Road Safety 101 Delivers Foundation of Safety Concepts for Transportation Professionals

In November 2019, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center’s (HRSC) Road Safety Academy delivered its most recent installment of Road Safety 101, a free, in-depth study of the fundamentals of road safety. 

The objective of Road Safety 101 is to equip professionals who are relatively new to the road safety discipline with the knowledge to understand the elements of successful road safety programs. The course aims to help students gain a better understanding of road safety data collection, analysis and evaluation, and provides a framework that students can use to assess and evaluate their own road safety programs.

The class consists of weekly two-hour interactive online sessions along with roughly one hour per week of independent work and assignments completed outside of class. HSRC researchers serve as the primary course instructors, and they are joined by experts from outside organizations and guest speakers representing a variety of road safety perspectives, such as law enforcement, planning, advocacy and public health. In addition to lectures and guest speakers, classes featured interactive discussions and student-led instruction based on work the students performed outside of class. The course was designed to be convenient and flexible to encourage participation.

Lessons were framed around the following topics:

Road Safety 101 was originally based on the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 667, Model Curriculum for Highway Safety Core Competencies. The course was updated more recently to reflect content drawn from Road Safety Fundamentals, a foundational road safety textbook published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Content has been organized and aligned with safe systems principles, and instructors draw from research performed by the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS), the USDOT-sponsored University Transportation Center led by HSRC.

RSA strives to attract a wide variety of Road Safety 101 course participants, such as professionals from different government agencies and private businesses and across a variety of perspectives including community development, law enforcement, city and regional planning, public health and marketing, and communications.

Since 2011, HSRC has delivered the online version of the Road Safety 101 course eight times and reached nearly 200 professionals working in transportation planning, engineering, public health, law enforcement, and related disciplines.  HSRC plans to deliver the course again in Spring 2020. For more information about the next offering of Road Safety 101, contact Dan Gelinne (gelinne@hsrc.unc.edu).