A literature review (Elliott, 2000) commissioned by the Road Safety Council of WA in 2000, provided direction to the Road Safety Council about strategic windows of opportunity for road safety initiatives for children and young people in Western Australia.
Following lengthy consultation, the Road Safety Council and Government endorsed a policy position and launched a state-wide road safety program titled Road Aware.
The Road Aware program commenced in January 2004 with three defined and overlapping project areas:
- Road Aware Parents (0-4 years and their parents/carers)
- Road Aware Kids (4-14 years and their parents/carers ? with a focus on early primary years)
- Road Aware Drivers (15 ? 20 years and their parents/carers/supervisors)
A unique aspect of the Road Aware program is that it has been strategically aligned to an existing project in WA ? the School Drug Education Project (SDEP). In his review, Elliott highlighted the benefits for road safety initiatives requiring state-wide implementation, to be aligned with the SDEP.
The School Drug Education and Road Aware Program is co-managed and utilises an existing regional network established by the SDEP in 1998. There are obvious cost and implementation benefits to the State Government of WA in establishing this unique partnership.
One of three key initiatives of the Road Aware Drivers project is the development and evaluation of a pre-driver course and accompanying parent/supervisor workshop.
A significant amount of formative evaluation preceded and contributed to the development of the Pre-Driver Course, including: - considering findings from the Elliott literature review and additional research;
- drawing on the expertise of stakeholders in generating specifications for course development;
- developing a preliminary methodology for a research agency to define an evaluation plan about the short and long-term outcomes of the course; and
- conducting a pilot with 20 government and non-government schools around the state.
The Pre-Driver Course is part of a comprehensive approach targeting young and new drivers in WA. The course and accompanying parent workshop, which primarily aim to promote supervised driving, strategically connect young people to the graduated licensing process in WA ? the Graduated Driver Training and Licensing system.