CYCLING WITH FOCUS
EEN ONTWERP VOOR VEILIG GEDRAG
PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM USING THEIR SMARTPHONES IN TRAFFIC
Children born after 2007 have grown up with smartphones. These children are currently in primary school, but in just a few years they will be participating in traffic on their own. There is a good chance that these children with smartphones will also use them in traffic, and will therefore run a greater risk of being involved in an accident. This has prompted the Province of Utrecht to do something about the issue.
As a first step, the Province of Utrecht has asked our research group to study the issue due to our innovative expertise about behaviour. The goal was to determine what the most effective investment might be.
The research project was asked to answer the following questions:
- Which target group and desired behaviour should the Province of Utrecht focus on first?
- Which intervention would be most effective to encourage the chosen target group to display the desired behaviour? Should we focus the intervention on the desired behaviour, or on creating a new norm?
- Which conditions must the intervention meet in order to be effective?
In this study, the PubLab worked together with the creative parties, innovation studio Moorgen, and service design bureau Ideate in order to offer a comprehensive package of scientifically based analysis, and to apply it to concrete ideas and solutions.
The project consisted of the following phases:
– research into the target group and desired behaviour
– from data to individuals
– development of interventions and strategies and reporting
Each phase focused on the primary school pupils and their environment, and of ‘getting into the heads of the target group’. Conversations with educators, literature analysis, observations of cycling primary and secondary school students, kitchen-table discussions with parents and children, and a knowledge session with experts on traffic and youth all helped the researchers to gain a clearer understanding of what motivates young people to use smartphones while cycling, and what prevents them from doing so. These insights into the target group enabled the researchers to identify potential ‘hotspots’ for behavioural change.
The study of primary and secondary school students showed that this is an extremely complex problem. Students’ lives change dramatically when they go from primary to secondary school. They cycle longer distances, face a new school system, their social circle changes, they begin searching for their own identity, begin to doubt rules imposed from above, and learn how to debate and put things into perspective. The researchers also observed that primary school children are less likely to display problematic behaviour, such as operating a smartphone while cycling.
A single intervention during primary school is therefore not enough to prevent young people from using smartphones and cycling. An effective intervention should take the transition from primary school to secondary school into consideration. The researchers therefore recommend a multi-year intervention strategy during several phases of the young people’s lives: the last two years of primary school, the transition to the first year of secondary school, and during secondary school. Intervention concepts have been developed for each phase to address the changes that the target group goes through during that phase, based on the ‘hotspots’ identified during the study.
WIE WAREN ALLEMAAL BIJ DIT PROJECT BETROKKEN?
Publab: Amber Ronteltap, Sandra Bukman, Liedewij Vogelzang, Karen Hilhorst, en Tim van Eijl
Timeframe: april- november 2016