Background The horse is the main mode of transportation for Anabaptist populations and as a result, horse-drawn vehicles are involved in a high percentage of injury crashes with the motoring public. Members of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers established an Engineering Practice for animal-drawn buggies and wagons, and recently updated this Practice to include low-profile pony carts in 2014. The recommended practice was created as a consensus document to establish a unique and consistent identification system for animal-drawn vehicles on public roads. Many outreach efforts engage the Anabaptist communities to adopt these national practices with varying degrees of compliance depending upon the geographic region and local culture.
Methods The process relied on a social marketing framework. Social marketing techniques are used to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject or modify a behaviour for the benefit of individuals, groups, or society as a whole. The study was directed by safety staff at The Ohio State University and utilised a five-step approach including: a needs assessment, identification of potential lighting and marking schemes, consensus among the various stakeholders, revision of an existing engineering practice, and dissemination of the standard to encourage adoption of a uniform lighting and marking pattern.
Results Nearly two years was needed to develop consensus among Anabaptist stakeholders and members of the professional engineering society. The lighting scheme incorporated elements from each group, and was evaluated for its practical application, affordability, and visibilty.
Conclusions The revised Engineering Practice enhanced the previous national standard for animal-drawn vehicles and created a consistent lighting and marking pattern. Building consensus between the two groups proved to be a challenging task, yet their collective efforts identified plausible solutions for a roadway safety issue.
- animal-drawn vehicles
- lighting and marking
- slow-moving vehicle
- Anabaptist populations
- roadway standards