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Safer speeds: an evaluation of public education materials.
The association between speed and road safety outcomes is well documented, yet reductions in speed limits continue to meet with resistance from the public. This paper outlines the findings of a review of speed education resources undertaken in order to identify those that may be used to increase public acceptance of reduced speed limits. Relevant agencies throughout Australia were contacted and web searches were conducted in order to find speed education resources. Public media campaigns were excluded from the review. An initial search identified 203 potential resources; of these 70 were included in the study. All were evidence-based drawing on one or more of 27 central arguments. Based on consideration of the use of evidence, ease of understanding, potential to influence the general public, and the extent to which the resource supported the speed management principles of the National Road Safety Strategy, nine resources were identified as providing the best examples of speed education. In general the speed education resources were found to adopt predominantly safety-based arguments for reduced speed limits. It is suggested that the efficacy of these materials may be improved further by addressing the ways in which drivers rationalise their speeding behaviour.