Law Accommodating Nonmotorized Road Users and Pedestrian Fatalities in Florida, 1975 to 2013

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine the effect of Florida’s adoption of Statute 335.065-a law requiring the routine accommodation of nonmotorized road users (i.e., a “Complete Streets” policy)-on pedestrian fatalities and to identify factors influencing its implementation.

Methods

We used a multimethod design (interrupted time-series quasi-experiment and interviews) to calculate Florida’s pedestrian fatality rates from 1975 to 2013-39 quarters before and 117 quarters after adoption of the law. Using statistical models, we compared Florida with regional and national comparison groups. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 current and former Florida transportation professionals in 2015.

Results

Florida’s pedestrian fatality rates decreased significantly-by at least 0.500% more each quarter-after Statute 335.065 was adopted, resulting in more than 3500 lives saved across 29 years. Interviewees described supports and challenges associated with implementing the law.

Conclusions

Florida Statute 335.065 is associated with a 3-decade decrease in pedestrian fatalities. The study also reveals factors that influenced the implementation and effectiveness of the law.

Public Health Implications

Transportation policies-particularly Complete Streets policies-can have significant, quantifiable impacts on population health. Multimethod designs are valuable approaches to policy evaluations.

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