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Best practice in peer-led curriculum content :  informing an interactive program to improve passenger safety among high school seniors

In: Proc. of the 2014 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing & Education Conference 12 – 14 Nov., Melbourne, VIC Australia

Authors: Lisa Buckley, Barry Watson

 Despite ongoing improvements in behaviour change strategies, licensing models and road law enforcement measures young drivers remain significantly over-represented in fatal and non-fatal road related crashes. This paper focuses on the safety of those approaching driving age and identifies both high priority road safety messages and relevant peer-led strategies to guide the development school programs. It summarises the review in a program logic model built around the messages and identified curriculum elements, as they may be best operationalised within the licensing and school contexts in Victoria. This paper summarises a review of common deliberate risk-taking and non-deliberate unsafe driving behaviours among novice drivers, highlighting risks associated with speeding, driving while fatigued, driving while impaired and carrying passengers. Common beliefs of young people that predict risky driving were reviewed, particularly with consideration of those beliefs that can be operationalised in a behaviour change school program. Key components of adolescent risk behaviour change programs were also reviewed, which identified a number of strategies for incorporation in a school based behaviour change program, including: a well-structured theoretical design and delivery, thoughtfully considered peer-selected processes, adequate training and supervision of peer facilitators, a process for monitoring and sustainability, and interactive delivery and participant discussions. The research base is then summarised in a program logic model with further discussion about the quality of the current state of knowledge of evaluation of behaviour change programs and the need for considerable development in program evaluation.