1. Introduction

1. Introduction

About this report

1.1 This report sets out findings from qualitative research exploring the views of young people, teachers and road safety professionals towards the Your Call road safety education resource.

1.2 Transport Scotland and Road Safety Scotland commissioned us to undertake the work between February and October 2013. The research findings will help inform updates made to Your Call and the future development of road safety resources for young people.

Road Safety in Scotland

1.3 Road Safety Scotland (RSS), established in 2005, is part of Transport Scotland. Its remit is to develop and coordinate Scotland's wide-ranging road safety initiatives and campaigns.  RSS works closely with all Road Safety Units, and with the Road Safety Team in Transport Scotland, to ensure a coordinated approach to road safety in Scotland.

1.4 Road Safety Scotland has a key role in developing and distributing road safety education resources for different age groups, from pre-school to high school.

1.5 Scotland's Road Safety Framework – Go Safe On Scotland's Roads was published in June 2009 and set out the road safety vision for Scotland, and Scottish targets for reductions in road deaths and serious injuries to 2020. This includes a target of reducing the number of people killed on Scotland's roads by 40 per cent by 2020, with an increased target of 50 per cent for children (aged under 16).

1.6 Children and drivers aged 17 to 25 have been identified as priority groups within the Framework. Road safety for young people is a particularly important issue. Young people are significantly more at risk of involvement in a road related accident. While figures from 2012[2] show clear reductions in the number of children killed and seriously injured, compared to the 2004 to 2008 baseline, there were still 1,164 child casualties and 2,290 casualties among 16 to 22 year olds. This represents over a quarter (27%) of all casualties.

1.7 The Framework highlights that encouraging and educating young people to be responsible on the roads is a key route to improving road safety.  Road safety education therefore plays an important role in working towards the priorities and targets outlined within the Framework.

Your Call – the resource

1.8 Your Call is one of a range of secondary school resources currently available from Road Safety Scotland. It was launched in April 2009. Your Call is aimed specifically at 11-14 year olds, statistically the most at risk age group, with lesson plans that link to the Health and Wellbeing element of the Curriculum for Excellence.

1.9 The resource is designed to target S1, S2 and S3 pupils and is arranged in two sections. The first section is aimed at S1/S2 pupils and comprises a DVD and five follow up activities with a pedestrian theme. The second is aimed at S2/S3 pupils and comprises a DVD and five follow up activities aimed at passengers. The toolkit also contains packs of activity cards, student worksheets and teacher notes. The activities come packaged in a case. Overall, the toolkit provides five follow up activities for each DVD.

1.10 Local Road Safety Units (RSUs) were tasked with distributing at least one copy of the resource to secondary schools in Scotland ready for the start of the 2009/10 session.

1.11 Now that Your Call has been available for over three years, Road Safety Scotland wish to undertake a review to assess how the resource is being used in schools and what pupils and teachers think of it.

Research aims and objectives

1.12 The overall aim of the research was to review the distribution, promotion and use of the Your Call toolkit in secondary schools to test whether the resource is fit for purpose.

1.13  The specific objectives were to:

  • investigate how the resource has been distributed and promoted in different areas and schools;
  • investigate differences in uptake and reasons for this;
  • explore how secondary schools use 'Your Call';
  • explore opinions about the resource from the perspective of the key user groups; and
  • consider what young people have learned from Your Call and what impact they think the resource has had on their knowledge and attitudes to road safety.

Report structure

1.14 This report sets out the findings from this review. Chapter Two sets out the methods used in this study, while Chapters Three to Six focus on research findings.  

1.15 Chapter Three explores how Your Call was launched and promoted, and Chapter Four explores how the resource has been used in schools. Chapter Five focuses on views of the resource and suggestions for improvement are reported in Chapter Six

1.16 Our key findings and recommendations are contained in Chapter Seven.  Each chapter concludes with a short summary section.

Project management

1.17 The overall direction of the study was led by the project manager at Road Safety Scotland. A small Advisory Group was established involving Road Safety Scotland and Transport Scotland.