Partnership claims success with maintenance awareness campaign

12.00 | 23 July 2014 | | 5 comments

A campaign to raise awareness of the importance of vehicle maintenance achieved its aim, according to evaluation conducted as part of the campaign

The campaign was developed and delivered by the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership in conjunction with a number of private sector partners and Bedfordshire Police.

It was designed to raise drivers’ awareness of the importance of vehicle maintenance and the legal consequences of driving a defective vehicle.

The campaign ran in two parts during September and October 2013.

The first part comprised a series of events at supermarkets at which people were offered free vehicle maintenance checks provided by the local road safety team and specialists from local automotive companies.

In the second part of the campaign, police stopped drivers across Bedfordshire to check for vehicle defects. If defects were found, the driver was given advice on maintenance and 14 days to rectify any faults under the Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS).

In all, 282 drivers were engaged through the campaign – 143 at supermarket events and 139 stopped by the police.

266 participants completed the campaign survey, with 94% claiming they have their vehicles checked regularly. However, despite this, a significant number of defects were found during the campaign.

When asked about future behaviour, 98.6% of the participants from supermarket events said they would act on the advice given, but this figure dropped to 90.3% of those stopped by the police.

Contact Michelle Watkins at Bedfordshire & Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership for more information or a copy of the campaign evaluation.


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    If the defects found could reasonably be said to have prevented an accident happening, then yes, it was a success.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    This is the difference between outcomes and outputs

    The aim of any road safety intervention is to contribute to the overall outcome of reduction of casualties and prevention of collisions.

    Each intervention aims to achieve this by delivering specific outputs which are designed to address particular issues. In this case, the desired output was to “raise awareness of the importance of vehicle maintenance and the legal consequences of driving a defective vehicle”.
    Presumably this had been identified as a priority issue in the local area.

    The evaluation was designed to test whether or not that output was achieved, which it was.

    This item demonstrates how the discipline of evaluation helps Road Safety Officers to design relevant programmes and then test whether or not they achieve their aims. Nowadays this is an integral part of the Road Safety Officers professional training and practice and is embedded in the Road Safety GB Academy professional training syllabus.

    Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
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    Noted Nick, but I suppose my comment is still valid – the success claimed seems to be on the actual campaign itself i.e method; organisation; response of drivers, etc. rather than what was actually unearthed re-vehicle defects. Drivers giving favourable answers to questionnaires doesn’t give us the full picture on the campaign’s true aim of accident prevention.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    A point of clarification – the evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaign was carried out by The University of Bedfordshire, not by the Casualty Reduction Partnership itself. I apologise that we did not make this clear in the news report.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
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    More importantly, some info on what percentage of vehicles stopped actually had any defects (and the significance thereof) would be more useful than the organisers’ own evaluation of the campaign itself.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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