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Leeds Beckett academic's drive to improve road safety

A Leeds Beckett academic has published an award-winning guide for road safety experts on ways they can intervene in bad driving habits and improve road safety.

Fiona (second from right) with Prince Michael of Kent receiving her award. Professor Mark Sullman (left), of Middle East Technical University, who also contributed to the project, and Elizabeth Box (right) from the RAC Foundation. 

Dr Fiona Fylan, a Health Psychologist based in the Leeds Sustainability Institute at the University, completed the guide for the RAC Foundation earlier this year.

The research looks at the methods road safety practitioners can adopt to cause a change in driver behaviour with the aim of reducing the number of young people injured in car crashes, increasing the number of people who take refresher driving lessons and increasing active travel.

Dr Fylan won the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for her research, which recognises outstanding international road safety initiatives. Dr Fylan received the award at the ceremony at The Savoy on 12 December from Prince Michael of Kent.

She said: “This guide is fundamental in helping road safety practitioners to design ways of changing how people behave on the roads.

Steering wheel

“Research in behaviour change can be difficult for practitioners to access and apply, so the RAC Foundation commissioned me to write a guide that describes the latest research on behaviour change techniques in an accessible and engaging format.

“The guide has been tremendously popular and is changing the way in which road safety practitioners tackle injuries and deaths on the roads across the UK.

“It allows road safety practitioners to successfully apply behaviour change techniques when designing interventions to change behaviour. I was delighted to win the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of this piece of work.”

Leeds Beckett University is using Dr Fylan’s guide in a project for Leeds City Council that aims to reduce air pollution and improve air quality in the city centre.


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