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U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


NHTSA People Saving People
DOT HS 808 705

April 1998

Introduction

Background

Method

Findings

Detailed Findings

General Discussion

Specific Issues

APPENDIX A

APPENDIX B


List of Tables
1 Composition of Beltway Driver Groups
2 How Participants Use the Beltway
3 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes
4 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes - Commercial Drivers
5 Responses to Aggressiveness Screening Questions

List of Figures
1 Questionnaire Responses - General vs. Aggressive Drivers

Incident and Traffic Management Issues Supported

Most participants believe that it is a good idea to immediately move cars involved in minor crashes out of the travel lanes. Most also are aware that the law requires it. However, most participants disagreed that cars left on the shoulder should be subject to immediate towing. They do not think they pose a great hazard and believe that immediate towing would be unfair. The prevailing view is that owners should be allowed 24 hours to move the vehicle.

About half of the people know that there are motorist assistance patrols on the Beltway. Only one person in all of the focus groups said they had been stranded on the Beltway, and in that case, response was almost instantaneous.

Many participants own cellular phones and most of those knew that they could dial #77 to report non-emergency crashes. Some also said they could use the same number to contact law enforcement to report unsafe driving but this was not as widely known. Awareness of the #77 communication system was much higher in 1997 than it was in 1994.

Most participants were receptive to the advanced traffic management systems described to them but said they had not noticed any tangible evidence that they were working, so far.