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Road safety education best practice

31 January 2012

 Although this TRL report has been produced in order to support a review of the Road Safety Education Officer Service (RSEOS) in Northern Ireland its findings are relevant to all involved in road safety education (RSE)

The report provides expert advice and guidance on best practice . The review of best practice has been undertaken using a combination of UK and international literature assessments, telephone surveys with UK public sector and professional judgement. Professional judgement was required to compensate for the lack of robust quantitative evaluation in some areas of Road Safety Education (RSE), and the significantly reduced programme of RSE activity beyond that aimed at children and young people.

The following principles are discussed in detail:

• Evaluation of RSE schemes should, as far as possible, be quantitative and qualitative and based on more than end user opinion

• Campaigns and projects should be systematic in terms of their development (e.g. DfT’s Think! campaign), targeted and based on evidence allowing for robust evaluation of effectiveness

• Evaluation should be planned before change is introduced as retrospective evaluation is challenging and limited conclusions can be drawn

• Messages and the media through which they are delivered need to be pre-tested on the target population

• Understanding the ‘real’ problems needs to be the first step – this will ensure that an appropriate amount of resource is dedicated to the correct target population and delivering critical messages

• Road Safety needs to find its way into the school curriculum otherwise it is likely that it will continue to be neglected and will not be addressed frequently enough

• Not all RSE should happen in schools: powered two-wheeler riders, work related road safety and older users all need to be addressed

• There are some key delivery partners for RSEOS and ensuring that there is a coordinated approach, sharing of materials and that partner’s knowledge is accurate and current should be beneficial

• Cutting edge RSE now uses the internet and viral marketing to get messages across to key target groups.

The report by RoadSafe advisory panel member Darren Dival is available for free download here.

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