Changing Driver Behavior Study Final Results Show Progress


The City of Ann Arbor has received the final results of its Changing Driver Behavior Study, a collaboration with Dr. Ron Van Houten and Western Michigan University, which measured the impact of increased signage, enforcement and communication on drivers stopping behavior at crosswalks.

Overall, stopping for pedestrians in Ann Arbor increased from a mean of 28.5 percent to 65.2 percent at treatment sites, which were subject to enhanced police enforcement, and from 34.2 percent to 53 percent at the generalization sites that did not receive additional enforcement.

“Ensuring the safety of pedestrians by changing driver behavior requires a holistic approach that includes enforcement, engineering, education, evaluation and encouragement — also known as the 5Es,” explained Raymond Hess, City of Ann Arbor transportation manager. “We were fortunate to have an excellent partner in Dr. Van Houten and his team on this study. The project shows us that altering driving habits is achievable. The results of the study give us insights on best practices in the Ann Arbor and baseline data for future use.”

The final report notes one element alone, enforcement, can’t explain the steady increase in stopping behavior, explaining “evidence that the high visibility elements that were introduced in a stepwise manner contributed to the overall success of the program. If drivers only responded to actual enforcement operations it would be more likely that the effects would be confined to sites that received enforcement.”

The full report is available online at

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