Communicating road safety to the young pedestrian: an exploratory research programme : volume 1 : TARU 3/78

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Communicating road safety to the young pedestrian: an exploratory research programme : volume 1 : TARU 3/78
Traffic Accident Research Unit (TARU), Department of Motor Transport
Date published
Young pedestrians have long been a major target for road safety propaganda partly due to their over-representation in pedestrian traffic crashes. The Australian Department of Transport in co-operation with the traffic and road safety authoritiies of the Australian States and Territories has been responsible for the production of education material utilising the fantasy animal character, Hector Cat, in communicating to children aged 5-8 years old. An exploratory research programme was developed to observe how children reacted to this educational material. ?Results along with child development literature indicated that, while subjects found Hector likeable, he was not as positive a model as was an authority or teaching figure in the reality-based area of traffic safety. Subjects were more involved with the story content than they were with the educational content of the Hector material. The Hector road safety film was unsuccessful in promoting safe road crossing behaviour amongst subjects. Finally, while subjects were able to correctly identify situations as either safe or dangerous, reasons given for these decisions created doubt as to subjects' comprehension of the concept of danger as it related to themselves. These findings suggest that future educational programmes would be more successful if they took into account the serious handicaps of children under 8 in the traffic environment, due to their physical immaturity and lack of experience in assessing traffic situations. Recommendations are made with regard to the types of changes which could be incorporated into future traffic safety education programmes directed at the young pedestrian.
New South Wales
© State of New South Wales
This publication is released under a Creative Commons license CC BY 3.0 AU