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Traffic Safety Culture: TSC Pooled Fund

This program is a cooperative effort of participating state DOTs and other organizations vested in traffic safety.

Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund

The Traffic Safety Culture pooled fund study brings together professionals and researchers from around the country seeking approaches to impact culture to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries. By evaluating human behavior and tactics to positively influence driver’s decisions, the study identifies effective techniques and technologies to increase cultural awareness of safety habits and decisions. The three phases of the project are summarized below:

Study Description: TFP-1621 Phase 3: Traffic Safety Culture [Solicitation]

This is the third phase of the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled fund and will continue to bring interested partners together to find ways to influence behavior and decisions to promote safety for all road users. Traffic safety culture is the values and beliefs shared amongst road users that determine their choice of behavior which affects traffic safety. Many national agencies and organizations have identified that growing safety culture is a core strategy to moving towards the goal of zero road user deaths and serious injuries. Cultivating a positive traffic safety culture supports traffic safety goals and increases public acceptance of other effective traffic safety programs. 

Changing culture takes time to be impactful and to see changes. To influence change, we intend to implement the research completed in the first two phases and measure to see how the tools are working. Focusing on implementation during the third phase, we will use focus groups and other targeted approaches to determine if the tools are beneficial or if there are other avenues to impact behavior change. Readers are encouraged to visit the pooled funds website at Traffic Safety Culture | Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) ( to find information on the previous two phases efforts. Over the past two phases, the pooled fund focused on 14 research projects.    

Members supporting the Traffic Safety Culture Pooled Fund have worked together to influence traffic safety culture over the pooled funds previous two phases. Any organization interested in participating in the pooled fund is welcome to contribute and become a partner. The pooled fund would benefit from diverse partners joining including new states, FHWA, municipalities, organizations road users safety and welfare, and private organizations to name a few examples.

This project is a cooperative effort of participating state DOTs and other (traditional and non-traditional) organizations with a vested interest in positively affecting the traffic safety culture. As its third phase, this long-term partnership supports continual evolution and integration through research projects, developed tools, and implementation efforts. Collectively with its last two phases, the efforts completed by this pooled fund continue to develop and deliver tools and services to transform the national, state, and community-level traffic safety culture. The goals of this transformation are to: 

  1. Show a measurable shift in values, attitudes, and behaviors related to road safety.  To maintain positive changes in culture shifts that must be sustained in traffic safety behavior for all motorized and non-motorized road users.
  2. Recognize and define many different levels of cultural influence in traffic safety and create and implement tools that positively influence a sustainable shift in those cultural beliefs.
  3. Create tools for practitioners that impact culture in their organization and communities.  
  4. Provide the framework to influence the driver risk-takers to comply with making safe choices behind the wheel, whether automatically, due to culture shifts, or because of those influencers that one might identify with, such as peers, family, etc. 

Through continual collaboration, implementing, and trying new approaches, we can significantly improve traffic safety culture to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for all motorized and non-motorized road users.

Contributing participants will attend and engage in an in-person kick-off meeting to create a management plan that will identify common research needs, select and prioritize research tasks, and provide oversight of these tasks. 

Phase 3 of this pooled fund will focus on: 

  1. Conducting research to solve specific culture-based traffic safety problems,
  2. Creating training and education materials to enhance workforce understanding and application of traffic safety culture methods, and
  3. Providing technology transfer of best practices in traffic safety culture methods to all stakeholders.

Combined, these efforts will support the transformation of traffic safety culture within the families, communities, and organizations of participating states. This long-term effort and partnership will support an integrated and multiyear program to support the transformation of state and national traffic safety culture. Partners will determine the priority issues in each year. 

General Pooled Fund Resources

Federal Fiscal Year Work Plans