ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Parental Influence: targeting parents to improve the safety of their children on our roads.

Cockfield, Samantha, Harris, ACavallo, Collins, S

Early Childhood Road Safety

2011

Parental Influence: targeting parents to improve the safety of their children on our roads. Samantha Collins1, Samantha Cockfield1, Anne Harris2, Antonietta Cavallo3. 1 Transport Accident Commission, Victoria, Australia, 2 Royal Automobile Club Victoria, Australia, 3 VicRoads, Victoria, Australia. Parents have long been a target of road safety organisations to teach their young children safe road crossing behaviours and help their learner drivers to increase their driving experience. Research is now suggesting that parents may also have a role to play in preventing or reducing the risky behaviours of their children, as pedestrians, passengers and young drivers. Parental role modelling, parental monitoring and parental control have all been identified as potentially playing an important role in the safety of children and young people. The TAC, RACV and VicRoads recognise the potential of parental influences on risky driving behaviour and as such are focussing on developing and implementing two strategies to target parents. The first strategy will focus on targeting parents with road safety specific messages. The overall aim of this strategy is to encourage and educate parents to have a greater influence on the road safety behaviour of their children. Some aspects of this strategy are already in place. Other aspects are new and will complement existing materials. The second strategy will focus on improving general parenting skills. The overall aim of the strategy is to encourage and educate parents at a preventative level, to adopt risk reduction strategies to reduce risk taking behaviour among children and young people.