Vision Zero Hero

Last month, Traffic Safety Analyst Tazul Islam, PhD,  flew to Washington, D.C., to receive international recognition for a paper he wrote titled Before-After Safety Evaluation using Full Bayesian Macroscopic Multivariate and Spatial Models. Tazul received the Young Researcher Paper Award 2016 at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The TRB recognized Tazul’s work as high quality, innovative and providing credible information and research results that transportation practitioners, researchers and public officials around the world can use for better and more informed decision-making.

“In simple terms, I proposed a novel methodology to conduct before-after safety evaluation. Once we implement any measure in order to improve traffic safety, it is important to conduct an evaluation to see whether or not the measure is effective in reducing traffic collisions,” Tazul says.

The existing before-after evaluation methods are often data intensive and prone to various biases. Tazul’s proposed methodology addresses these limitations and provides a more reliable estimate of the safety impact of any countermeasures.

He applied the proposed methodology to evaluate the safety effect of reducing the posted speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in several residential neighborhoods in Edmonton. The estimated collision reductions were 13%  for total collisions, 24% for severe collisions and 12% for property-damage-only collisions. This unique study in the Canadian context can be used as a basis to reduce the posted speed limit in residential areas in order to achieve Vision Zero’s road safety goal around the world.

Tazul acknowledges the contributions and support he received from his co-authors Shewkar Ibrahim (Road Safety Engineer, City of Edmonton Traffic Safety), Dr. Karim El-Basyouny (City of Edmonton Research Chair on Urban Traffic Safety;, Associate Professor, Transportation Engineering, University of Alberta) and Dr.  Tarek Sayed (Professor, University of British Columbia).

“We all want to get to our destinations and home again safely. This is why Vision Zero Edmonton matters,” says Tazul. “I’m happy my work can contribute to saving lives and preventing injuries.”