Road Safety News

Road safety professionals gather for behaviour change conference

Wednesday 24th September 2014

Road safety professionals from around the UK and Europe will gather later this week in Wakefield for a conference which will focus on reducing the risks people face on the roads.

The conference, Innovations in Road User Behaviour Change (25-26 Sept), hosted by Brainbox Research, will bring together psychologists, road safety, police and business professionals to share knowledge about behaviour change.

The programme will include keynote speeches by professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin from the University of Leeds, who will talk about developing effective risk communications; and professor Brendan Gough from Leeds Beckett University, who will discuss male road users and masculinities.

Other speakers, from different sectors, who will offer their perspectives on behaviour change include: Liz Smallman from Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, who will outline her experiences engaging children in long-term behaviour change interventions; and Simon Rowlands from the horseracing business Timeform, who will discuss decision making and uncertainty.

Dr Fiona Fylan, from Brainbox Research, said: “With more than 1,700 deaths and 21,000 serious injuries each year on GB roads, innovative, evidence-based approaches are needed to change the way people view risk and their own behaviour when driving, walking and cycling.

“We are proud to have brought together experts from a range of academic and professional sectors to offer different perspectives on changing road user behaviour. We believe delegates will gain actionable insight and understanding from the conference.”


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A couple of interesting articles on behavioural safety might help.!_Behavior-Based_Safety_Can_Be_Hazardous_To_Your_Health_and_Safety_Program!.pdf
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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Funnily enough I did once attend a safety lecture given by an Astronaut. Although the audience comprised of some very senior helicopter pilots from both civil and military aviation, everybody learnt a great deal. The lecture centred on a human factors phenomenon called 'confirmation bias' which is where you accept only that information that confirms your original diagnosis of an unfolding situation and reject the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary. A lesson for us all I think.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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I assume that robust empirical evidence gained from the various schemes as an alternative to prosecution that Fiona has been instrumental in will be used and available during the day.
After all in excess of a million drivers must go through the Speed Awareness programme each year. So there should be ample evidence for behavioral change. Or are self reported behavioral change questionnaires still used? It will be good to hear the questions answered on the day.

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It could also apply to astronauts and submarine commanders - should they be invited as well? Let's keep our feet on the ground (no pun intended)
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Human beings operating complex machines in hostile environments. Does that describe road or air safety or does it adequately describe both?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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In answer to Duncan's query, I presumed it was to do with the conference being about "..reducing the risks people face on the roads..." and not in the air.

If it was a conference about risks faced in the air, I would expect aviation safety experts to be invited but not road safety officers and traffic engineers.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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You say:
"I notice that nobody from the world of aviation safety has been invited along to speak, I wonder why?"

This is, of course, an assumption unless you have been in contact with the conference organisers to establish whether anyone from the aviation industry was invited to speak?
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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I notice that nobody from the world of aviation safety has been invited along to speak, I wonder why?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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Not so long ago a well known brand of lager was advertised explicitly as a symbol of "belonging" to a desirable social group. Tapping into the approval of ones peers must be the key to this.

One facet of the Scottish Referendum I found compelling was the extent to which people were encouraged to commit to a society with shared social values. While the campaign was unsuccessful it left me with the feeling we could do with a lot more of that kind of thinking.
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

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Hi Duncan,
Rewards are important from a psychological perspective too. We'll be looking at behaviour change from several different perspectives. Should be great. We have one place left at the conference if you fancy coming along.
Fiona Fylan, Brainbox Research

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According to the HSE in behavioural safety or BS as it's known there are three main types of consequences that influence behaviour, rewards, negative reinforcement and punishment. Negative reinforcement and punishment will be a given, but what about rewards? Can we expect recommendations for a raft of benefits that drivers can expect in return for behaving safely?
Duncan macKillop, Stratford on Avon

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