Road Safety News
 

Roadshow sets out to positively influence teenage drivers

Friday 2nd October 2015

A roadshow aimed at encouraging teenage drivers to take more responsibility on the road has taken place in Belfast.

The two-day event (30 Sept- 1 Oct) was organised by Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) in partnership with the emergency services, and sponsored by AXA Insurance.

The ‘It Could Be You’ roadshow set out to encourage younger road users to take more care and responsibility on the roads. 800 young people from 10 schools and colleges across Belfast witnessed first-hand the devastation of a road traffic collision through a reconstruction staged in the grounds of City Hall.

Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI), Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue, and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were all involved in the ‘emergency rescue’ operation.

The ‘story’ was told from the perspective of a police officer, a paramedic, a fire officer, an A&E consultant, and a representative of a victim support group.

Attendees also heard the real life story of a young woman who was paralysed following a road traffic collision.

Councillor Matt Garrett, chair of the Belfast PCSP, said: “This road show has been organised to try to educate young people - the drivers of tomorrow - on the dangers of the road, and to make them more aware of the perils of careless driving, speeding or so-called ‘joyriding’.

“The roadshow is extremely hard-hitting but I hope the young people will go away with something to think about and that this event will positively influence teenage drivers who are about to embark on their motoring journey.”

Superintendent Gerry Murray, head of PSNI road policing, said: “The key to reducing the number of young people killed and seriously injured on our roads is education.

“I have no doubt that those who attend the roadshow are shocked, perhaps even horrified by what they see. We make no apology for that.

"I hope that after seeing the roadshow they realise that they are not indestructible; that they are more vulnerable on the roads and that they must respect the roads and other road users."


 

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When you consider the current state of understanding of the the way the adolescent brain functions it's surprising that scare tactics are still being used by agencies that should know better. You only have to Google 'adolescent' and 'dopamine' to tap into a significant quantity of research that shows that not only do scare tactics not work they actually encourage the activities that they were supposed to prevent. Adolescents will do things because they are dangerous and because the dopamine buzz they get out of doing them far outweighs any potential downside thanks to something called hyperrationality. By pointing out how dangerous something is it actively encourages the adolescent to go straight out and do it!

Rather than use these outdated and counter-productive tactics it is much better to use the 'alternative challenge' technique that provides adolescents with the same dopamine hit, but with much less danger.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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