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Center Faculty Create Guide for Communicating with the Public About the Safe System Approach


The Safe System approach is a transportation system that is designed to protect people from traffic injury. Various federal, state, and local initiatives across the United States have garnered recent momentum in awareness of this approach. While there exists a range of technical assistance for identifying problems, planning, designing, and implementing Safe System improvements, the question of public acceptance of these new road features has not been systematically addressed. Infrastructure changes are often the first public encounter of the Safe System approach, and public pushback is likely to occur if there is not an understanding of the rationale for the changes.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy (the Center) faculty, Drs. Jeffrey Michael, Theresa Chirles, and Shannon Frattaroli, worked with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to develop a communication framework called the Values-Solutions-Action Framework. The purpose of this guide is to assist local decision makers, transportation professionals, and community advocates in effectively communicating with the public about why the Safe System policies and engineering approaches are necessary, how they work, and how they benefit everyone who uses the roads. This guide was developed using framing theory and Transportation Safety professionals focus group research. The AAAFTS Technical Report of the Values-Solutions-Action Framework can be found at the following link: