ul><li>A Safety Culture provides such a context </li></ul>
  12. 16. So how does one achieve a safety culture? <ul><li>Competing visions of safety: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Garbage Can” (Cohen, et al. 1972) model—safety is one of the competing, sometimes incompatible interests at the table (i.e., the present traffic situation). </li></ul><ul><li>High Reliability model: safety is a compelling interest and core value. </li></ul><ul><li>(see Scott D. Sagan, The Limits of Safety , Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents </li></ul><ul><li>In a safety culture, safety is a core value . All aspects of an endeavor are constrained by how they influence safety (nuclear, airline, chemical industries) </li></ul>
  13. 17. ALARA: borrowed from the nuke industry —sets minimizing injury as a core value <ul><li>“ A s L ow A s R easonably A chievable” </li></ul><ul><li>ALARA asks and we answer before we start: how do we minimize accident/injury while accomplishing the goals of the organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Goals must be worth the residual risks after mitigation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated approach: examine all aspects of a problem for the risk analysis before endeavor goes forward. </li></ul><ul><li>Retains focus on safety as core value in spite of other competing values ( faster, cheaper, sexier, bigger ) </li></ul><ul><li>Translates into tangible concepts in accident minimization, as follows… </li></ul>
  14. 18. ALARA Tools <ul><li>Substitution of a less dangerous device such as a bicycle, transit, Corolla (i.e., a small car) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced exposure : lower VMD requirements for same connectivity--smart P&Z </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering Controls that protect and control without user input: Antilock Brake Systems, Stability Management Systems, speed governors linked to GPS </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Controls that elucidate hazards and social engineering (speed laws, driving tests) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Protective Equipment such as seat belts, helmets. Use indicates awareness of safety. </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic, often-repeated training and drills to ensure competency in a crisis: real driver ed. </li></ul>
  15. 19. Weaknesses of these “tools” if not seen as parts of a safety culture <ul><li>Inconsistent with “ closed course, don’t try this at home” or “&quot;The (Nissan) Frontier sends a message: 'Get out of my way '.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Unsafe driving in North American automobile commercials , P. C. Shin, D. Hallett, M. L. Chipman, C. Tator and J. T. Granton Jour. of Public Health Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 318–325 </li></ul><ul><li>Create passive behavior, i.e., the gizmo will protect me “ </li></ul><ul><li>Engineered controls can be expensive (SMS) or seen as “oppressive” (GPS-based speed limiters) </li></ul><ul><li>Admin. rules (traffic laws) ignored if insufficient negative consequences for violating them </li></ul><ul><li>Vehicle structure mismatch can defeat defensive measures (i.e., body-on-frame truck vs. unibody subcompact) </li></ul><ul><li>Low quality of driver training & licensing not reflective of real world safe driving requirements, (none required for bike-walk) </li></ul>
  16. 20. Safety culture: behavioral-based <ul><li>Get inside people’s heads! </li></ul><ul><li>Civil , not defensive driving (society, not “me”) </li></ul><ul><li>Change risky behavior before it leads to an incident </li></ul><ul><li>40,000 dead and 2.5 million injured per year. Convince people that they have a stake in the outcome: their lives or those of their loved ones </li></ul>
  17. 21. Some behavior that needs to change: inattention to driving and speeding <ul><li>(Apr. 2006) Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and NHTSA report on inattention </li></ul><ul><li>almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the event* . </li></ul><ul><li>* ~1 football field at 60 mph </li></ul>
  18. 22. Inattentive driving <ul><li>Breaking news 4:29 pm: One dead in Highway 14 collision(6/27/07 Santa Fe New Mexican) </li></ul><ul><li>Santa Fe Sheriff Solano said a 16-year-old boy was headed south on N.M. 14 at 2:30 p.m. when he reached down to grab something he dropped on the floorboard. His truck drifted into the northbound lanes and hit a Honda Accord head-on, killing the 47-year-old woman who was driving . </li></ul>
  19. 23. Speeding and Motorist miscalculation <ul><li>Most motorists underestimate the distance needed to stop. </li></ul><ul><li>The effect this difference has on the outcome of a crash or emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death. </li></ul><ul><li>With acknowledgements to Bob McQuinn for this slide </li></ul>
  20. 24. Accountability <ul><li>Instead of auto “no fault”, use airline and nuke model: zero accidents are the goal and people & systems accountable for harm done </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term paradigm-shift in DWI is a potential model </li></ul><ul><li>Use of devices such as legally-certified EDR’s (automotive black boxes) to provide better crash data & better understanding of why crashes happened, assign responsibility fairly </li></ul>
  21. 25. What would an ALARA- based safety program look like? <ul><li>A theme: crash prevention, not “crash control” </li></ul><ul><li>Most vulnerable users define safety standards (“Vision Zero” model—Sweden) </li></ul><ul><li>Parts not ends in themselves, but part of a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability and recurrent training, certification </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate risk factors for a clear understanding of how traffic works BEFORE operational decisions are made. </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership: not imposed, but buy-in </li></ul>
  22. 26. What would an ALARA-based safety program look like? <ul><li>Constant review and improvement (feedback) </li></ul><ul><li>“ High reliability organization” rather than a “garbage can” of competing and incompatible interests, which means… </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic engineers, marketers, law enforcement, lawmakers, health professionals, safety modelers, advocates, P&Z, end-users all on same page. </li></ul>
  23. 27. Traffic Safety Locally: Diamond Drive, Los Alamos, NM Downtown + res High School + UNM Middle School + res Grade school + res Grade school + res to LANL res res
  24. 28. Original Diamond Drive Profile-no shoulders or ADA sidewalks: “car is king” Don’t fall...
  25. 29. New Diamond Profile —shared sovereignty? Bike lanes, ADA sidewalks, bus pullouts & ped crossing island shelters
  26. 30. At the local level: Education <ul><li>One principle employer (LANL) & school district. If these institute a safety-culture based drive-bike-walk training program, would cover lion’s share of residents </li></ul><ul><li>Police Chief has regular community safety meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Safety op-eds by LAPD, BSC, T-Board </li></ul>
  27. 31. At the local level, Enforcement <ul><li>Low crime,so police can concentrate on traffic, since it could be people’s greatest risk. </li></ul><ul><li>LAPD has recently increased patrols, underage alcohol sales stings, and DWI checks </li></ul><ul><li>MANY have DOE security clearances. These are revocable for bad character. Fines (esp. speeding) > $250 must be reported. Can this be used as a “stick” to hold LANL drivers to a higher standard? </li></ul><ul><li>Make LANL employment contingent on safe site-wide driving behavior </li></ul>
  28. 32. At the local level, Engineering <ul><li>Diamond re-design in consideration of hazards (HS, College, and LANL on same main drag) (Co Bike Plan, “complete streets”) </li></ul><ul><li>Safety as high priority. (roundabouts vs. signalized intersections) </li></ul><ul><li>County’s new transit system (less dangerous device, alternatives for youth and elderly). </li></ul><ul><li>Large, higher speed roads (Trinity Drive) should not be a design feature of urban areas unless they are both grade separated and do not impede other modes or community access . </li></ul><ul><li>Effective traffic calming </li></ul>
  29. 33. Central Ave: 85%-ile < posted 25 mph speed limit Bulbouts & lane width reduction in commercial/government district
  30. 34. Proposed model: Sweden’s Vision Zero <ul><li>The concern for human life and health is an absolutely mandatory element in the design and functioning of the road transport system. This means that a road traffic safety mode of thinking must be clearly integrated into all the processes that affect safety within the road transport system. The level of violence that the human body can tolerate without being killed or seriously injured shall be the basic parameter in the design of the road transport. </li></ul>