South Australia’s 300,000 children have been put in the ‘driver’s seat’ to steer their parents towards safer driving, as part of a brand new road safety initiative starting today.
South Australia suffers more road accidents per capita than any other state, with 100 fatalities recorded last year, a 16 per cent rise on the previous year.
School-children are being encouraged to call on their parents to change their driving behaviour in key areas including:
- Aggressive driving
- Mobile phone use
To reinforce this change, a safe-driving pledge is now available to download and sign. The intention is to encourage South Australian parents to sign this pledge before the treacherous Christmas-New Year holiday period begins in five months. The pledge can then be posted on the family fridge, or kept on the family car’s dashboard, as a constant reminder to be safe.
South Australia’s Minister for Road Safety, Corey Wingard MP, said parents are more likely to pay attention to road safety messages delivered by their children than they would from strangers.
“South Australia’s goal has got to be reduce our unacceptably high road toll, and children can play an important part in changing their parents’ dangerous driving habits,” he said.
“Last year 100 people lost their lives on our state’s roads in addition to 259 serious injuries, and so far this year, almost 50 people have died,” Minister Wingard said.
“I welcome this initiative involving children engaging in dialogue with their parents, to encourage their road safety.”
The South Australia road-safety awareness campaign features Kilkenny Primary School students, from north-west Adelaide, who also participated in creating it.
It incorporates behavioural science theories4 showing change is successful when:
- the action is small;
- the decision making is simplified, and;
- it’s in the broad self-interest of the person making the change.
The campaign is an initiative of insurance provider, QBE.
QBE CEO Vivek Bhatia said his company recognised that South Australia’s road toll was unacceptably high and new ideas were needed to bring it down.
“Road safety through a child’s voice is one way every adult can be reminded the way they drive has a direct impact on the safety of their family,” Mr Bhatia said.
“Even small changes can make a difference. Let’s all slow down, keep our distance and put our phones away – in the interests of our children and all South Australians on the road.”
Table 1: South Australian road safety statistics
To access the campaign content and download the pledge, please visit: qbe.com/au/besafe