ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Educating Young Drivers: A Method for Auditing School-based Resources

Newman, Shannon, Di Pietro, G.

Young Drivers


The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) currently implements a secondary school road safety education program in NSW called ?Young Driver? to address key issues relating to pre and novice driver crash and injury experience on the road. The RTA commissioned ARRB Transport Research to undertake an audit of the resources contained in this program, requesting that a model of behaviour change be considered as an appropriate framework for auditing these resources.

This study involved an examination of the nature of the young driver problem and the factors accounting for their over-representation in road crashes, coupled with a discussion of the linkages between road safety education, adolescent development and various learning styles. These factors were then linked to the concepts of the proposed model of behaviour change. Learning outcomes were developed for each concept, to assist in determining the appropriateness of introducing various road safety related issues to secondary school students, using a variety of techniques in the school setting, as they move from a being a pre-driver, to a learner and finally to a new, novice driver.

This process allowed the activities within each resource in the NSW ?Young Driver? program to be audited against the proposed learning outcomes, to determine which components of the behaviour change model were addressed by the current suite of resources, which were not addressed by the current program and which concepts may be better addressed outside the school setting. Recommendations regarding the development of, and the technological opportunities available for, future resources for the education of young drivers in the school environment were also drafted.

This current paper intends to illustrate the process developed for auditing the educational resources implemented in NSW high schools to promote safer road use by new, novice drivers, rather than detail the outcomes of the audit.