Road safety education goes beyond just driving on our roads

It can involve looking at other ways and also giving support to people learning.

Different ways to help young people stay safe on our roads

It’s good to remember that not all young people are drivers. In fact, some of them might have no interest in getting behind the wheel.

That’s why it’s important to be prepared for different needs when it comes to road safety education.

Exploring other ways to get around

Supporting other travel options is an important part of road safety education. Active travel – like walking or cycling – is good for people’s health and the environment. Active travel also plays an important part in meeting Scotland’s Climate Change targets.

So when it comes to an intervention, one of the aims could be to look at alternatives to learning to drive. If this is the case, here are some things worth keeping in mind.
For some people, cycling will be a desirable option. Cycling Scotland is our nation’s national cycling organisation. They aim to establish cycling as an accessible and practical travel option for people across Scotland.

From helping Scotland to achieve its ambitious climate change targets to helping people stay physically and mentally healthy, cycling has a significant role to play in supporting our environment, our economy, our society and our health.

More information on cycling or available training.


Helping young people start their driving journey

For a lot of young people, the thought of getting a driving licence is exciting. After all, passing their test will give them new found freedom and greater independence.

That said, trying to pass a driving test can be difficult. It’s expensive and takes up a lot of time. So, if an intervention focuses on learning to drive (or post-test driving), you could look at ways to help. Here are some useful tips:

  • Encourage more learner practice in different conditions (for example at night). This can improve post-test safety
  • Suggest putting off getting their licence and using other travel options. Passing when they’re older reduces post-test risk
  • Try to reduce the chance of them driving in high-risk situations:
    • New drivers are more likely to be in an accident in the first 12 months after passing, and especially in their first 1,000 miles of driving
    • High-risk situations include driving at night and with friends
    • Parent-young person agreements can be used to limit their exposure
  • Promote higher-order cognitive skills:
    • This includes the likes of hazard perception and situational awareness
    • These skills are important to help new drivers anticipate danger on the road
    • It can take time for these skill to come through experience alone
  • Encourage more self-awareness of limitations and strategies for managing risks:
    • This includes insight and resilience training
    • Research shows interventions which include this help people to make better decisions
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