ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Increasing road rules awareness for improved road safety

Prendergast, Margaret, Kamper, A, Reardon, N

Communication

2013

What road rules are we unsure about? What effect does this have on driver behaviour? Road user interactions highly indicative of problems sharing the road, and likely road rule transgressions, are implicated in many crashes in NSW. This raises the questions: Do road users need to be made aware of the road safety benefits of abiding by road rules? Does there need to be more education about road rules? The NSW Centre for Road Safety recognised there was a need to address these issues after introducing a raft of minor changes to road rules in November 2012 which brought the state in line with national road rule changes. Significant feedback from the community, for several weeks after the changes came in, revealed many road users didn't understand the current road rules and that there needed to be more targeted information for the public in this area. In 2013 the Centre for Road Safety released a list of Top Ten Misunderstood Road Rules. The top ten were part of a publication launched with a new Road Rules Awareness Week initiative which started on 4 February 2013. The top ten list was also distributed through media channels with more than 12,000 people voting, on the Sydney Morning Herald website, on the road rule they misunderstood the most. Road Rules Awareness Week will continue every year in the first week of February to keep road rules top of mind each year. During this week the Centre for Road Safety encourages people to phone their call centre to clarify any road rule they don't understand. This campaign started a much needed conversation about road rules, particularly for motorists who have been driving for many years and have forgotten or have not been made aware of significant changes. It was also an opportunity for the Centre for Road Safety to gather valuable information about road user behaviour for future campaigns, while engaging the community at the same time.