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Effectiveness of UK road safety behaviour change interventions

29 November 2019

Story from the RAC Foundation.

Big challenges remain in ensuring universal, high-standard evaluation of behaviour change interventions aimed at making people safer on the roads.

Many practitioners feel that they lack a professional identity, possibly caused by the absence of a professional qualification, “with participants suggesting that it can feel daunting to have one’s work judged; this in turn means that only positive evaluation results are published.”

Financial constraints also limit the amount of evaluation being carried out.

The findings are contained in a report written for the RAC Foundation by Tanya Fosdick, Head of Research at Agilysis, and Principal Research Associate at Road Safety Analysis.

This report follows on from two reports published by the RAC Foundation in 2017; one by Dr Mark Sullman and the other by Dr Fiona Fylan.

As part of this latest research, practitioners were asked to complete a survey and three focus groups were held with participants including a mix of road safety officers, road safety managers, Fire and Rescue Services officers, and representatives from Highways England and Transport Scotland.

The research found that five groups emerged from the analysis with each having clear characteristics. The groups were:

  • Absolute beginners – those who used no behaviour change theories in intervention design, and evaluated none of their schemes
  • Believe in Yourself – those who used behaviour change theories for less than 50% of their interventions and evaluated less than 50% of them
  • A Little Knowledge – those who used behaviour change theories for less than 50% of their interventions but evaluated more than 50% of them
  • Measure Twice, Cut Once – those who used behaviour change theories for more than 50% of their interventions but evaluated less than 50% of them
  • Walking the Talk (Mostly) – those whose used behaviour change theories for more than 50% and evaluated more than 50% of their interventions

To download the report please click here. here.