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STEEL INDUSTRY, UMTRI TEAM UP TO EXPLORE TRAFFIC SAFETY ISSUES

 DETROIT, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) have teamed up to explore critical traffic safety issues confronting the country, it was reported today to media attending the SAE International Congress & Exposition at Cobo Center.
 This in-depth look at present and emerging safety issues is the outgrowth of the Critical Issues of the 1990s forum, sponsored by AISI at the 1991 SAE Exposition.
 UMTRI Director Dr. Patricia Waller and Dr. Barbara C. Richardson, a consultant to AISI who is coordinating the safety study, presented an overview of two symposia held last year -- in Port Huron, Mich., and Annapolis, Md. -- which launched the safety project.
 The original AISI forum on critical issues in 1991 presented the views of 60 leading government and automotive authorities, respected members of academia, and experts from manufacturing, design, and consumer fields on subjects predicted as critical to the future of the world's automotive community.
 As a result of the positive outcome of that event, AISI and UMTRI joined in forming a task force to develop participation on a Critical Issues Panel on Traffic Safety for the spring of 1992. Once impaneled, the experts focused on clarifying safety issues for possible regulation and placed responsibilities on the participants to see that something "positive happens."
 "During our first symposium in June 1992, we developed a traffic safety forecast for the year 2010," said Darryl C. Martin, director of the Automotive Applications Committee for AISI. "It speculated on what the world of traffic safety would look like in 20 years if we continue to do things the way we have in the past."
 The broad scope and depth of material generated from that symposium led to a second symposium focusing on more specific short- and long-term motor vehicle safety issues in terms of the driver, the vehicle, the physical environment, and the socio-political environment, plus those who have a responsibility in improving safety: the government, industry, academia, the medical community, user groups, and the users themselves.
 In addition to AISI and UMTRI, other organizations and corporations represented at the symposia include Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Stanford University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Highway Users' Federation, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and American Trucking Association.
 Among the many issues debated were: safety in the entire transportation system; vehicles and infrastructure that allow minimum damage when a crash occurs, and compatibility of human, vehicle and environmental elements.
 "As the exploratory process evolved, it became evident to all of us that the efficiency of consortia for further inter- and intra-industry cooperation had developed, and that multi-partite interactions among government, industry, and academia on behalf of the consumer was a favorable goal," said Dr. Waller.
 The symposia, in a larger sense, served as a societal platform for working toward improved highway design, resolving conflicts, and undertaking positive initiatives beneficial to the entire traffic safety community.
 Two prominent safety symposia issues, "conspicuity of pedestrians" and "coordinated vehicle and highway design," have been designated as major projects initiated to continue the dialog. "They address the need for and the benefits and challenges of working together to effect change in the way we address traffic safety issues," added Dr. Richardson.
 From this beginning, through a critique of issues, their implications, potential actions, and the roles and responsibilities of involved parties, more issues will be dealt with to improve:
 -- driver behavior;
 -- vehicle characteristics;
 -- socio-political-economic environment;
 -- integration of traffic safety components; and
 -- interaction of those responsible for traffic safety.
 Dr. Richardson said the primary criterion for project selection was that they could demonstrate that inter-organizational efforts could produce useful results.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Jim O'Toole of PR Associates, Inc., 313-963-3396, for American Iron and Steel Institute/


CO: American Iron and Steel Institute;
 The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute ST: Michigan IN: AUT TRN MNG SU: JVN


JG -- DE043 -- 1672 03/01/93 18:14 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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