Help Forum

Help requested posted on 14th November 2017:

Does road safety education work?

I am a Road Safety Community Assistant in Norfolk and I have been asked to look for research that shows that road safety education works. Does anybody have any research that shows this please?

Roz Symonds

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Response posted on 14th November 2017 by:
Julie Gandolfi

E: julie.gandolfi@drivingresearch.co.uk
T:

Does road safety education work?

Hi Roz, there is no specific answer to this question because it's rather like asking if diets work - some do, some don't, and generally it depends on the circumstances and most importantly the people involved. Interventions have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Lots of evaluations have been done on road safety education of different types (some of them by me!), but without any more specifics on the type that you're interested in, it's very hard to offer anything particularly useful. However, as a generalisation, if the education is well-designed and targeting the right people with the right message, positive effects are seen. The interesting part is in determining how long the effect lasts, and drilling into who the message connects with to the greatest extent (and the least), and why, and using that to inform on-going development and refinement of road safety education programmes.


Response posted on 14th November 2017 by:
Roly Hermans

E: roland.hermans@police.govt.nz
T:

Does road safety education work?

Hi Roz. If you are talking about school-based road safety edcuation, it will also depned on what you mean by 'education'.

Where I am, the New Zealand Transport Agency has published some research providing insights into the evidence base for road safety education that works, principles of good learning design, and what effective teaching and learning with a road safety context looks like in New Zealand primary and secondary schooling.

They draw on case studies of teachers at work, plus educational and road safety research.

There's also a paper on using road safety as a rich content for nurturing citizenship.

You can access the above research here:
https://education.nzta.govt.nz/guidelines/research


Response posted on 14th November 2017 by:
Roz Symonds

E: roslind.symonds@hotmail.com
T:

Does road safety education work?

Thanks Julie. What I was looking for was information on road safety programmes for children - pedestrian training & cycle training mainly and whether they are effective. I have looked at a lot of research which seems to centre around young driver safety, but information on starter road safety is a bit harder to find. I would agree that you need the right message to the right audience, and that the lasting effect is the hardest bit to judge because it is so hard to quantify - i.e. did the teenager cross the road safely as a direct result of what they got taught as a child or do other factors contribute?


Response posted on 14th November 2017 by:
Roz Symonds

E: roslind.symonds@hotmail.com
T:

Does road safety education work?

Thank you Roly. That website is really really useful. I have been really impressed the research I have looked at that has come out of NZ and AUS. You seem to give it so much focus at school age.


Response posted on 15th November 2017 by:
Kevin Wilcox

E: kevin.wilcox@staffordshire.gov.uk
T: 07855336922

Does road safety education work?

As with all road safety interventions it is impossible to define what actually works because generally there ate a number if initiatives working together; highways engineering, publicity and marketing, and training and education. So it comes down to either perception-based evaluation or learning/retention-based studies. In Staffordshire we are currently evaluating our sixth form and college education based in immediate learning and retention. Early results look good but you are welcome to contact me for further information.


Response posted on 15th November 2017 by:
Andrew Fraser

E: andrew.fraser@falkirk.gov.uk
T:

Does road safety education work?

It's not quite right to say that "As with all road safety interventions it is impossible to define what actually works, etc." Many engineering interventions work, quite independently of others. Ogden said that "even in circumstances in which human error or impairment has been judged to be the sole contributor, it may be possible to influence human behaviour more readily by engineering means than by education or enforcement or legislation".

However, it is clear that children must be taught something about the road environment, and perhaps there is something in these two links which might help:

http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/education%20in%20road%20safety%20-%20mckenna%20-%20080910%20-%20report.pdf

http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/docs/booklet_senior_managers.pdf


Response posted on 16th November 2017 by:
anna burgin

E: anna.burgin@derbyshire.gov.uk
T: 01629 538059

Does road safety education work?

Hi Roz,

In Derbyshire we deliver a Young Driver Education Programme that was evaluated by RoSPA. The results from the evaluation indicated that those who attended the workshops showed an increased improvement in attitudes afterwards, which was sustained for 12 months.

Please feel free to contact me and I can share the report with you or answer any questions.


Response posted on 16th November 2017 by:
Saul Jeavons

E: saul.jeavons@transafenetwork.com
T:

Does road safety education work?

When The Children's Traffic Club was piloted in the old LARSOA Eastern Region by General Accident, the TRL evaluation actually looked at the STATS 19 casualty data and found statistically significant reductions in casualty rate between the pilot study participants and the control group, so yes, it CAN work (and be definitively said to work).

However, as Julie says, it's a bit like diets (or black boxes) - some work, some don't.


Response posted on 16th November 2017 by:
Louise Martin

E: louise.martin@staffordshire.gov.uk
T:

Does road safety education work?

You mentioned pedestrian training - in Staffordshire, our child pedestrian training scheme for 7-9 year olds was independently evaluated and found to have long term benefits.
Please feel free to email me if you would like more information.


Response posted on 16th November 2017 by:
Alan Innes

E: info@roadsafetymagic.com
T: 07808 836420

Does road safety education work?

Interesting question !

Our own evaluation of the road safety magic show showed some interesting results where we evaluated pupils' knowledge before and after seeing the show (280 pupils were questioned).

The pre-show results showed that pupils aged 6-8 had a reasonable amount of road safety knowledge from "normal" activities but lacked in a number of key areas.

For example 100% said that they COULD cross when the "green man" was flashing at a pedestrian crossing.

However, asking the same question post-show three weeks' later found that 100% said you COULD NOT cross!

And we recently worked over in Holland for a large oil company and the Dutch approach is to educate kids at a young age on all aspects of road safety and they have among the lowest child pedestrian casualty rates in Europe thus reinforcing that educating younger children is worthwhile.
(http://www.travelindependent.org.uk/casualties_european.html )

Happy to share our finding if you email us info@roadsafetymagic.com


Response posted on 17th November 2017 by:
Andrew Fraser

E: andrew.fraser@falkirk.gov.uk
T:

Does road safety education work?

Alan Innes' response is interesting.

Why would any child think that s/he the should cross while the green man signal is alternating on/off.

(I'm desperately trying to avoid flashing, for some reason).

Could it be that they are simply following adult behaviour?

Despite the fact that there are clear instructions with every Pelican, far too many road users (pedestrians and drivers) seem unaware of them.

A great pity, since the Pelican is probably the most efficient means of sharing crossing time ever invented ...


Response posted on 17th November 2017 by:
Michael Frearson

E: michael@bikeabilitytrust.org
T:

Does road safety education work?

Hi Roz

Here is some evidence for the effectiveness of Bikeability https://bikeability.org.uk/

https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/bike01 (NFER)
http://bikeability.org.uk/download/819/ (Ipsos MORI)
http://www.tabs-uk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ICE-publication-Aug-15.pdf (ICE)

Happy to discuss

Michael


Response posted on 20th November 2017 by:
Jeremy Phillips

E: jeremy.phillips@devon.gov.uk
T:

Does road safety education work?

CAPT and UCL are now underway with their study to "identify and evaluate promising road safety education initiatives for parents of children 0-10 years-old".

Dr Sarah O'Toole of the Centre for Transport Studies at UCL will shortly be writing to LHA road safety leads and their colleagues in Fire and Rescue Services to invite them to take part in the research. This will be parent focussed but may help to answer some of your questions about this age group so I suggest keeping tabs on the project.

RSGB are involved on their project stakeholder panel and I'll be taking a real world view on the usability of the findings and recommendations on behalf of Members.


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