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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Leigh Ann Von Hagen
Invited SpeakerLeigh Ann Von Hagen AICP/PP is a Research Project Manager for the Voorhees Transportation Center and facilitator for the Planning Healthy Communities Initiative at Rutgers University. For over fifteen years, Ms. Von Hagen’s work focuses on addressing health disparities by developing sustainable transportation and land use solutions for communities. She conducts continuing education training on Health Impact Assessment and facilitates health in all polices discussions (phci.rutgers.edu.) As a veteran bicycle and pedestrian planner, she is a leader in creating multi-disciplined approaches to environmental and policy change through community-based initiatives and partnership building. Leigh Ann manages the NJ Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Resource Center (saferoutesnj.org) and the New Jersey School Crossing Guard program (njcrossingguards.org.) She specializes in addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety and access through research, training, education, community engagement, and dissemination of information about best practices in policy and design.