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Center for Transportation Studies

Factors Influencing Policy and Political Leadership in Improving Roadway Safety

Matt Schmit, Lee Munnich
March 2018
Report no. CTS 18-07


This study built on recent work to examine further the factors influencing policy and political leadership in adopting evidence-based policy countermeasures and integrated performance-based approaches such as Toward Zero Death (TZD) to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries. Specifically, this study sought to increase understanding of the policy context for safety and how special interest group influence at the state and local level plays a part in roadway safety policy promotion and adoption. The study focused on six states in the Midwest Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and engaged legislators, state agency officials, and special interest stakeholders to better understand the challenges and opportunities for improving roadway safety through public policy. The study expanded on an assessment tool applied to quantifying policy countermeasure adoption in each of the six study states and created a similar tool for gauging special interest group activity.

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Sponsored by: Roadway Safety Institute (USDOT)