Graduate student recognized by traffic safety organization

Contact: Cindy Wagner

Norran Novat

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Norran Novat, a Western Michigan University graduate student in civil and construction engineering, is one of just 19 students nationally to be named a 2024 Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholar by the Lifesavers Conference on Roadway Safety.

“I am deeply honored, humbled and excited to receive this recognition as a recipient of the 2024 Lifesavers Conference Traffic Safety Scholars Program scholarship,” says Novat. “This acknowledgment reaffirms my dedication to promoting road safety and underscores the significance of my ongoing thesis work.”

The 19 students received scholarships to attend the Lifesavers Conference on Roadway Safety, which was held April 7-9. All are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in civil and construction engineering and were selected through a competitive application process.

“I believe I was selected for the 2024 Lifesavers Conference Traffic Safety Scholars Program scholarship based on my demonstrated interest, commitment and passion for enhancing safety for vulnerable road users which aligns closely with the objectives of the Lifesavers Conference,” says Novat.

As part of the application process, Novat shared his research on pedestrian safety at roundabouts, which is part his thesis work at Western.

That thesis, titled “Evaluation of Pedestrian Safety at Roundabouts: Examining the Effects of Channelized Right Turns,” involves a study that assesses pedestrian safety at roundabouts in Michigan, focusing on the impact of channelized right turns. A channelized right turn such as those in roundabouts are designed to nearly free-flow, right-turn. Novat’s research aims to explore how these configurations influence pedestrian safety within roundabout environments.

The Lifesavers Conference showcases the latest research, evidence-based strategies, proven countermeasures, and promising new approaches for addressing the nation’s most pressing traffic safety problems. During the conference, Novat will learn about career opportunities from a panel of young traffic safety professionals working in the public and private sectors and meet with state and national traffic safety leaders.

This is the ninth year of the Traffic Safety Scholars program, which provides college students the opportunity to attend the Lifesavers Conference, the largest gathering of traffic safety professionals in the U.S. The program’s goals are to showcase the diversity of opportunities in traffic safety and encourage students, regardless of discipline, to pursue a career in a dynamic field that draws from a variety of disciplines from engineering, education and enforcement to communications, business, marketing, medicine, public health, political science, counseling and more.

The 2024 Lifesavers Conference presents three plenary sessions and over 80 workshops featuring leading experts in the fields of distracted and impaired driving; child passenger, pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, teen, and aging driver safety; occupant protection; vehicle technology; law enforcement and criminal justice; public health, commercial motor vehicles; roadway design; and more.

Learn more about the Lifesavers Conference and the Traffic Safety Scholars Program online.

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