Brown, C., Deka, D., (2016). “What Do Planning Professionals, Police, and Pedestrians in General Think About Distracted Driving and Walking?” Transportation Research Record, The Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2582, pp. 42–50.
Issues that relate to distracted driving and walking are discussed by presenting results from a survey of planning professionals, police officers, and pedestrians in New Jersey. The pedestrian intercept survey was completed by 788 individuals, while the online surveys for planning professionals and police officers were completed by 209 and 156 individuals, respectively. The surveys primarily focused on the perceptions of seriousness, prevalence, and solutions to distracted driving and walking. One of the key findings from the surveys is that all three groups considered distracted driving and walking to be serious problems that were becoming increasingly more common over time. Of types of driving distractions, texting and talking on handheld phones were considered to be two of the most common and yet least safe driver distractions. All three groups perceived mandatory education for new drivers, stricter enforcement of existing laws, and more severe penalties for drivers involved in crashes as the most important solutions to distracted driving. Educating students by schools was considered to be the most important solution to distracted walking. While strong support was found for police checking phones of drivers involved in crashes, little support was found for police intervention to curb distracted walking. The study’s findings are being discussed through outreach with select agencies to develop and adopt strategies to address distracted driving and walking in New Jersey.