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Details on the 5th International Conference on Driver Behaviour and Training

Conference organizing activity is hotting up as the date of the Fifth International Conference in Driver Behaviour and Training (ICDBT5) is fast approaching. The ICDBT aims to debate new initiatives in the scientific enquiry of road user bevaviour, education and training. The ICDBT has been hailed a success after feedback from the 600 plus delegates who have attended the event over the years. The conference, hosted by Cranfield University, has been praised by delegates representing some 30 different countries for its academic content and practitioner-oriented approach. A glance at the provisional programme suggests that the ICDBT5 held at the Tapis Rouge in Paris from 29th to 30th November 2011 promises to be the most successful conference yet. We have received an unprecedented number of good quality abstracts. We are now combining insightful and stimulating content with this top class venue in Paris – the site of the Capital’s first department store built in 1785 and now a highly sought after conference venue.

The event has grown from strength to strength since I chaired the first conference held in Stratford upon Avon in 2003, followed by the ICDBT2 in Edinburgh in 2005, the ICDBT3 in Dublin in 2007 and the ICDBT4 Amsterdam in 2009. Year on year there has been an increase in the numbers of abstracts received as its reputation has grown amongst the academic and practitioner community. The ICDBT is now firmly on the calendar as a ‘must attend’ conference for a number of reasons. First, there are few international academic conferences that focus specifically on driver behaviour and this event provides a great networking opportunity. Many delegates have met people at the conference and gone on to develop strong collaborative teams and meet up at the conference. Second, the ICDBT focuses on research applications and has therefore attracted the attention of the public and private sector looking for ways of managing the risks of driving or better understand driver behaviour. This means that contributors get an opportunity to meet potential clients. Third, the ICDBT provides an international forum. This means that contributors find out about research in other countries that they might not otherwise be aware of. Fourth, the conference proceedings are published by Ashgate and widely disseminated beyond the event itself.

Given the ICDBT’s increasing popularity, it was clear that I would need more support for the next event. Early last year, I contacted the IEHF’s professional conference organizing services to ask for their help and we joined forces. We discovered that our objectives were very much aligned in terms of broadening out this important topic to the wider academic community topic. The Special Interest Group in Driving Ergonomics assisted with the peer review process and the whole job of Conference Chair was made that much easier this time around.

As expected, a high calibre of contributors from many academic institutions and road safety groups across the world will take part in the ICDBT5. Some excellent cutting edge papers from 20 countries and 60 organizations will be presented. The provisional programme is now available on the conference website at www.icdbt.com. The ICDBT have seen some of the world’s leading experts taking part, and this year’s event is no different. I am proud to announce that top researchers in the driver behaviour field will be making keynote addresses.

First, from a practitioner perspective, Trevor Wedge, Chief Driving Examiner and Director for Safer Driving, Driving Standards Agency (DSA) will talk about raising driving standards.  CIECA, the international commission for driver testing, represents driver testing organisations that are responsible for the conduct of statutory driving tests across Europe and beyond.  Trevor represents the UK’s DSA within CIECA, chaired their Road Safety Charter Working Group and is currently Chairman of their Expert Advisory Group.

Our second keynote speaker is Professor Ian Glendon from the School of Psychology, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. His research interests include transportation psychology, driver stress/behaviour, safety/risk management, and safety culture/climate. His over 100 publications include five books. He will talk about Addressing potential risks facing younger drivers. Our third keynote speaker is Professor Michael Regan who is Research Director with the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR) in Lyon, France. He is also Adjunct Professor for Vehicle Safety with the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Between September 1997 and April 2007 he managed the Human Factors and Simulation Group at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), in Melbourne, Australia. Michael’s research interests focus on driver distraction and inattention, human interaction with intelligent transport systems (ITS), driving simulation, driver training and human error. He sits on the Editorial Boards of five peer-reviewed journals, including Human Factors, and is the author of more than 200 publications. He also sits on two Australian, and one international, Standards Committees. In November 2009 Michael received the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia’s Cumming Memorial Medal for highly esteemed human factors and ergonomics research and application in the field of transportation safety.

We are also delighted that Dr Martin Langham will be giving his keynote speech on the application of driver behaviour research to answer forensic questions. Martin is Managing Director of User Perspective – a human factors research company based in the science park at the University of Sussex and has led over 200 research projects and over 30 forensic investigations on behalf of HM Government, police forces and the military working in the domains of counter terrorism, road, air, rail and marine transportation. Martin led the Human Factors investigation both on behalf of Lord Steven’s Operation Paget and on the later inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed (Mr Dodi Al Fayed).

I am extremely grateful to the IEHF for their tremendous source of advice and assistance across a wide range of requirements including selecting the venue, overseeing the scientific committee’s peer review process and dealing with exhibitors and sponsors.

Please see www.icdbt.com for more information.