asked questions FAQs
What’s the aim of this campaign?
To help make tomorrow’s young drivers safer and encourage . good role modelling as research shows the process of learning to drive starts many years before a person gets their L or P-plates. Parents and carers have a powerful role as their behaviour in the driver’s seat is likely to be copied when the child gets their P-plates. Children are like sponges. Habits like speeding or texting while driving are things children can pick up from the back seat without parents even noticing.
Positive role modelling aims to reduce the impact of road trauma among 18-25 year old drivers. About 1-in-5 driver deaths are young people despite making up only 10% of licence holders in Victoria. International research demonstrates a strong link between parents’ driving styles and the driving style of their children in their first year on their P-plates.
Who is this campaign aimed at?
The TAC is urging parents or carers of primary school-aged children to use their influence to help their children to become safer drivers in the future. Learn more about parenting responsibilities and road safety.
What are the main areas of road safety that children should know about?
Road crashes are the major cause of death for young children - from the ages of 0 to 15 years, approximately 20 are killed and 400 seriously injured on Victorian roads each year. Road safety is broad and includes learning how to make safe choices as a pedestrian or on a scooter, a bicycle, and using public transport. It is essential children learn how to behave safely and to think about the road from a young age.
Why is it so important to talk to kids about being safe near the roads?
Children act on impulse, have difficulty judging and cannot use the roads safely on their own until they have been taught how to. Learn more about developing road safety skills with children.
How does this campaign make parents and carers become better driving role models?
Often adults underestimate how much their children are watching and learning from their actions. This campaign shows how everything that is happening in the front seat is being picked up by a young passenger strapped in the back seat. The young boy in the back seat is going through the motions of being a bad driver – he’s honking the horn, cursing other drivers, talking on the phone.
You’ll also see that in the front seat, his father is doing the same thing. The pair is attached by puppet strings to highlight the link between the father’s behaviour and his son’s.
Can you tell me more about the research that this campaign is based on?
Like all of the TAC’s activities, this campaign is heavily backed by research. In addition to looking in great detail at road trauma data relating to young drivers, we looked to studies that found significant links between parents’ driving styles – particularly anxious or aggressive styles – and the driving style demonstrated by their children a year after gaining their licence.
Following on from this study, the TAC conducted research with Victorian parents to understand their attitudes towards role modelling. That research found that parents generally understood that they were role models to their children but they didn’t consider their road use behaviour as a significant area of influence. So this campaign seeks to give those parents the same awareness around the effect of their driving behaviour on their children’s eventual driving behaviour that already exists around behaviours like swearing and drinking.
Why is the TAC spending money on this campaign?
We know that money spent changing the attitudes and behaviours of Victorian drivers through this type of campaigning does make a difference and that is reflected in the marked downward trend in road trauma since these types of public education activities began.
What is it about young drivers that make them particularly susceptible to road trauma?
Research has demonstrated that young drivers are at greater danger because they are inexperienced and they are more likely to take risks on the road. Some of the behaviours that increase the risks of crashing among young drivers include:
- Driving with passengers in their own peer group
- Night time driving
- Use of mobile phones
- Drink and drug driving
- Driving older, less safe cars