We’re keeping an eye on you

image001This multi-agency project, steered by the Wealden and Lewes Road Safety Action Group, uses insights from the behavioural sciences to reduce the number of people killed or injured on the roads in the Wealden District of East Sussex.  

Young male drivers are at particular risk, with the Wealden area being the fifth most dangerous area in the country to drive in, for that demographic. Other age groups and particular road users are also at risk.

A social marketing research project in conjunction with the University of Brighton has been undertaken and insights from the behavioural sciences used to scope, develop and brand the campaign. 

Roadside posters have been developed and evaluated and have been shown to have a positive impact on driver behaviour. Trials were designed using two methods:

  • Field trials on three stretches of road where covert roadside monitoring devices already exist (owned and managed by East Sussex County Council).
  • A self-completed questionnaire has been used to seek the opinions of motorists and other road users on the road-side posters.

Both trials delivered encouraging results and saw marked reductions in speed in the sites used. Feedback also assisted with improving the overall design of the poster.

The design of the posters is now right and they are being rolled out across both Wealden and other areas of East Sussex. Similarly designed signs with other important road safety messages are now also being considered.

The presentation will explain how using insights from the behavioural sciences can be used to improve driver behaviour, and detail this project including the evaluation and show how it is now being used in practice and on a wider geographical area. 

The presentation will ably demonstrate the combination of the three of the four ‘E’s’ – education, enforcement and underpinned by evaluation despite challenging budgetary and resource constraints.

Jeremy-LeachDr Jeremy Leach, Principal Policy Advisor, Wealden District Council

Jeremy Leach has been interested in human behaviour and what makes us tick for as long as he can remember.  That interest was heightened when he became an environmental health practitioner in the late 1970’s and has not diminished since.  Indeed he decided to take a degree in psychology to take his interest to the next level. 

Jeremy has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy which he gained from the University of Brighton in collaboration with King’s College, London. In addition he has studied for and gained, post graduate certificates in Research Methodology and Social Marketing also from the University of Brighton. He is a fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Royal Society for Public Health. 

He has trained, advised and assisted many organisations from the public and private sectors on how to use insights from the behavioural sciences to improve the customer experience, effectiveness and compliance.

Jeremy started the Wealden Behavioural Insights Team which now includes members from Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service. The team represents a new model of collaborative working on issues of common interest and uses insights from the behavioural sciences to improve outcomes for the agencies and the public.