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Cartoon of people waiting at railway level crossing.

Findings here and overseas show approaches to road safety education are not equally effective.

Careful selection and evaluation of activities improves the odds that learning leads to lasting changes in skills, behaviour and attitudes.

More effective

  • Based on best evidence about effective teaching and learning.
  • Content is clearly defined, appropriate and challenging.
  • Clear focus on individual student learning needs.
  • Target causal factors of risky behaviour.
  • Approaches that are evaluated.

Less effective

  • One-off sessions not linked to ongoing teaching and learning programmes.
  • Activities that lack clear goals.
  • Teaching that is not evaluated for impact on student learning.
  • One-size-fits-all.


  • Traditional training programmes that focus on vehicle emergency handling skills.
  • Use of scare tactics or confrontation without providing a parallel positive experience.

Read more about research findings into effective road safety education:

Good practice in road safety

Findings on how young people learn

Research into how people learn has improved what we know about effective teaching. These findings can guide educators when integrating road safety into curriculum delivery.

Research findings on learning

Implications for road safety educators

Clear outcomes

Focus on high-quality outcomes for all students.

Set and expect high standards for all students.

Share learning intentions and success criteria with students, so they do not expend effort on the wrong things and get disheartened.

Focus on what you want students to know and do after your teaching. Ensure activities are neither too challenging (produces anxiety) nor too easy (leads to boredom).

Make relevance transparent to students (often it’s not that students can’t learn, it’s that they don’t want to, or can’t see the point).

Share with students what you want them to learn and why it’s important. Make your approach broad enough to provide a relevant or engaging hook for every student.

Quality teaching

Build on what each student knows and can do.

Check what each student knows and can do before you begin. Don’t assume students know or don’t know road safety education content.

Provide multiple, effective opportunities to learn a new concept or skill.

If external providers or experts are used, plan with them to meet student learning needs.

Provide opportunities for students to think about their mental model of safe road use.

Build learning-focused relationships with students and provide different approaches and opportunities to learn.

Provide opportunities for students to use what they learn in real-life situations.

Design units that are long enough for learners to: take in ideas, link these ideas, look at these ideas in a new way, and do something with them in real life.

Ask students to collaborate to solve a real-world task, so they apply what they learn to make a difference for themselves and others.

Home and community support

Create effective links among school, home and the wider community.

Gather together parents, students and school communities to consider road safety behaviour and possible actions.

Provide homework that encourages dialogue with caregivers.

Timely, useful feedback

Support students to evaluate their own learning

Help students answer: How am I going? What’s my next step?

Give timely, formative, goal-oriented feedback to students.

Provide students with specific, responsive feedback on their learning while they are learning, not just at the end.

Next page:

Extending road safety learning

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