It’s a common site in our cities: drivers getting frustrated with cyclists, cyclists frustrated with drivers, and pedestrians frustrated with both. Building understanding and empathy and highlighting the responsibility we all share for keeping ourselves and others safe on our roads is the focus of the 2019 Re:act behavioural change program, being launched today.
Now in its fourth year, Re:act challenges university communication design students to create a road safety campaign that educates 18-25 year road users about road safety risks and changes behaviour.
Started by Melbourne-based behaviour change agency Hard Edge, in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and with the support of several organisations with a passion for road safety, Re:act is expanding across state borders this year.
For the first time, communication design students from University of Technology Sydney will work simultaneously with their Victorian counterparts at Swinburne, and new corporate partners have come on board, including Australia Post, Telstra, IAG, 3M and Transport for NSW.
Re:act will look to expand nationally across Australia in 2020, with plans for further expansion internationally, including the United Kingdom and USA.
Says Andrew Hardwick, managing director Hard Edge: “By building empathy and understanding between different road user groups, we can shift the tribal ‘us vs. them’ mentality.
“By raising awareness, changing attitudes, and improving behaviours on our roads we can reduce the number of crashes involving vulnerable road users.
“The challenge is to build a greater sense of shared responsibility so all road users understand the risks they pose to one another.”
Liz Waller, road safety specialist and Re:act foundation partner from Transurban, says the safety of the people who build, operate and use its road network is its highest priority. The 2019 topic reflects the company’s ‘shared responsibility’ approach to road safety.
Says Waller: “Re:act is a vital opportunity to engage with young people and provide them a meaningful way to make a difference to their peers and the broader community through addressing road safety issues.
“This year’s topic is very relevant to us as some of our major road and tunnel building projects are in locations where there are many vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Our road workers, who provide incident response and perform maintenance, are also vulnerable because their work is often on the side of the road.”
Visit www.re-act.com.au for more information on the annual behavioural change program, the 2019 brief and previous road safety topics addressed, including mobile phone use while driving, interacting safely with heavy vehicles, and ‘morning after’ driving.