Impact of a direct mail safety campaign for motorcyclists
Motorcycle crashes commonly occur on curved roads on recreational riding routes in non-urban areas. In 2007, the NSW RTA conducted a safe cornering campaign centred on an information brochure that was mailed directly to all registered motorcycle owners in NSW. To evaluate this direct mail approach, motorcyclists were surveyed at popular rest stops along recreational ride routes before (n=213) and after (n=397) the mail out. Surveys addressed riders? knowledge of safe cornering practices, their beliefs about cornering and speed, and their usual cornering behaviours. Surveys conducted after the mail out also assessed riders? reactions to the brochure itself. Riders evaluated the mail out positively in terms of its design and the presentation of information, but did not generally consider that it contained new information. Consistent with this, responses to the cornering knowledge questions in the pre campaign survey were answered correctly in the majority of cases. Nonetheless, estimates of cornering crash frequency, and identification of crash circumstances, and the safest ride line for cornering were all higher among riders who had read the mail out. Just under 20% of riders reported that they had changed their cornering behaviour after reading the mail out and there was a modest increase (9%) in the percentage of riders who reported using the safe ride line. Although age differences in knowledge tended to favour younger riders, suggesting that recent training and licensing tests may have had an impact, younger riders were overrepresented among those who knew but did not use the safest cornering line. A direct mail out strategy can be an acceptable and effective means of communicating safety information to riders, but other approaches targeting age-relevant motivational factors may also be worth investigating.