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Setting out your aims and objectives

Before any intervention, it's important to know what you want to achieve.

What do you want to get out of your intervention?

Before any road safety education initiative, you need to think about what you want to achieve. Defining the aims and objectives of an intervention can help to guide the design, delivery and evaluation of a resource.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind:

  • The aim is what you’re looking to achieve
  • The objectives define how you are going to achieve your aim
  • Ideally, you’ll have a single aim supported by a few objectives

Helping you define your aims and objectives

Your aim should be clearly connected to your intention. It’s always better to be as targeted as possible.

For example, the aim to ‘reduce collisions involving young drivers’ is so broad that it’ll be hard to show whether this goal has been achieved. As mentioned in Reality check, it’s not realistic to expect education alone to achieve this kind of aim.

By targeting a specific area of young driver safety (e.g. driver distraction), it’s easier to tell if your intervention will meet the aim. It’ll also be more realistic and measurable.

It always helps to ask yourself:

  • What’s the problem, or behaviour, I’m looking to change? (aim)
  • How will I make a difference? (objective)
  • Who’s the target audience?

Understanding the problem

Some research could help you understand what the problem is.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Are there already published studies on this topic that you can find online?
  • Do you have access to local or national data?
  • Do you need to work with a university or research organisation to help?

Making a difference

When you know the problem, it can help you to make a difference (i.e. setting the objectives).

This might include:

  • Increasing knowledge
  • Changing attitudes 
  • Increasing confidence 
  • Behaving in a certain way

The key risk factors

Your target audience will usually be young people but it could also be young drivers who’ve recently passed their test, or are learning to drive.

Below you’ll find some of the key risk factors, which could form the basis of an intervention. Thinking about how you’ll make a difference helps to focus the aim.

For example:

‘This intervention aims to support high levels of seat belt use (aim), by reinforcing the importance of wearing seat belts (objective) and legitimising enforcement (objective) with young people (target audience).’

What is the problem? How will you make a difference? Who is the target audience?
Seat belt use Reinforce the importance of wearing seat belts and legitimise enforcement All young people
Age (youth) Encourage active travel and other modes to delay licensure Pre-drivers
Driving at night Encourage newly licensed drivers to use parent-teen agreements in the first few months to limit driving at night New drivers
Driving with friends in the car passengers Encourage newly-licensed drivers to use parent-teen agreements in the first few months to limit driving with same age passengers unless supervised New drivers
Drink/drug driving Reinforce anti-drink-driving culture and legitimise enforcement and / or provide insight into the limitations when impaired and driving All young people
Inappropriate speed choice Legitimise enforcement of speed limits and increase knowledge of why they are important New drivers
Poor hazard perception Encourage or provide additional hazard perception training Pre- and new drivers
Close following Encourage or provide additional hazard perception training and legitimise enforcement Pre- and new drivers
Distraction Provide insight into the limitations when distracted and driving, and provide solutions Pre- and new drivers
Driving violations Reinforce road user responsibility and legitimise enforcement to protect others Pre- and new drivers
Fatigue Provide insight into the limitations when fatigued and driving, and provide solutions Pre- and new drivers
Risky driving style Reinforce what a safe driving style is and options to monitor behaviour (e.g. telematics) Pre- and new drivers

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