In January 1985 a survey was conducted to provide information about road safety officers'(RSOs) contribution to the teaching of road safety education in schools and colleges, and their associated activities related to that involvement. Questionnaires were sent to the senior RSOs of 91 local authorities throughout the United Kingdom, and 83 (91 per cent) responded. The replies indicated that RSOs were in contact with a majority of, but not all, schools and colleges. RSOs were involved in showing films to pupils, giving road safety talks and arranging practical demonstrations. They also provided road safety education materials for teachers and pupils and helped teachers to plan their road safety programmes. Nearly half of the 83 authorities ran training courses for practising teachers, but only 14 had any contact with student teachers. Nearly all authorities offered practical training. Types of training included cyclist, moped rider, motorcyclist, pre-driver, car driver and vehicle maintenance. RSOs in 65 authorities reported that they had developed their own road safety education materials for use in schools. These materials have been more widely distributed to primary schools than have commercially produced materials. RSOs felt that the dissemination of road safety education materials was being hindered by a shortage of road safety staff, the low status accorded to road safety education, teachers'lack of interest in road safety and poor communication between teachers in schools. (A)

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