NRSC 2018: Hot topic – ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ style interventions

09.03 | 28 November 2018 | |

Following on from the 2017 National Conference, when there was a passionate discussion as part of the Question Time session, this session will ask whether ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ style interventions change behaviour and save lives.


  • Sean Bone-Knell, National Fire Chief’s Council Lead for Road Safety & Director of Operations, Kent Fire and Rescue Service
  • Dr Jami Blythe, Client Support Executive, Sintons Law Firm
  • Dr Neale Kinnear, Principal Psychologist, Transport Research Laboratory

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Opening statements

Sean Bone-Knell
There is a place for this education – it has a future.

Partnership approach – not just fire services

Incredible powerful productions – emotional message, hearing from people with first-hand experience

Next steps – improved coordination and research

Partner – not a competitor

Jami Blythe

Engaging for a hard-to-reach audience

Motivation – what behaviour going forward?

Through storytelling – children frequently able to relate

Use of real stories, instead of fiction, is key

Neale Kinnear

No evidence these interventions save lives

Some short-term positive attitudinal shifts reported – but longer term mixed

Why do we have use fear appeal? Successful in that – but not successful in changing behaviour

Not here to bash these interventions – but we need a broader perspective


Can you give evidence where you have seen sustained behaviour change?

JB: individuals remember the stories and make decisions with that in mind.

SB: there will always be people who think it works, and those who don’t

NK: too many anecdotes – encouraging but not evidence

Is there a role for such presentations in engaging with schools/pupils?

NK: Lets engage with children in a way which is evidence led

Could it be used to address active travel issues?

JB: an interesting idea, but what people who walk/cycle can do to stay safe is much less

SB: car drivers/passengers should be a key focus

NK: need to look at young people in a holistic fashion

Have you considered that these initiatives caused harm?

JB: one of our foremost considerations – not seen any evidence of it

SB: One of the key issues – but personally, no

What do we do going forward?

NK: lets work together to design an intervention with evidence, change the approach

JB: Is there a better alternative?

SB: Next step is to look for a single package

Results – can Safe Drive, Stay Alive style interventions work?

Pre-debate: Yes: 47% – No: 18% – Not sure: 35%
Post-debate: Yes: 37% – No: 39% – Not sure: 24% 



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