ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Addressing Adolescent Risk-Taking through Technology

Elliott, Maureen

Young Drivers


Although road safety education has been delivered in all NSW schools as part of a mandatory curriculum for the last ten years, evidence confirms that road safety for adolescents is based, not simply on knowledge, but on the attitudes and behaviours of young people using the road environment. The redevelopment of the secondary school road safety education resources has sought to address the ways in which road safety is communicated to young people within the school environment. As technology is the most rapidly developing area of education, a strategy was developed to use interactive technology to engage year 7 and 8 students in exploring risk taking and decision-making as road users. A new secondary school resource has been developed including a CDROM, video and website, using age-appropriate actors and realistic situations. This resource depicts common risk-taking situations for adolescent pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and future drivers. The activities associated with this resource provide opportunities for problem solving, decision-making and discussion amongst teachers and peers. The resource has been supported by professional development for teachers and well as teacher resource notes that assist the teacher in linking the curriculum based activities to the new PDHPE syllabus.

This paper provides an opportunity for those working in road safety, in a variety of settings, to visualise the concept of road safety using a technology framework that can be adapted to meet the needs of the audience. This model of delivery has been focus-tested and trialed by students and teachers and received substantial endorsement as a tool for influencing the attitudes and beliefs of young people with regard to road safety.