Despite increased efforts to improve safety in recent years (e.g., the Focus Cities Program in California), California continues to have a high rate of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. Currently, the state currently lacks a cohesive messaging strategy to improve behaviors related to pedestrian and cyclist traffic safety practices. To fulfill this need, this research showcases the differential effect of message framing on attitudes and intended behaviors related to pedestrian and cyclists traffic safety practices. This project investigated factors & risky behaviors contributing to accidents involving vulnerable road users, preventive measures to decrease accidents involving vulnerable road users, and more. The qualitative analysis presented a significant lack of coherent, long-term, evidence-based communication strategies that aimed at enhancing the safety of vulnerable road users in California. Quantitatively, this research also experimentally investigated various messages, employing different time horizons and regulatory focus message framings. Findings indicate that the messages with a limited time horizon tend to be associated with better safety perceptions and attitudes than messages with an expansive time horizon. California transportation authorities, professionals, and advocacy groups will be able to use this information to effectively allocate the communication effort and spending to induce attitudinal and behavioral change that can impact the safety of active transportation modes.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Active Transportation, Miscellaneous, Planning and Policy

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Transportation Safety, Vulnerable Road Users, Transportation Modes, Communication, Personality


Social Influence and Political Communication | Transportation