New NHTSA Primer on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a Primer for Highway Safety Professionals on Advancing Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety. The primer is intended to serve as a reference guide for various approaches to addressing safety problems, identifying opportunities for agencies to partner for solutions, real-world examples, and tools to aid in having the safety discussion with partners and stakeholders.

Jesse Cohn of Fehr & Peers’ San Francisco office, was a contributing author of this primer while working as a research assistant at the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) at the Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) at UNC-Chapel Hill. She also conducted a pedestrian crash analysis to inform Safe Routes to School and Work in Wake County which was included in the guide as an example of crash databases. That example is similar to how NCDOT’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) can be used to identify high priority locations for infrastructure improvements (Page 9, Figure 4).

Among the many helpful references, two valuable sections stand out for identifying potential solutions and partnering to affect change:

  • Section 3: Engineering Treatments – a summary of 22 potential treatments to address key pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns.
  • Section 4: Implementing Treatments and Programs in a Partner-Driven Approach. It highlights traditional and non-traditional organizations transportation agencies may partner with to improve safety through infrastructure, education, and enforcement programs.