Partnership launches public perception survey

12.00 | 13 September 2016 | | 11 comments

The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) is currently running an online survey to establish public perceptions of road safety among the county’s residents and road users.

Formed in 2000, LRSP is a multi-agency partnership which brings together road safety professionals from Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Highways England.

The Partnership’s brief is to ‘enhance the quality of life of the road users of Lincolnshire by reducing ill health, disability and death caused by road collisions’.

LRSP says that since 2000 there has been a significant reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on Lincolnshire’s roads, but that it ‘wants to do better’.

The Partnership press announcement about the survey says: “Whilst we have on going contact with the public on individual issues, we want to take this opportunity to ask a wide range of road users.

“Where we can clearly demonstrate public concern on road safety issues raised, we can formulate either direct action or information campaigns to effect positive change in attitude and behaviour.”

The survey will run from September to November 2016 and the results will also be published in due course on the Partnership’s website.

Photo credit: © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.





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    If you were to ask about the considered danger of using hand held phones whilst driving then there would generally at this point in time be 100 against it and therefore considered as one of the greatest dangers of our time.

    However if it was about the training of young motorcyclists then it would not register or be noteworthy and maybe not even be given a one.

    That said there are far more motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads. More so than happens when persons are using mobile phones.

    Bob Craven, Lancs.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Both sides of the argument make very valid points. The survey itself is very poorly designed, as others have pointed out. A quick look at it revealed this example:
    What is the main reason for your journey?
    (please tick all that apply):
    Commute to work
    Short journeys close to home
    Long journeys (over 20 miles)
    School run
    Medical appointments
    There can only be one main reason for doing anything, so it is anybody’s guess what the conclusions drawn from this survey will be. I am inclined to believe that asking the public for help in forming local road safety policy is akin to asking the lunatics how the asylum should be run. Having worked in close contact with members of the public for most of my life, I have little faith in their carefully-crafted ‘opinions’.

    David, Suffolk
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    The sad fact is these type of questions used to be in the British Social Attitudes Survey which was repeated every 3-4 years nationally until 2010. With this robust, albeit national, data set no longer available local authorities are having to do their own surveys to examine social attitudes.

    If conducted properly these could provide evidence of the effectiveness of interventions in relation to attitudinal shift, so could be very valuable. The key thing to address would be the validity of the questions (i.e. not leading) and appropriate sampling. Seeking advice from a local academic institution would likely help on both and may even open up other partnership opportunities.

    Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Honor: Nothing wrong with talking face to face with residents and road users – usually on a specific concern or very local issue and not policy – I did it myself many times, but not via a poorly thought out, impersonal, rigidly structured questionnaire – that is not a ‘discussion’ nor is it ‘talking and listening’!

    Hugh Jones,Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The survey questions seem to be very confused, very badly worded and the grammar is very poor in places.

    Under the heading “Primary Mode of Transport” the third questions asks “What is the main reason for your journey?” – which journey? Also, even if you say your primary (and only) mode of transport is “Pedestrian”, you still get offered the then irrelevant questions about annual mileage and where most of your driving takes place.

    Another question is in fact two questions – but only allowing one answer: “Please rate how safe you feel about you and your families [sic] safety on the road?”. I may feel fine about my safety in the car but be paranoid about my child cycling anywhere. And the fourth answer, “Unsure about my safety”, doesn’t include others in the family.

    The question about other drivers’ behaviour suggests very specific and very leading answers as if there is some hidden agenda. It doesn’t explain how someone else not wearing their seatbelt could affect your own road safety.

    I suspect that many people will answer the questions asking for priorities 1-5 the wrong way round because highest priority is usually assigned the number “1”, and is indeed described that way in the first question; however other questions give 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest priority!

    I think that because it will be impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions from the answers to these questions that the whole exercise is a total waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Charles, England
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Lincolnshire are doing what is expected of them by talking with and listening to their residents. The Brexit analogy also showed that many people felt that government (national or local) does not listen so it is a bit harsh to criticise local government when they do initiate the discussion that is asked for.

    The issue of perceptions is important as whether people feel safe or unsafe directly affects the choices they make about how and when or even whether they travel. In rural areas this is a major issue and leads to a significant problem with rural isolation when people decide not to go out because they don’t feel safe to do so. This affects their health and well-being in very significant ways and leads to mental health concerns and lowered resilience to physical illnesses. So the inclusion of how people feel is entirely legitimate and, I would say, essential.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    In local government there is a financial drive to work with communities, rather than deliver to them. This is across the board and is driven from the very top of our organisations. It is a worthy objective, the tricky part is the management of expectation. Giving every ‘community’ what they want would quickly lead to chaos and an inconsistent highway network, whereas completely ignoring their opinion is missing a trick. Choice of travel mode and user behaviour are influenced by perceptions, we need to know what those perceptions are. As a neighbouring rural county I hope that the results are widely shared. Well played Lincs!

    Iain Temperton
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    How about enacting positive changes in the actions of highway authorities and Safer Road Partnerships?

    Meet us half way here.

    If a junction is dangerous, improve it. Don’t just stick a camera it and risk alienating folk who ordinarily would support your cause.

    (of course this presumes that money actually is available for such a thing)

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Nick: I don’t believe the general public are really qualified to give their opinion as to where the focus (on road safety) should be in their area to an extent that it could seriously shape policy. The ‘road safety professionals’ referred to should have the means to be able to ascertain that themselves I would have thought. Equally, what is wrong with the professionals ‘relying purely on one’s own beliefs and opinions’?… they are supposed to be the ones with the expertise after all.

    I thought the questions in the survey to be bland and predictable and not deep enough to produce an overall picture of anything, other than the fact that the residents and road user in the county are concerned, to varying degrees, about various aspects of road safety based on their own road user category and (possibly flawed) perception and understanding, which is what one would expect anyway.

    There does seem to be a lot of public opinion surveys covered in the news feed and I’m sure there have been others like this one before.

    It’s like asking the public about leaving the EU. Very few people actually knew enough about the subject to produce anything other than an almost 50/50 split – asking the public to toss a coin and vote on that basis would have produced similar results!

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I’m a bit puzzled by your comment. What is wrong with a road safety partnership inviting local people to express their opinions about where the focus should be in their area? I really can’t see any harm in this – in fact I think it is important to listen to what others have to say rather than relying purely on one’s own beliefs and opinions. Surely we can all learn by listening to others?

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    About time we had news of road safey related survey – must be at least a week since the last one. This one is to ‘establish public perceptions of road safety among the county’s residents and road users’. So that couldn’t be reasonably presumed? Are road safety professionals so in the dark that they have to keep conducting surveys to find out what needs to be done next?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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