Mr. James Fell – Impaired Driving – Excellence in Research

NORC at the University of Chicago | United States

Author Profile 

Early Academic Pursuits 🎓

Education and Training

He embarked on his academic journey at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1966, followed by a Master of Science in Human Factors Engineering in 1967. His early research focused on human short-term memory and computer simulations, setting the foundation for his future contributions in human factors research.

 Professional Endeavors 💼

Academic Positions

His professional career is marked by significant roles in prominent organizations dedicated to traffic safety and alcohol policy:

  • National Opinion Research Center (NORC): Since February 2016, James has served as a Principal Research Scientist, focusing on behavioral studies in traffic safety, impaired driving countermeasures, and the impact of alcohol policies. His work includes consulting for international bodies like the United Nations and leading research on impaired driving issues globally.
  • Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE): From May 2001 to January 2016, James held the position of Senior Research Scientist II, where he spearheaded evaluations of enforcement programs and laws related to impaired driving and underage drinking. His contributions include pivotal studies on graduated driver licensing laws and the effectiveness of alcohol ignition interlock devices.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): James held several key positions at NHTSA, including Chief of Research and Evaluation Division and Program Manager of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). His leadership in developing national research programs and managing significant budgets underscores his impact on traffic safety policy and practice.

Contributions and Research Focus on Impaired Drivingđź“š

  • Throughout his career, he has authored over 100 scientific publications and led numerous research initiatives that have shaped traffic safety policies in the United States and beyond. His research focuses on:
    • Impaired Driving: Evaluating the effectiveness of enforcement strategies, alcohol ignition interlock laws, and high visibility enforcement efforts.
    • Underage Drinking: Studying the impact of underage drinking laws and community intervention programs on reducing alcohol-related fatalities among young drivers.
    • Policy Evaluation: Assessing the implementation and outcomes of traffic safety laws, including graduated driver licensing and administrative license revocation laws.

Accolades and Recognition 🏆

his contributions to traffic safety research have been widely recognized:

  • Chairman’s WRAPPY Award (2023): Recognized by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program for dedication to preventing impaired driving.
  • Award of Merit (2019): Highest honor from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine for significant scientific contributions to automotive medicine.
  • International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) Haddon Award (2019): Acknowledged for implementing evidence-based changes in public policy to enhance traffic safety.

 Impact and Influence 🌍

Community Impact

his research has had a profound impact on policy formulation and public awareness of traffic safety issues. His work has influenced legislative decisions, enforcement strategies, and public health initiatives aimed at reducing impaired driving and promoting safer road behaviors.

 Legacy and Future Contributions 🔮

    • he continues to be actively involved in research and advocacy aimed at improving traffic safety outcomes. His ongoing projects include evaluating racial profiling in traffic stops, assessing the effectiveness of graduated driver licensing laws, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in traffic safety practices.

Notable Publications 

James Fell | Impaired Driving | Excellence in Research

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