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Traffic and Road Safety Research Group (TARS)

Founded in the Department of Psychology in 1993, the Traffic and Road Safety Research Group has established an international reputation and is an independent provider of quality research for a wide range of public and private organisations, including the NZ Automobile Association Driver Education Foundation, Road Safety Trust, New Zealand Transport Agency, the New Zealand Police, the Accident Compensation Corporation, and local and regional road controlling authorities.

TARS has conducted leading-edge research into truck driver fatigue, distractions produced by cell phones, perceptions of risk, eye movement behaviour, safety at intersections, the design of road worker’s safety vests, patterns of driving behavior in New Zealand, the design of overtaking lanes, the effectiveness of road signs, urban threshold design, and many other topics.

TARS’ research output has ranged from improvements to specific intersections to development of a nation-wide novice driver education and training programme. It has established a state-of-the-art research capability which includes innovative technologies for field study of behaviour as well as the most advanced driving simulator laboratory in New Zealand. These factors have established TARS as New Zealand’s pre-eminent centre for road safety research.

For more information, visit the website: www.waikato.ac.nz/wfass/subjects/psychology/tars.