Investigating the Effects of an Island, and a Speed Sign Gateway to Decrease Driver Speeding

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Ron Van Houten, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Heather McGee, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alan Poling, Ph.D.

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



There are thousands of motor vehicle crashes every year, and the yearly cost of crashes is estimated to be $430 billion dollars (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Twenty-eight percent of fatal related crashes in 2020 involve at least one driver speeding (CDC 2020). The application of a behavior analysis approach can be employed to reduce speeding and thereby decrease crashes. One way to reduce driver speeding behavior is the use of prompts. Van Houten and Van Houten (1987) and Van Houten et al. (2018) demonstrated the cost effectiveness approach of using prompts to decrease driver speeding at speed zones and cross walks. This study employed an ABCDEB design to systematically investigate the effects of a gateway like structure with speed signs to reduce driver speeding. The results showed that the use of 3 large signs with a splitter island produced the largest reduction in driver speeding. This low-cost intervention can be economically placed and requires minimum maintenance over time.

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