ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Role of Parents/Carers in the Road Safety Education of Children and Youth

Adams, Joan



In 1999 VicRoads instigated a review of world?s best practice in the traffic safety education of young children. As a result of the review, VicRoads has reassessed its early childhood traffic safety education programs and strategies to maximise the potential to reduce childhood injury. The review established the importance of parents as road safety role models for their children and als o their potential to be their primary trainers in road safety skills. VicRoads is currently developing materials to support parents/carers of children from birth to age 5 years. Distribution of materials will primarily be undertaken through community networks existing within local government.

Parents/carers also have a critical role in providing opportunities for their learner driver to gain extensive and varied driving experience prior to gaining their licence. Overseas research has shown that learner drivers with over 100 hours of driving practice have a significantly lower crash risk after becoming independent drivers. VicRoads has developed and implemented the ?Keys Please? program, which targets parents/carers and their learner driver together. This entertaining, shared learning experience has resulted in positive outcomes for increasing levels of driving practice.

This paper and presentation will describe the rationale for and the approaches being undertaken by VicRoads to involve parents/carers in the road safety education of their children. The roles that Community Road Safety Councils and local government networks can play will also be addressed.