This report sets out findings from qualitative research exploring the views of young people, teachers and road safety professionals on the Your Call road safety education resource. Road Safety Scotland commissioned us to undertake this work in 2013.
Your Call is a road safety education resource designed specifically for use with 11 to 14 year olds in S1 to S3. Research has indicated that this group are 'at risk' from pedestrian as well as passenger accidents.
The Your Call resource includes two DVD dramas with a pedestrian theme aimed at S1/S2 pupils and a passenger theme aimed at S2/S3 pupils. Both dramas culminate with the same accident. The toolkit also contains packs of activity cards, further student activities and teacher notes. The activities come packaged in a case. Overall, the toolkit provides teaching materials comprising five activities for each of the DVDs.
Your Call was developed by Road Safety Scotland, which develops and coordinates road safety initiatives and campaigns across Scotland. Four years after the launch, Transport Scotland and Road Safety Scotland wish to review the use of the resource across Scotland.
Distribution and promotion
Road Safety Units took different approaches to distributing and promoting Your Call. However, the majority of Road Safety Officers interviewed said they had either held a central training event for schools in their area, or visited schools individually to deliver the resource.
The majority of Road Safety Officers have not had any ongoing contact with schools since its initial launch and were not able to say with any certainty whether the resource was being used. A small number of Road Safety Units have maintained contact with their schools since the initial distribution of the resource.
Often, Road Safety Units took a reactive approach, providing Your Call to the schools and offering to follow up with any requests for additional support. But there were only a small number of requests received.
Use of Your Call
The ten case study schools were using Your Call, although the extent of use varied from minimal to active. For all schools, road safety education sits within the Personal and Social Education (PSE) curriculum and Your Call had been incorporated into this timetable.
All ten case study schools had used the DVD. Some had used both the pedestrian (Matt's Story) and the passenger (Donnie's Story) DVD's, while others had only watched one, or the other. The schools tended to stick to the themed DVD which was age appropriate for their pupils. There were two exceptions, with two case study schools using both resources with all year groups.
Pupil engagement with Your Call
Teachers reported that Your Call engaged the pupils and prompted discussion. This was also evidenced in our focus group discussions, with pupils reacting well to the activities. There was a good recollection of the resource among the pupils. In six schools, Your Call was mentioned spontaneously, despite some pupils having used the resource several months earlier. There was good recall about the storyline and pupils praised the content for including topics such as distractions and consequences.
Learning from Your Call
Pupils and teachers felt that the messages in Your Call reinforced messages that the pupils had heard before, and that they were not necessarily learning anything new. Despite this, the S1 and S2 pupils agreed that Your Call had influenced them to change their attitude and behaviour while out on the roads. Pupils stated that they were 'more cautious and aware' particularly in relation to distractions such as being on their mobile phones, or wearing headphones. Older pupils however did not think that Your Call was powerful enough to change their attitudes or behaviour.