Senior Research Associate, HSRC;
Director, CSCRS; and
Director, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Laura Sandt has been with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center since 2004 and is active in a variety of research areas, including the development and evaluation of community-involved health and injury prevention programs and studies focusing on pedestrian and bicycle safety, mobility, and access.
Laura serves as director for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, a federal clearinghouse of pedestrian- and bicycle-related training materials and resources. She has been involved in the development of several seminal Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) resources, including the Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists, the guide How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, Countermeasures that Work: 7th Edition, and a toolkit for community members, A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking. She has also led projects working directly with states and local communities to develop, implement, and evaluate programs aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. One such project, funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is the Watch for Me NC education and enforcement program, which is now being implemented across NC and in various cities throughout the U.S.
Most recently, Dr. Sandt has served as Principal Investigator on National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) projects 17-73 (Report 893), which developed guidance for performing systemic pedestrian safety analysis, and 20-112 (Report 932), which produced a roadmap for research at the nexus of transportation and public health. She also serves as director for the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, a National University Transportation Center funded in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this role, she has oversight responsibilities for the Center, whose mission is to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, systems-based approach.
Laura has a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a concentration in injury prevention. She also holds an M.R.P. from UNC-Chapel Hill with a concentration in transportation and land use. Her undergraduate degree is from Texas A&M University. Laura is an active member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Road to Zero Coalition, and the Transportation Research Board, where she serves as Chair of the Pedestrians Committee (ACH10), and co-chair of the Subcommittee on Automated Vehicles, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Interaction.
Laura lives in Carrboro, NC, with her husband, son, and daughter, who share her enthusiasm for bicycling, walking, and hiking.