Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #153
Pedestrian Safety
Sunday, May 25, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nicole Cambridge (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: William Gene Rantz (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This symposium presents three data-based studies focusing on increasing yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks. These strategies are being considered for large scale dissemination.
Increasing Motorists’ Yielding to Pedestrians at Mid-Block Crossings: An Analysis of the Efficacy of Rapid-Flash Pedestrian Crossing Aides.
JIM SHURBUTT (Western Michigan University), Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Mid-block crossings are often the site of many pedestrian-automobile accidents. The current study examines the efficacy of a rapid-flash LED beacon pedestrian crossing aide sign. The rapid-flash systems were installed and data were recorded at four locations with mid-block crossings on busy four lane multidirectional roadways. Each location received the device on each side of the crosswalk as well as a median system. The percentage of driver yielding and the distance of yielding were recorded using a multiple baseline reversal (ABCBC) design. Data were collected for baseline and during treatment by alternating the number of units activated from the side units alone to side and median units. Mean yielding compliance increased from 18.2% during baseline to 78% (side units only) and 88% (side and median units). Long-term data extending up to one year from installation is also reported.
Comparison of Staged and Resident Pedestrian in the Evaluation of Rectangular Stutter Flash Beacons.
ERICK K. A. MARMOLEJO (Western Michigan University), Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Pedestrian safety is a particularly relevant topic in today’s move for more eco-friendly modes of transporation and the increasing popularity of “walkable communities.” Much research has focused on the interface between automobile thoroughfares and pedestrian pathways. Achieving high percentages of driver yielding to pedestrians has been a difficult issue in the area of traffic safety and new technologies are being investigated to increase the percentage of driver yielding and thus improve pedestrian safety. The present study investigates one such technology called an “Enhancer System”. This device provides a combination of salient and relevant driver and pedestrian prompts that go well beyond a static symbolic sign. The enhancer system alerts the drivers to the presence of pedestrians and simultaneously verbally prompts pedestrians to “Look both ways before crossing and to wait for cars to yield.” The present study evaluated the efficacy of the enhancer system and found it to be highly effective in improving driver yielding over a static sign.
The Effects of Extended Arm and Pedestrian Lean on Driver Yielding Behavior.
BRIAN J. CROWLEY-KOCH (Western Michigan University), Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Pedestrian safety is a serious concern at busy intersections and pedestrian campuses across the nation. While crosswalks and signs help pedestrians and motorists know where to cross, there is no standard protocol for pedestrians to signal drivers that they wish to use the crosswalks. This study examined the effect of (1) use of a raised arm to prompt motorists to yield to a pedestrian about to cross at a crosswalk and (2) how to increase the number of pedestrians using the extended arm method.



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