Using Behavioural Insights and co-design to reduce road safety risk - a more in-depth discussion from the main conference presentation

In 2019, injury rates amongst South Asian communities in Birmingham were far higher than city averages. STATS19 revealed that a significant proportion of these injuries were passenger casualties. This strongly suggested that a proportion of passengers were not wearing seatbelts. An observational study, conducted with our client, Birmingham City Council, not only demonstrated that this was indeed the case, but that the rate of non-seatbelt use was far greater than anyone had envisaged.

Whilst nationally, the rate of non-use of seatbelts was sitting at around 8% (DfT 2018), locally it was a 38%. A staggering 5x times higher than the national average!

Another key insight was that previous national seatbelt campaigns (considered instrumental in achieving one of the lowest road-casualty-rates in the world), had repeatedly failed to reach and engage people from these communities, resulting in a health-inequality that had remained hidden and unaddressed for many years.

The Road Safety Trust found this work to be of wider national interest and subsequently funded Birmingham City Council and So-Mo to design a solution based on the integration of Behavioural Science and co-design. This required the involvement of the people most impacted by this problem, namely young adults of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian heritage in Birmingham.

Participants in this workshop will come away with an understanding of why codesigning road safety interventions with the local community and other specialists with a range of expertise is so important. Participants will learn:

  • The components of a good co-design group
  • The value of looking again at your data – spot what’s hidden
  • The benefits of using digital ethnography/self-ethnography to gather insights
  • The importance of testing the efficacy of your intervention before you scale up

Nicola Wass, CEO and Founder, So-Mo 

Nicola Wass is the CEO and Founder of So-Mo Mo. She brings the human perspective to the heart of policy, service, and intervention design.

Her clients include national and local government including Highways England, UK local authorities, Hospital Trusts and global NGOs.

Never afraid to follow paths that seem counter-intuitive, Nicola is valued for her ability to challenge conventional thinking, engaging clients, and contributors as willing partners on the journey.

Her work has featured on: Good Morning Britain, Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’, Wright Stuff, The One Show and also in national newspapers including the Times and the Telegraph.

Dr Holly Hope Smith, Head of Behavioural Science, So-Mo

Holly is So-Mo’s Head of Behavioural Science. As well as a practicing academic at Manchester University, she holds honorary research posts at the Karolinska Institute.

She brings a deep understanding of the theory that underpins nudging and behaviour change methodologies. All her work involves identifying the drivers of change needed to make positive impacts in a real-world setting.

She has published several academic papers including the Lancet and is a regular presenter on the international stage.

Lelde Krumina, So-Mo

Having graduated with Distinctions in Psychology (MSc) from The University of St Andrews and Humanities (MLitt) from the University of Dundee, Lelde has spent three years developing her expertise in the field of behavioural science and psychology through Research Assistant roles within academia and the private sector.

Since joining the So-Mo team, Lelde has taken on the responsibility of coordinating user research activity, moderating mobile ethnography projects and analysing/synthesising research outputs and maintaining regular communications with clients and project partners.