Past Projects

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Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund Project: An assessment of traffic safety culture: exploring traffic safety citizenship

Wed January 25th, 2017

The Center for Health Safety Culture engaged in a research project with the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund to better understand the cultural factors associated with traffic safety citizenship. Road users have an important role in achieving the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries. In Sweden, the origin of the Vision Zero strategy, traffic safety leaders recognize that “road users are responsible for showing consideration for having a sense of judgment and responsibility in traffic, and for complying with traffic regulations,” and that growing these elements is a component of the zero deaths initiative (Belin, M.-Å., Tillgren, P., & Vedung, E. (2012). Vision Zero – a road safety policy innovation. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 19(2), 171–179).

Thus, engagement in traffic safety by road users is an important component of a comprehensive Toward Zero Death (TZD) strategy. Also called “safety citizenship,” focusing on growing prosocial, traffic safety related behaviors by everyone is a strategic shift from focusing on directly impacting the behavior of an often small group engaging in risky behaviors. The strategy is to foster more active engagement by the larger majority of safe road users to influence the behaviors of the smaller risk group – thus shifting from a compliant model of safety (“avoiding violating laws”) to a commitment model of safety (“I choose to be safe and want those around me to be safe”).

The Center developed, implemented, and analyzed surveys to better understand the cultural factors that influence traffic safety citizenship. Recommendations based on the analyses seek to inform strategies to grow traffic safety citizenship.

For more information, visit MDT Transportation Pooled Fund Traffic Safety Culture. Final reports can be found at http://www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/safety-citizenship.shtml.

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Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund Project: An assessment of traffic safety culture related to driving after cannabis use

Fri August 4th, 2017

The Center for Health Safety Culture engaged in a research project with the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund to better understand the cultural factors associated with driving under the influence of cannabis. An important risk factor in traffic safety is use of drugs that impair driver perception, decision-making, and skill.  Cannabis has been shown to impair driver ability, and its use is on the increase. Several states have legalized recreational cannabis use, and more are considering legalization. Increased use of cannabis among drivers may pose a barrier to achieving a zero deaths strategy. Therefore, understanding the cultural factors that influence driving under the influence of cannabis is critical in addressing this problem.

The Center developed, implemented, and analyzed surveys to better understand the cultural factors that influence driving after using cannabis. Recommendations based on the analyses will inform potential interventions and policy decisions about this timely issue.

For more information, visit MDT Transportation Pooled Fund Traffic Safety Culture. Final reports for this project can be found at www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/cannabis-use.shtml.

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Idaho Transportation Department: Developing a Constructive Culture

Mon November 21st, 2016

The Center is supporting a project at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to grow a constructive culture. ITD’s core mission is to enhance safety, mobility, and economic development through its transportation activities serving the citizens of Idaho. Towards this end, ITD seeks to provide outstanding customer service to all its customers – both internal and external. For ITD to achieve its mission in a way that exemplifies outstanding customer service, ITD is growing leadership culture that embraces a constructive leadership style –that focuses on achievement, self-actualizing, humanistic / encouraging, and affiliative behaviors. By growing this leadership style and culture, ITD will be more effective at meeting the needs of Idaho’s citizens and delivering on its mission. Such a culture will also facilitate the recruitment and retention of strong personnel which is a growing concern as a high degree of staff turnover is expected due to a large number of upcoming retirements. The Center is supporting this effort by providing additional cultural assessments, communication recommendations, and evaluation.

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Drug Free Action Alliance

Thu October 15th, 2015

The Center completed a project to provide recommendations and training support to Ohio’s Drug Free Action Alliance (DFAA). The project included reviewing DFAA’s media developed for its “We Are the Majority” campaign and providing recommendations to make the media more effective based on social norms marketing best practices. We provided two one-day trainings (one for adults and one for youth) on effectively using social norms marketing strategies in prevention. The Center also created media pieces focused on community adults, parents, and youth to begin to establish the brand “We Are the Majority.” The pieces included video, audio and print materials that communities can use to help connect the brand to commonly shared values supporting improved health and wellness for Ohio’s youth.

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Alaska Wellness Coalition

Wed April 20th, 2016

The Center for Health and Safety Culture worked with the Alaska Wellness Coalition (a state-wide organization of local coalitions working collectively to improve the health and wellness of all Alaskans) to reduce underage drinking across the state.

This aim of this project was to build the capacity of substance abuse coalitions to assess local cultures and ultimately implement evidence based prevention practices including the Be[You] state-wide media campaign focused on underage drinking.

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West Virginia Partnerships for Success Grant

Wed August 9th, 2017

The Center for Health and Safety Culture is working with six regional prevention providers in West Virginia to develop and support implementation of various activities using the Positive Community Norms framework to reduce underage drinking and the misuse of prescription drugs among youth and young adults. This work is performed in collaboration with the state’s Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success Project. This project focuses on implementing PCN in 12 high-need counties (two counties in each of the six prevention regions). Key activities include capacity building of prevention staff and local coalitions, developing and deploying various tools to assess existing culture, supporting statewide message development, developing tools to grow norms among specific focus audiences including community adults, law enforcement, school staff, parents, students, and healthcare.

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Reducing and Preventing Child Maltreatment in West Virginia

Wed August 9th, 2017

TEAM for West Virginia Children and the Center for Health and Safety Culture are engaged in a multi-year project supporting efforts to reduce and prevent child maltreatment and promote positive outcomes for children in West Virginia by growing positive parenting norms supporting safe, stable nurturing relationships, creating safe sleeping environments and behaviors, and reducing shaken-baby syndrome.  The Center will provide trainings on the PCN framework and develop and implement baseline surveys to measure existing positive norms, perceived norms, and critical gaps regarding safe infant sleeping practices and shaken-baby syndrome. The Center will develop communications strategies to hear and steer public conversations on these critical issues. 

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Exploring the Integration of Normative Clarification with Media Literacy Curriculum in Montana

Thu October 15th, 2015

Recognizing that many youth drastically misperceive the prevalence of risky behaviors among their peers and the significant role  the media can play in creating these misperceptions, The Center for Health and Safety Culture worked in partnership with the Montana Office of Public Instruction to integrate normative clarification into media literacy curriculum.  The Center created a toolkit to assist Montana teachers in discussing how students perceive a variety of health related issues including tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, bullying and violence, body image, mental health, safety behaviors (ex. wearing a seat belt), and exercise.  In addition to the toolkit, training and technical assistance were provided.

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Positive Community Norms Project to Reduce the Misuse of Alcohol in Wyoming

Thu October 15th, 2015

The Center for Health and Safety Culture (Center), in partnership with the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division of the Wyoming Department of Health, worked to reduce adult binge drinking and underage alcohol use in Wyoming through the utilization of the Positive Community Norms framework.  Throughout this multi-year project, the Center provided trainings on the PCN framework, PCN Guide services, and technical assistance for all 23 Wyoming counties and the Wind River Reservation The Center provided survey implementation to measure the actual and perceived norms regarding alcohol behaviors and beliefs among Wyoming adults.

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Increasing Support for Automated Enforcement

Mon October 12th, 2015

The Center worked with the Edmonton Office of Traffic Safety to provide media recommendations on how to foster broad support for automated enforcement strategies used in the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton uses a wide variety of automated enforcement technologies including red light cameras, speed through intersection cameras (“green light” cameras) and photo radar.

The Center developed several questions regarding support for automated enforcement and partnered with the University of Alberta to have these questions included in their annual community survey. The survey revealed very strong, positive norms in support of automated enforcement and revealed that many citizens had significant misperceptions regarding support for these strategies among other adults. The results of the survey were used to generate recommended messages and a communication toolkit to share these messages.

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Measuring Minnesota’s Traffic Safety Culture

Wed April 20th, 2016

The Center worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to develop a tool that can be used to measure and assess changes in Minnesota’s traffic safety culture. The instrument will be based on several theories of behavior including social norms theory and the theory of planned behavior. The instrument addressed traffic safety values, beliefs and behaviors regarding specific targeted risky behaviors, as well as attitudes about potential strategies to improve traffic safety. It was designed to support growing positive norms across the social ecology.

Results of the survey will help planners identify opportunities and create strategies to impact high-risk behaviors. It will also inform future education and communication efforts.

A copy of the final report can be found at www.dot.state.mn.us/research/TS/2015/201513.pdf.

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Reducing Motor Vehicle Incidents in the Workplace

Mon October 12th, 2015

The Center is working with Health and Safety Ontario/Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (HSO-WSPS) in a multi-year effort to reduce motor vehicle incidents in Ontario using the Positive Community Norms framework. This project focuses on the workplace and seeks to reduce six risky driving behaviors: not wearing a seatbelt, texting while driving, using a cell phone while driving, driving while fatigued or sick, driving aggressively or speeding, and driving after drinking any alcohol.

The project is led by a strong, local coalition (The Motor Vehicle Safety Action Committee) and has engaged several businesses in a pilot project. The strategy is to foster a workplace culture that supports bystander engagement, so that employees are more likely to speak up and address unsafe behaviors by their coworkers. An initial baseline survey (based on the theory of planned behavior) has been completed and used to inform the development of workplace media to correct misperceived norms.

The team is implementing these materials on a pilot basis. Workplaces with multiple sites will have some sites assigned as “intervention” sites and some assigned as “control” sites to allow for a more rigorous evaluation. The local coalition is interested in expanding the strategy beyond the workplaces in the future.

To learn more about this project, please visit http://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Articles/Unleash-the-potential-of-your-employees.aspx.

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Reducing Fatal Single-Vehicle Run-Off-the-Road Crashes

Mon November 21st, 2016

The Center is working with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to reduce fatal single-vehicle run-off-the-road (SV-ROR) crashes in Idaho using the Positive Community Norms framework. After analyzing data in Idaho’s Crash Database, the team elected to focus on one of the leading contributing factors to these crashes: alcohol impairment. The challenge was to identify a media-based strategy that would effectively address this problem and reach the target audience.  While very few people engage in impaired driving, those that do tend to drink regularly and at high levels.

In partnership with ITD, the team elected to address the problem by seeking to foster bystander engagement to stop impaired driving in Idaho. This approach leverages the strong positive norms that already exist around this issue (most people believe it is wrong, most people do NOT drive after drinking, and most people support strong enforcement of impaired driving) to help impact the small minority of individuals who engage in this risky behavior.

The Center developed a model based on the theory of planned behavior to predict bystander engagement to prevent someone from driving after drinking. Partnering  with the University of Idaho, the team implemented a statewide community survey and validated the model with the results of the survey. The model was then used to inform messaging to increase bystander engagement, including a pilot implementation of the strategy in three communities in Idaho. The goal is to transform how communities approach impaired driving and leverage the strong positive norms surrounding this issue.

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Positive Community Norms Project to Reduce Child Maltreatment in Wisconsin

Fri October 9th, 2015

The Center for Health and Safety Culture is working in partnership with the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund and Child Abuse Prevention Fund to reduce child maltreatment in Wisconsin through the utilization of the Positive Community Norms framework.  Specifically, the group is working to develop context and system linkages at the community and state levels that increase safe, stable, nurturing environments in which children are healthy, thrive and develop free of maltreatment.

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