View Full Version : Awareness programs don't make roads safer, expert says

03-18-2009, 12:37 PM
Awareness programs don't make roads safer, expert says (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Life/Awareness+programs+make+roads+safer+expert+says/1401390/story.html)
By Richard Warnica, The Edmonton JournalMarch 18, 2009 9:02 AMBe the first to post a comment

Public awareness campaigns and drivers' education may make people feel better, but they have little practical value when it comes to actually making roads safer, an American expert on behaviour and injuries said Tuesday.

"We tried for decades to get people to wear seatbelts just by doing scary public service announcements," said Deborah Girasek, the director of social and behavioural sciences at the Uniformed Services University in Maryland. "It didn't work."

Without a legal incentive, drivers just wouldn't buckle up.

Girasek was speaking at the International Conference on Traffic Safety in Edmonton. In an hour-long speech, the academic tried to explain the gulf between the impact traffic accidents have on society and the often anemic public reaction to them.

Perhaps surprisingly, she said, awareness is not the problem.


03-18-2009, 12:50 PM
Every summer, the Detroit news channels run features about the dangerous path to Cedar Point in Sandusky. Every year, a van or a bus crashes on Highway 2 in Ohio, travelling from Detroit to Sandusky. Everyone is aware of the blind turns and the other risks of a 2-lane highway, but people keep going that way because it's faster than the turnpike, and there are less troopers patrolling it.