Building on Success: Improving the Delivery of Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity (Road Safety Research Report 99)

  • Published: Department for Transport, 2009
  • Authors: MVA Consultancy
  • Date Added: 11 Jul 2013
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf

Objectives: To make practical evidence-based recommendations of actions that could be taken to improve the delivery of road safety education by RSOs and educators, and to make an overall assessment of whether raising the status of road safety education would improve the quality and delivery of provision.


  • The research took place over a 12-month period and comprised five key components:

    • A comprehensive literature review was carried out to identify gaps in existing understanding and to provide a robust context in which to interpret findings from the current study.

    • The design, development and administration of two questionnaire surveys. The first was issued to RSOs across England, with separate tools developed to explore the attitudes of road safety managers and those working at the operational level. The second was a survey of teachers, issued to primary and secondary schools in a sample of English local authorities.

    • The survey work was complemented by in-depth case-study interviews with RSOs and other stakeholders in a sample of English local authorities, as well as interviews with policy-makers from local and central government.

    • A stakeholder workshop, carried out towards the end of the project, which brought together road safety professionals and other key stakeholders to discuss the findings from the research and explore future ways of working to improve the delivery of road safety education, training and publicity.

Key Findings:

  • The four main current partners in delivery for RSOs appear to be:

    • Schools, colleagues and educational establishments;

    • Police and camera safety partnerships;

    • Health boards and local authority health departments; and,

    • Fire and rescue services.

  • As part of the RSO team leaders’ survey, we asked to what extent working with partners helped respondents to conduct road safety education, training and publicity and build their capacity within existing budgets. The majority (70 per cent) of respondents said that partnership working provided them with new skills/resources, and expanded capacity of what they could do with existing budgets. A further 25 per cent felt that it gave them access to new skills but did not necessarily help them to stretch budgets and 5 per cent said that it helped the budget, but did not increase their skills base. None of the respondents provided a wholly negative response (i.e. that partnership working neither provides new skills/resources nor expands what can be done within existing budgets).

  • The key factor in successful partnership working was identified as establishing and maintaining communication with partners. It was considered important to be persistent, especially with the schools. Once dialogue is established, it has to be kept regular and two-way. The most successful partnerships have been established this way and schools have become proactive in approaching the RSOs. One problem identified was the high turnover of teachers. It was considered important that schools be proactive and take responsibility for the hand over of contact details to maintain liaison between the two parties.

  • Working partnerships with other partners relied more heavily on individuals who were interested in road safety education and, again, on the time they were allocated to spend on the area. If these contacts moved jobs or retired, the impact on partnership working was considerably higher than with schools. Officers felt that there was little that they could do themselves to control this.

  • Despite close working relationships with a number of partners, some officers still said that there was scope for closer partnership working. The main groups that officers would like to work more closely with were health authorities and health workers, driving and riding organisations or instructors, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and educational groups, and emergency services staff.


Partnership working


This research shows that partnerships are viewed in a positive way.