Background. Action research projects (ARP) in which students operationalise practical approaches to specific health issues are a compulsory element of the Queensland senior Health Education subject. As part of the ARP, the first Author was consulted by the second Author and her students regarding young driver road safety issues, interventions, and intervention evaluation. The “students” then developed a humourous parade presentation and three surveys targeting youth driving distracted. Aims. To overview the humourous peer education project, to examine the impact of the presentation upon “participants” behaviours; and to reflect upon the difficulties and successes associated with engaging researchers, teachers, and youth (students, participants). Method. Seventy-six Year 11 and 12 participants (61.8% female) completed a pre-presentation survey (baseline survey); 267 participants watched the presentation and immediately completed evaluation survey one; 42 of these participants completed evaluation survey two a fortnight later. Results. Baseline survey: 60% of participants had been a passenger in a car in which the driver was texting. Evaluation survey one: 77% of participants reported the presentation had made them think about their actions on the road as a driver and/or passenger; 33% of participants reported the take-home message related to active behaviours such as eyes-on-the-road and phone-in-the-boot. Evaluation survey two: 43% of participants reported they had been a passenger of a distracted driver during the intervening period. Discussion and Conclusions. Translating research findings into real-world practice and policy is a challenge for all road safety researchers. Engaging with youth can also be challenging, and the school environment provides an ideal context for peer-based intervention. Researchers play a key role in translation, supporting teachers and students with limited resources.
2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC): Taking Action Together, Gold Coast, Australia 14-16 October 2015
Proceedings of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference / pp.1-11