New Action Framework for Transforming Traffic Safety Culture

(June 29th, 2012 Bozeman, MT)- A new ACTION Framework for transforming traffic safety culture has been developed by The Center for Health and Safety Culture ( at the Western Transportation Institute of Montana State University.

Even though significant progress has been made in reducing fatalities and injuries associated with motor vehicles, over 33,000 people still died as a result of motor vehicle incidents in 2009.

While the overwhelming majority of drivers do not engage in risky behaviors, the minority of drivers who do are causing significant risk and harm. The solution resides in our driving cultures.  It is time to redefine our shared values and beliefs regarding traffic safety and work towards fostering a broader sense of collective responsibility. 

The ACTION Framework provides a strategy to foster cultural transformation using a seven-step process. The Center for Health and Safety Culture believes the work of transforming culture must focus on a science-based process and not attempt to prescribe specific strategies at the outset. Gaining an accurate understanding of the existing culture is critical before recommending strategies.

Single solutions like infrastructure improvements and vehicle design have had positive results; however, such strategies are insufficient towards achieving comprehensive transportation safety. Future efforts to improve traffic safety need to involve transforming traffic safety culture to foster a broader engagement and seeing safety in new ways. Transforming traffic safety culture is a long-term endeavor that will involve working across the traffic safety system (from the national level to the individual).

The Center for Health and Safety Culture leads national change efforts and is acting as a facilitator for the process outlined in this document. Traffic safety culture is critical to reaching our goal of moving toward zero deaths.  This document provides a clear definition and theory-based approach to develop strategies to transform the traffic safety culture. 

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