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HSRC News Briefs

NCSRTS providing mini-grants to communities

The National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRTS) housed at HSRC is now in its second mini-grant award cycle to support creative, youth-focused ideas for safe walking and/or bicycling to school. Awarded programs receive up to $1,000 for local projects that encourage student creativity in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities.

"Communities across the country are finding new ways to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school," says Lauren Marchetti, director of NCSRTS. "These mini-grants encourage communities to get students involved in the effort to foster a culture of walking and bicycling in their own neighborhoods and schools."

NCSRTS is now accepting applications for up to 35 additional SRTS mini-grants. Applications are due April 7, 2010. More information about the mini-grant program and application process is available at http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/news_room/minigrants.

During the first cycle of mini-grants in spring 2010, the following 25 programs were selected:

  • Thorne Bay School Student Council (Thorne Bay, Alaska)
  • Town of Gilbert (Gilbert, Ariz.)
  • Meiners Oaks Elementary (Ojai, Calif.)
  • Dallas Ranch Middle School (Antioch, Calif.)
  • Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School (San Pablo, Calif.)
  • Bridge Street Elementary (Yuba City, Calif.)
  • Get Smart Schools, Inc., (Denver, Colo.)
  • Wood River Middle School (Hailey, Idaho)
  • Keith Middle School (New Bedford, Mass.)
  • Erickson Elementary School (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
  • Lyndale Community School (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Fairview Elementary School (Columbia, Mo.)
  • Smithton Middle School (Columbia, Mo.)
  • Oxford School District (Oxford, Miss.)
  • Pinehurst Elementary School (Pinehurst, N.C.)
  • Safe Kids and Century, J. Nelson Kelly and Lewis & Clark Elementary Schools (Grand Forks, N.D.)
  • Saddlebrook Elementary and Activate Omaha (Omaha, Neb.)
  • Fountain Inn Elementary School (Fountain Inn, S.C.)
  • Beardon Elementary School (Knoxville, Tenn.)
  • Roger E Sides Elementary (Karnes City, Texas)
  • Alpine Elementary School (Alpine, Utah)
  • Frances C. Hammond Middle School (Alexandria, Va.)
  • Madison, Roosevelt and Pioneer Elementary Schools (Olympia, Wash.)
  • Orca K-8 (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Cumberland Elementary School (Cumberland, Wis.)

For more information about specific activities and programs planned at the above locations, please read the comprehensive mini-grant announcement.

HSRC participates in annual TRB meeting

Researchers from HSRC were among the ten-thousand transportation professionals from around the world that gathered in Washington, D.C. in January 2010 for the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council—a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The meeting is an important opportunity for a wide array of policy makers, administrators, practitioners and researchers to share research and ideas regarding all transportation modes.

Members of the HSRC staff were active in TRB committee meetings and events. HSRC was represented in the Occupant Protection Committee, Safe Mobility of Older Persons Committee, Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee, Operator Licensing and Regulation, Young Driver Subcommittee, Operational Effects of Geometrics Committee, Intersection Joint Subcommittee, Roadside Safety Design Committee, Statistical Methodology and Statistical Computer Software in Transportation Research, Vehicle User Characteristics Committee, the Pedestrian Committee and Bicycle Committee and related subcommittees, and the Task Force for the Development of a Highway Safety Manual. Staff of HSRC's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center took part in the Feet First Caucus, and presented a pre-conference workshop on "Improving University Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Education."

Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School at HSRC, joined representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and the New York City Department of Transportation to lead a session entitled "Livability Initiatives: Building Upon Walking and Bicycling Successes." Ms. Marchetti showed how early Safe Routes to School successes are well aligned with the Initiative's goals.

Below is a complete list of HSRC research presented at the meeting.

Change in Amount of Bicycling Associated with Installation of Bike Lanes in St. Petersburg, Florida
William Hunter
Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Carol Martell
Examination of Horizontal Curve Collision Characteristics and Corresponding Countermeasures
Charlie Zegeer, P.E.
Carl Sundstrom, E.I.
Parents and Supervised Teenage Driving Practice
Arthur Goodwin, M.A.
Pedestrian Safety Prediction Methodology for Urban Signalized Intersections
Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Daniel Carter, P.E.
Charlie Zegeer, P.E.
Safety Evaluation of Improved Curve Delineation with Signing Enhancements
Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Daniel Carter, P.E.
Jongdae Baek
Safety Evaluation of Transverse Rumble Strips on Approaches to Stop-Controlled Intersections in Rural Areas
Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Jongdae Baek
Forrest Council, Ph.D.

A full compendium of papers and audio/visual content from the meeting is available from TRB at http://www.trb.org/AnnualMeeting2010/Public/AnnualMeeting2010.aspx.


Carol, Eric and students

SAS® software provides the backbone for data management and analysis for a large number of HSRC research projects. Carol Martell, senior applications specialist at HSRC, was conference co-chair for the 17th Annual Southeast SAS® Users Group (SESUG) educational conference, which was held in Birmingham, Ala., in October 2009. The conference offered concurrent sessions in six topic areas, pre- and post-conference intensive workshops, and SAS® Certification testing.

In addition to co-chairing the conference, Ms. Martell also presented on a method she developed using HSRC data for a paper entitled "Notes from an Intersection: Google Earth @ SAS®." Eric Rodgman, senior database analyst, and Carolyn Williams, analyst programmer, also took part in the meeting. Conference proceedings are available online at http://www.sesug.org/.

SESUG provided 15 student scholarships to attend the conference, among which were two recipients from UNC Chapel Hill – Keesha Benson, a doctoral student in the School of Social Work, and Annie Green Howard, a doctoral student in Biostatistics in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

SESUG 2010 will be held in Savannah, Ga., September 26–28, 2010. Student scholarship applications are now open, and are due by April 12, 2010. More information about the upcoming conference is available at http://sesug.org/SESUG2010.

HSRC e-Archives reaching back to the beginning

Since HSRC began publishing research reports in the late 1960s, the Center has maintained an archive of its research. These reports number close to 1,000 separate items, including final reports, interim reports and series. Many of these reports are interesting from a historical perspective, and they have content relevant to current research.

While much of the latest research reports produced by HSRC researchers are available online, many of the older reports still exist only in hardcopy. In order to improve access to the archive, HSRC Librarian Mary Ellen Tucker initiated a project to digitize selected reports published before the year 1990.

Thus far, over 100 full-text reports from 1967 to 1990 have been digitized. The digitization project began with a pilot test of one of HSRC's first reports, Seat Belts: A Pilot Study of Their Use Under Normal Driving Conditions, written by B. J. Campbell, Patricia F. Waller, and Forrest M. Council, and published in 1967.

Highlights of the HSRC archives that still carry significant resonance today include:

Review of Methods for Studying Pre-Crash Factors. Frank A. Haight, Hans C. Joksch, James O'Day, and Patricia F. Waller. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 1976

Accident Research Manual. Forrest M. Council, Donald W. Reinfurt, and B. J. Campbell. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 1980

Comprehensive Program for Increasing Use of Safety Seats and Seat Belts for Children and Young Adults. William L. Hall, Lauren M. Marchetti, Jeffrey Lowrance, Donna T. Suttles and Beverly T. Orr. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 1989

The HSRC Research Archive can be accessed at http://www.hsrc.unc.edu/research_library/index.cfm.

HSRC in the News

The following is a highlight of recent media stories that include information and research from the Center. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration. To access more archived news media, please visit

Boulder transportation official: Cyclists should have to dismount at crosswalks
Boulder Daily Camera
March 16, 2010
Point Person: Our Q&A with Lauren Marchetti
Dallas Morning News
March 5, 2010
More teens waiting longer to get driver's license
Knoxville News Sentinel
March 2, 2010
Hush and drive ban debated in Chapel Hill
News & Observer
February 24, 2010
Poll finds support for cell-phone restrictions
News & Observer
February 22, 2010
Chapel Hill Town Council to host cell phone forum
Daily Tar Heel
February 12, 2010
In wake of child deaths on the First Coast, parents are stressing safety
Florida Times-Union
February 12, 2010
Fewer 16-year-olds getting driver's licenses
January 25, 2010
Video: Is Facebook putting brakes on teen drivers?
January 25, 2010
Two can't stop phoning while driving
News & Observer
January 24, 2010
More teens are choosing to wait to get driver's licenses
Washington Post
January 24, 2010
Texting ban difficult to enforce
Daily Tar Heel
January 19, 2010
Cell-phone use linked to wrecks
News & Observer
January 13, 2010
State is too slow in banning texting while driving
Boston Globe
January 12, 2010
Train victim was on her cell phone
News & Observer
December 31, 2009
Child deaths frustrate watchful drivers
News & Observer
December 29, 2009
Deadly week for teens: Five die in wrecks
December 15, 2009
Driving to Distraction. Texting Now Banned
Phoenix14 News
December 08, 2009
The Scary New Truth About Women and Driving
Glamour Magazine
December 08, 2009
Keep thumbs on wheel, not your cell
News & Observer
December 01, 2009
New Laws: Texting While Driving Banned
Fox News Charlotte
November 30, 2009
New laws to target texting, reptiles
Greensboro News & Record
November 29, 2009

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
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Phone: 919.962.2203  |  Fax: 919.962.8710