Developing Australia's highway safety professionals: What can the United States learn?

John W. Shaw, Carlyn Muir, Ian Johnston, David A. Noyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Highway safety is a complex issue that requires the combined skills of many different types of professionals, including engineers, public administrators, first responders, and public health officials. Although the United States and Australia are culturally similar countries with high levels of motor vehicle use, for historical reasons Australia has typically reached road safety milestones earlier than the United States has. Although a few American universities offer classes on road safety, current U.S. offerings predominantly consist of professional development short courses (often with a programmatic focus). In addition to professional development courses, some undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Australian universities offer electives on the principles of road safety engineering and methods for influencing road user behavior. This coursework can be viewed as part of a wider effort to implement scientifically validated methods and the safe system approach recommended by the International Transport Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Deeper integration of highway safety principles into the undergraduate curriculum could assist both countries' students in developing the leadership skills necessary to achieve higher levels of safety performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • road safety

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