Poster: Identifying Pedestrian-Vehicle Near-miss Incidents

Crash data is frequently for analysis in research into pedestrian safety issues. However, crash data alone is not sufficiently descriptive to present an accurate map of hazardous locations for pedestrians. Researchers at Rutgers University surveyed NJ police officers to gather information about school crossings that officers considered the most challenging for pedestrians. Officers answered questions about what makes the intersections challenging, and what might be done to improve conditions at these locations. Responses were analyzed in comparison to a literature review of pedestrian safety studies that highlight effective ways to improve conditions at crossings. Officers were aware of “pedestrian near-misses with vehicles” at 65 percent of the identified intersections while pedestrian crashes with vehicles accounted for only 28 percent of the intersections identified. Most often, officers received information about pedestrian issues through their crossing guard employees. Gathering data on near-miss incidents can be difficult on a large scale, however studies and data collection efforts such as surveys, interview or focus groups of police officers regarding pedestrian safety issues appears to be rare. Interviewing police officers can be useful to transportation agencies nationwide as they seek to remediate dangerous school crossings, improve pedestrian safety and prevent pedestrian-vehicle conflicts. 

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