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Project Descriptions


Transportation Safety and Injury Prevention


Behaviour Change in the Road User and Health Promotion Fields: What Works and Why
Sponsor: Northport Associates

Northport Associates has undertaken an independent review of the most current findings in the international literature and program experience related to effective behaviour change in road safety and health promotion. The findings of this study have been used to develop state-of-the-art seminars and have been documented in the book Changing Road User Behaviour: What Works and What Doesn’t. This information is available to research institutions, governments and public agencies whose mandate is the positive influence of self-protective behaviours.


Evaluating Driver Education Programs: Management Overview; Comprehensive Guidelines; and How-To Guide
Client: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

This project included a comprehensive review of related evaluation guidelines and processes and led to the development of three documents: 1) a Management Overview, which summarized the need for and implementation of structured Driver Education Program evaluation to assist managers understand its importance and how comprehensive evaluation can lead to more effective DE; 2) a set of comprehensive guidelines laid out in binder format for ease of access and use, which details a step by step process for effectively evaluating driver ed programs; and 3) an abbreviated How-To-Guide, also in binder format that outlines a practical process for evaluation, focusing on Formative Evaluation.


Awareness of Risk and Self Restricted Driving in Older Drivers
Client: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

This research project was conducted to provide an understanding of the perceptions of older drivers’ own awareness of age-related driving limitations, and to develop a self-assessment instrument to provide input into the Ministry’s understanding of the needs and abilities of older drivers and their implications for policy and program decisions. A detailed literature review of self-assessment tools, older driver limitations, and compensatory behaviour was undertaken and focus groups were conducted with older Ontario drivers prior to the development of the self-report instrument.


Examination of Supplemental Novice Driver Training and Online Basic Driver Education
Client: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Prime Contractor, Dunlap and Associates

A component of a larger NHTSA study, Northport undertook a comprehensive study that researched and documented the status of supplemental (advanced) Novice Driver Training Programs in Canada and internationally. On-site visits were included and data collected on a wide range of program variables. This sub-project was integrated with two other study components - similar programs in the U.S., and online basic driver education programs.


Longitudinal Formative Evaluation of Manitoba’s High School Driver Education Program
Client: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)

Northport Associates conducted a five-year formative evaluation of MPI’s High School Driver Education Program (HSDE), very likely the first of its kind in North America or Europe. The HSDE Formative Evaluation Project was based on the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) Guidelines document Evaluation of Driver Education Programs: How-To Guide, and supported by an overall HSDE Program Evaluation Framework and Strategy. It was a longitudinal undertaking to develop and conduct formative evaluation of the HSDE Program on an ongoing and iterative basis. The responsibility for planning and executing the project was a shared responsibility between Manitoba Public Insurance Driver Education and Training staff and Northport Associates. The project’s five cycles included: 1) development, testing and implementation of questionnaire instruments for several program components/activities; 2) development and implementation of student, parent and instructor focus groups to gather data on program curricula, materials and processes; 3) development and implementation of a pilot and final Student Exit Survey (In-Class and In-Car Course Evaluation instrument); 4) a Parent Survey; 5) development and implementation of several new questionnaires (feedback forms) to assess important instructor meetings and webinars, and the Instructor Preparation Course Evaluation; and 6) iterative evaluation of Program improvements and tracking of organizational and industry changes that affected the Program.


The Roles of Legislation, Education and Reinforcement in Changing Road User Behaviour
Client: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

A far-reaching and in-depth review and assessment of the theoretical understanding and practical program experiences with behaviour change in the fields of road safety, health promotion, injury prevention, energy and environmental conservation were carried out to assist the Ministry with the establishment of directions for present and future policy, and program decisions related to effective road user interventions. The broad categories of legislation and regulation, enforcement, reinforcement, and education were examined extensively as were impacts on all types of road users.


Large Scale Evaluation of Driver Education Programs: Feasibility Study and Longitudinal Multi-Site Implementation
Client: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; co-funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Manitoba Public Insurance

This project is a unique, multi-site, multi-level evaluation of beginner driver education programs in the United States and Canada. It seeks to: 1) generate new knowledge about the safety and operational effectiveness of driver education; 2) provide new information about how to improve the delivery and content of driver education to enhance its safety impact; 3) demonstrate implementation of the Foundation’s Comprehensive Guidelines for evaluating driver education; 4) and showcase more effective and constructive methods to evaluate driver education. The project involves an interrelated and evolving series of outcome evaluations of two driver education programs over several years. Northport Associates and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation are co-principal investigators on the project.


Aging Driver Strategy: Stakeholder Workshop and Strategy Development
Client: Alberta Transportation

This project involved support of Alberta’s development of a long-term strategy for optimizing policy and practices for the aging driver population.

 

Road Safety as a Social Construct
Client: Transport Canada

The purpose of this study was to develop a framework to aid the understanding of road safety as a complex construct interrelated to other key constructs in a complex, highly motorized society. An extensive literature review and a consultative process to gather expert views and determine partner and stakeholder interests were undertaken. The linkages with technical, health-related, and socio-economic fields and disciplines in Canada and internationally were examined to identify alternative constructs or paradigms through which road safety could be better understood and more effectively acted upon. This study yielded a comprehensive road safety paradigm intended to facilitate wider, more effective participation and improve the position of road safety on the strategic agendas of Canada’s public and private sectors.


Finding the Next Cultural Paradigm for Road Safety
Client: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

The Foundation sponsored the development of a substantive examination of traffic safety culture through 22 invited papers. The goal of this compendium, titled Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States: The Journey Forward,was to learn more about what safety culture is, how it can be measured, and what can be done to change it. Northport’s contribution to this compendium, the first presented in the report, presented a historical overview of cultural paradigms for road safety, described what a paradigm shift might look like and concluded with a discussion of what it will take to catalyze a new paradigm shift.


Review of the Auto$mart Program, an Educational Program on Fuel Efficient Driving
Client: Natural Resources Canada

Northport reviewed an updated version of the Auto$mart products, assessing accuracy and understandability for the target audience, driver education students.


Driver Improvement: State of Knowledge and Trends
Client: Transport Canada and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA)

This study was sponsored by Transport Canada and two CCMTA members - the Societe d’Assurance d’Automobile de Quebec and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. An in-depth review of relevant literature, a current practices survey of 16 U.S. states, and the development of a comprehensive system and program model for the renewal of driver improvement in Canada were included.


Novice Driver Education Model Curriculum Outline
Client: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

The first in-depth revision of Driver Education structure and content in North America in 25 years resulted from this project. An extensive literature review, in addition to interviews with driver educators, state and provincial education officials, and international experts, and an in-depth review of the ‘model curriculum’ by North American experts was undertaken. This led to a comprehensive curriculum outline that reflected the most current understanding of the potential for positive influence of novice drivers as they experience their first driving experiences. The Driving Schools Association of Ontario (DSAO) awarded the “Gord O’Hearn Memorial Award” to the sponsors of this project for outstanding contributions to furthering the aims of driver education.


Training to Improve the Decision Making of Young Novice Drivers
Client: NHTSA; Prime Contractor- Electronic Learning Facilitators Inc.

A multi-year research and development study was undertaken by NHTSA to determine the most effective ways to influence young novice drivers’ decision making and perceptual skills. An instructional model was developed to assist young novice drivers improve these abilities. Northport Associates was one of two subcontractors and the only Canadian company on the project team, and was responsible for the first phase of the study. This involved a comprehensive literature and expert review of the adolescent development, decision making and novice driver fields. These findings guided the direction of the subsequent computer-based instruction development phases of the project. Northport also served as research advisors and content experts in the later phases.


Manitoba Public Insurance High School Driver Education Program: New Curriculum Development
Client: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)

Northport directed the development of a revised driver education curriculum for MPI’s High School Driver Education Program. This involved working with staff and driving instructors to identify desired program changes, and address concerns regarding the existing curriculum. These guided the development of the content and format of revised curriculum.


Application of Outcome Mapping to Health and Safety Programs
Sponsor: Northport Associates

Northport, partnering with Mr. Terry Smutylo, the founder of Outcome Mapping (OM), developed an innovative application of OM to health and safety programs. OM is a leading edge program planning and evaluation methodology created by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). A seminar/workshop has been developed to assist practitioners, managers and evaluators learn how to integrate OM in part or whole into their program development, implementation and evaluation processes.


Development of an Outline for Young Driver Training
Client: Roush Fenway Racing

Northport was hired to develop a detailed outline of a Young Driver Training Program for this client. The proposed program was addressed to newly licensed young drivers who could improve their driving skills through an intensive, track-based program.

 

Health Promotion


Application of Outcome Mapping to Health and Safety Programs
Sponsor: Northport Associates

Northport, partnering with Mr. Terry Smutylo, the founder of Outcome Mapping (OM), developed an innovative application of OM to health and safety programs. OM is a leading edge program planning and evaluation methodology created by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). A seminar/workshop has been developed to assist practitioners, managers and evaluators learn how to integrate OM in part or whole into their program development, implementation and evaluation processes.

 

Workplace Safety Incentives


Development of Safety Incentive Programs for Local Delivery Truck Drivers
Sponsor: Schneider National

As part of its ongoing interest in safety incentives for industry, Northport developed a custom incentive program for local delivery truck drivers that was implemented and evaluated by a large American trucking company. The program was found to be effective in reducing accidents by about 50% in the first year of operations.


OLDER PROJECTS


Transportation Safety and Injury Prevention


Longitudinal Analysis of Manitoba Public Insurance Driver Education Program
Client: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)

An evaluation-driven assessment of driver education’s safety impact was conducted for MPI. The project involved a longitudinal study of the driving records of young, novice drivers, supported by cross-sectional survey data gathered from driver education program graduates, other new drivers, parents and the general public. The report recommended specific program improvements.


Review of Effectiveness of Driver Training and Licensing Programs in Reducing Road Crashes
Client: Fondation MAIF; Prime Contractor- Human Factors North

A comprehensive review of the effectiveness of driver training and licensing was undertaken for a French insurance company. Northport Associates was subcontracted to conduct the state-of-the-art literature review of novice driver education programs and advanced driver training programs.

Driver Education Curriculum Development
Client: Top Driver Inc.

A multi-media based curriculum design, directed to both novice drivers and experienced drivers was developed for this major private driving school operator. Northport provided staff support and direction to a large team of instructional designers, writers, and multi-media designers engaged in curriculum development.


Development of an Educational Module on Fuel Efficient Driving
Client: Natural Resources Canada and the Traffic and Injury Research Foundation; Prime Contractor-Storgaard & Associates

Northport Associates was a subcontractor on this project to provide driver education and target group (young novice drivers) expertise. The project's mandate was to develop a national education module on fuel efficient driving for use with new drivers, principally 15-17 year olds in driver education and/or training programs. The module was being developed as a self-contained package, and included video and interactive computer presentations, print resource materials and instructions for delivery agents (teachers and instructors).

Approved New Driver Training: New Driver Improvement Program, Approved New Driver Training Part 1: Curriculum Review and Part 2: Curriculum Model
Client: Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Province of British Columbia

A driver training curriculum model was developed for regulating course approval in the province. It was supported by a review of the driver training and education literature, driver task, risk taking, and novice driver knowledge and skills literature. The project also included in-depth consultations by phone and in person with the British Columbia driver training industry, regulatory staff, and other key interest groups to ensure that their needs and concerns were considered as the curriculum was being developed. Several jurisdictions were also contacted and DE curricula and regulatory standards obtained in order to understand the full range of approaches to a model curriculum and possible curriculum standards.

Recommended Model for Approved New Driver Training Component Administration
Client: Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Province of British Columbia

This study was a follow up to the review and regulatory model development project. A practical model for initial approval of applicant training courses, ongoing monitoring of standards compliance, and sanction processes for compliance failures was developed through examination of relevant existing administration methods in other jurisdictions, consulting with stakeholders in the industry and other public and private interest groups, and analyzing policy outcomes for alternative delivery agents, among government, industry, and third party partners. The report included a detailed program model and implementation plan. Northport also conducted a one-day training and planning workshop on the regulatory model for policy and operational staff.


Review of Alberta Motor Association (AMA) Strategy 7 Draft Report
Client: Alberta Motor Association

Critical review and advice was provided to the AMA on a comprehensive road safety strategy, including individual and organizational behaviour change perspectives, and on government-private relations and partnership development.


Situation Analysis of Driver Education in Canadian Provinces and Territories
Client: Natural Resources Canada

Northport undertook a survey of DE Programs in Canada, with emphasis on the frequency of an energy conservation component appearing in each program.


Driver Education Content Review
Client: Sierra On-Line

Northport was contracted to review a proprietary CD-based driver education product and provide input into the production of a Canadian version. A review of all the provincial driver handbooks was undertaken to ensure content accuracy.

 

Health Promotion


Behaviour Change in the Road User and Health Promotion Fields: What Works and Why
Sponsor: Northport Associates

Northport Associates has undertaken an independent review of the most current findings in the international literature and program experience related to effective behaviour change in road safety and health promotion. The findings of this study have been used to develop state-of-the-art seminars and have been documented in the book Changing Road User Behaviour: What Works and What Doesn’t. This information is available to research institutions, governments and public agencies whose mandate is the positive influence of self-protective behaviours.


Adolescent Smoking Uptake and Advertising
Client: Irving Mitchell and Associates

Northport was subcontracted to identify and review the international literature on the impact of advertising on adolescent uptake of tobacco smoking.


Program Development, Evaluation and Research


YMCA Facility Expansion Project: Information Gathering Phase
Client: Cobourg Family YMCA

Northport conducted a needs analysis and assessment survey for the YMCA to determine membership needs and appropriate responses in the context of an upcoming facility expansion. A representative telephone survey of the membership provided data on current and future needs and priorities for the expansion, as well as assessment data on the current facilities and services. Data analysis and results preparation were followed by recommendations on the implications of the findings for the facility expansion and service modifications. This information was used by the Board of Directors to aid service and expansion decisions.


Survey of Commercial Publishers for Commercialization of Highway Manuals
Client: Ontario Ministry of Transportation; Prime Contractor- CSI/Coastal Services

This project undertook to assess the interest and capability of commercial publishers, as a subcontract for a CSI project regarding commercialization of highway technical manuals, for a provincial highway ministry. Issues of partnership, licensing, and other forms of strategic alliance between public and private sector enterprises were addressed.


Investigation of YMCA Ownership
Client: Cobourg Family YMCA

A facility ownership assessment project was also undertaken for the YMCA to investigate the history of the ownership of the YMCA building by the Town of Cobourg, identify key issues related to ownership, and outline options related to changing the ownership status of the YMCA. The project consisted of fact finding, the collection of comparative data obtained from several similar YM/WCA’s across Canada, and in-depth interviews of several CEOs across the country. The results were compiled and formulated into a set of action recommendations with respect to ownership options for the Board of Directors.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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