As the United States looks to significantly increase investment in transport, transport professionals recognise a window of opportunity for proposing new ideas to address road trauma. The iron is hot for a push to adopt the Safe System approach, which has been effectively applied in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. However, adopting a Safe System approach in the United States comes with its fair share of challenges. Hence North American transport organisations are reaching out to international road safety specialists, such as Shane Turner, to seek advice on how to best implement this approach.
Shane was first approached to be part of the Road to Zero Coalition. Road to Zero are investigating how the Safe System approach can be used as a stepping-stone towards Vision Zero in the United States. Shane is confident that with the right support, the Road to Zero Coalition can ultimately achieve its goal of Vision Zero at a road, community, city, state, and national level. Shane is also involved in the Safe System Consortium assembled by the John Hopkins Centre for Injury Research and Policy and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), as one of their 20 identified international Safe System experts.
Shane’s recent work focuses on speed management, particularly in developing evidence to justify lowering speed limits. Shane is also well-versed in applying the Safe System approach to urban arterials and addressing vulnerable road user risks. At the Transport Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington DC last year, Shane chaired a session on the Safe System work being undertaken in both New Zealand and Australia. This was well received and was a catalyst to these ongoing discussions with the Road to Zero Coalition and the Safe System Consortium.
Abley’s involvement in the United States is one of several international assistance projects that Abley undertakes to reduce road trauma at a global scale. Abley employees are doing similar work with Australian and Indonesian road authorities, helping them be more effective in delivering strategies and interventions that achieve safer roads for all road users.
The John Hopkins Center, together with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, convened a consortium of experts (including Abley’s Shane Turner) from a variety of disciplines to participate in a series of five meetings this year that culminated in the Recommendations of the Safe System Consortium report.