Using shock tactics

Some groups that work with schools and students may use video clips, images or testimonials to scare young people about the negative consequences of risky road behaviour. With good intentions, they hope that young people will change their behaviour.

Research says that using shock or fear tactics to frighten young people generally don't work. Those who are affected and likely to accept the message about acting safel,y are usually the ones not engaging in risky behaviours to start with!

Fear and shock tactics are least effective in those who most need to change their behaviour. Others will reject the messages by denying, ridiculing, neutralising or minimising them.

We do not recommend the use of shock or fear tactics with students in our schools.

The curriculum content aims to build on knowledge, understanding and skills and challenge attitudes towards road safety rather than rely on scaring or frightening the audience.

Source: What doesn't work for young road users and why, Road Safety Education, Victoria 2013

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