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Transportation Conference 2016MassDOT Secretary & CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin, and District 3 Highway Director Jonathan Gulliver will join this week’s  2016 Northeast Transportation Safety Conference, scheduled for June 7-8 at the DCU Center in Worcester.

The 2016 Transportation Safety Conference will highlight the latest advances being made in transportation safety. The conference theme “The sum is greater than its parts” emphasizes the fact that we must incorporate education, awareness, and health, with enforcement and engineering, to move toward our goal of zero deaths. This innovative conference will bring together transportation safety specialists from throughout the country involved in law enforcement, research, engineering, advocacy, fire, EMS, automotive, transit, state & municipal governments, federal government, and academia.

The conference is being hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and the Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A list of session titles for the transportation conference is below. Additional information can be found at

Tuesday, June 7, 2016  7:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

  • Advanced Automotive Technology and Supporting Road Infrastructure – This session features presentations in which the Auto Alliance and the Ford Motor Company will highlight the transformative aspects of both current and future vehicle and safety technologies as well as their impact on roadway related infrastructure.
  • Unintended Consequences of Traffic Safety Laws Passed – Many times traffic safety laws are passed that seem effective on paper but in the real world, as the law is put in place, it may result in unintended consequences for other areas related to the law. In this session, you will hear from representatives of several states that will talk about various laws that have gone awry.
  • A Road Safety Audit and Accessibility Through Work Zones – Does your design account for all elements of accessibility? Come hear what was learned from an Accessibility Road Safety Audit. In addition, learn about the ways in which MassDOT is continually enhancing their standards for temporary traffic control to more safely accommodate all users within work zones.
  • Distracted Driving – Enforcement and Educational Initiatives – NHTSA’s 2014 National Occupant Protection Use Survey found that at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 585,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving despite the documented dangers. This session will discuss distracted driving enforcement and some of the educational programming taking place in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Speakers will also discuss how to collect evidence and establish cases for the successful prosecution of distracted driving.
  • Linking Industry and Enforcement for a Safety Culture Involving Commercial Motor Vehicles – This session is devoted to discussing ways in which the transportation industry and law enforcement can come together to create safer highways with respect to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), which are continually overrepresented in crash statistics. This session will feature the perspective of industry (FedEx) and law enforcement (Mass State Police) as they discuss strategies such as roadside inspections and responsive training as well as their respective roles in ensuring the safety of CMVs on our highways.
  • Driving While Teen – Teen Driving Trends and Research – Crashes are the number one killer of teens across the United States. Young drivers are four times more likely to be killed and 14 times more likely to be injured than any other age group. This session will discuss recent research on the status of teen driving in Massachusetts as well as programs aimed at reducing teen crash rates.
  • Motorcycle Safety – Future of Driver Education, Raising Awareness/Getting the Message Out, Reporting Issues – This is the time of year when we start to see more motorcycles on the road because of the nice, spring weather. This session presents information on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ Motorcycle Rider Education Program, currently available state-wide training opportunities, and the direction of future of motorcycle education. In addition, there will be discussion on safety, and continuing efforts to collect detailed data on fatal motorcycle crashes to both help highlight areas of concern and identify future training needs.
  • Drugged Driving – Impacts of Medicinal Marijuana and Opioid Overuses – With the passage of new marijuana laws and the increase in opioid use many states are in crisis. This session will discuss the impact of drug use on traffic safety, the medical field and the need to pass laws and educate the public as this growing trend spirals out of control. The panel will also discuss what officers can expect to find both during roadside encounters, traffic stops and booking/processing of individuals that use marijuana and opiate drugs. *Included during the break out session will be physical and clinical signs of impairment, as well as the anticipated validated clues that will be observed during the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Testing.
  • Fleet/Driver Training for Bicycle Safety – FedEx Express believes in Safety Above All, and teaches all drivers to operate their vehicles defensively. Pedestrians and cyclists do not move as fast as trucks! Assume that they never see you! This session will discuss key concepts to fleet/driver training such as: 1) Get the big picture by scanning/turning your head frequently for pedestrians, cyclists and other hazards; and 2) Slow down around pedestrians/cyclists and make sure they see you by making eye contact, headlights, and/or tap your horn.
  • Safe Routes to School – The Role of Businesses Can Play, Crossing Guard Training and Messaging for Middle and High School Students – Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs run by states, communities and individual schools encourage elementary and middle school students to walk and bike to school for better health, safety and increased physical activity. Yet there are other important proponents of SRTS programs including businesses, sponsors and volunteers. High school students compete in the Safe Streets Smart Trips video competition, creating provocative safety messages for all ages. Crossing guards provide a vital role in ensuring safety in and around schools during student arrival and dismissal. This session will discuss each of these players and how their efforts work to improve safety around schools and encourage children to choose to walk and bike to school.
  • Engineer This! – An Open Discussion on Several Designs to Best Accommodate Road Users in the Safest Manner – This session will explore the relationship between human factors and psychology with the transportation system. Specifically, the session will explore the process by which consider (or fail to consider) human comprehension as well as their abilities and limitations when designing the roadway environment.
  • Drowsy Driving the Problem with the Accepted Practice – Research tells us that more than 350-thousand drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day in the United States, many for just a second or two, while closing your eyes on the road can have deadly consequences. Our panel of experts explores the reasons behind the problem, examines its impact on crash and fatality rates, and makes suggestions as to how drivers can better handle drowsy driving.
  • Traffic Incident Management – Targeting First Responders – SHRP-2 was authorized by Congress to investigate the underlying causes of highway crashes and congestion in a short-term program of focused research. The National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training Program is the first reliability product rolled out under SHRP-2. TIM responder training was developed by responders for responders, and was designed to establish the foundation for and promote consistent training of all responders. This session will discuss key strategies of effective Traffic Incident Management, and how it seeks to reduce the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improve safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 7:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.


  • Engineering 101 for Non-Engineers – Ever wondered what engineers are thinking when they design a certain roadway in a certain way? This session will introduce some of the core concepts in transportation design, including the many different roadway types and design decisions that need to be made.
  • Enforcement 101 for Non-Enforcement Personnel – What do police departments, specifically traffic officers, look for relative to reviewing site plans? What impacts do road design, traffic control device placement and pavement markings have relative to crash investigation? From the police prospective, how is enforcement tied to safety. Come learn all about the role of the enforcement community with regard to these interesting topics
  • Media/Marketing/Social Media and Impacts on Roadway Safety – The panelists in this session will discuss the importance of media and marketing and why it is important to not only be proactive but to ensure that your message is targeting the right audience. In addition, panelists will discuss the effective ways in which Social Media can be employed for traffic safety.
  • Road Diets – Myths Debunked – Road diets are increasing in popularity across the United States, however, there are some common misunderstandings regarding Road Diets. This session will both highlight and “debunk” some of the common “myths” surrounding the implementation of Road Diets.
  • Road Rage – Drivers in everywhere have plenty of reasons to get anxious behind the wheel. Traffic congestion in and around our cities can be a major factor. But road rage is too often dangerous, and sometimes ends in injury or death. Our panel of experts looks at the psychology of road rage, and explores ways in which we as drivers can better cope with frustrations on the road to make driving a safer and more relaxing experience.
  • Interaction Between the Various Travel Modes – Becoming Familiar with the Rules of the Roads – Accommodating all modes of transportation within the roadway environment presents a unique safety challenge. This session will explore the interaction between the modes. How do we communicate the rules of the road to all that need to know? How well do drivers comprehend infrastructure designed to accommodate bicycles.
  • WAZE – What Role Can Navigational Systems Play in Road Safety  – The Waze Connected Citizens Program (CCP) is a free, two-way data exchange empowering municipal decisions to achieve concrete community impact. Launched in October 2014 with 10 city partners, the program has expanded to more than 65 partners including city, state and country government agencies, nonprofits and first responders. The data has already successfully been used to improve traffic operations, emergency response times, traffic safety, communication and efficiency of maintenance.
  • Uber – What Role Can Mobile Ride Hail Companies Play in Road Safety – Uber will be discussing the future of safety on our streets and how technology and innovation can help shape the way we plan our cities.

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