Keele research project launches road safety guide to reduce mobile phone use by drivers

A Keele research project led by Dr Helen Wells, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, and Dr Leanne Savigar, Research Assistant in Criminology, has published a compendium reviewing the innovations currently in operation aimed at reducing mobile phone use by drivers and helping to encourage research-informed practice.

The compendium, Mobile:Engaged: Engaging with driving change, funded by a Road Safety Trust grant, was launched at an event at Keele Hall on Tuesday 12 March, attended by nearly 60 practitioners, policy-makers, stakeholders and academics. The afternoon also saw the launch of the Roads Policing Academic Network – an inter-disciplinary network of over 35 academics from 29 different institutions who are working in this policy area.

The project’s aim was to encourage practitioners to engage with academic research to design effective methods of tackling mobile phone usage amongst drivers. On the importance of sharing academically-informed ideas, Dr Wells said: “Through our bespoke Knowledge Exchange Consultations we wanted to offer as many practitioners as possible the chance to engage with academic research without having to digest it all themselves, and without having to commission and fund academics or consultants to come and digest it for them.”

The launch event featured presentations from five of the 20 projects that Mobile:Engaged worked with, as well as exhibition stands promoting a range of interventions from drama productions to technological approaches.

Dr Wells commented: “The Road Safety Trust grant has meant that we’ve been able to meet over 20 teams, learn about over 70 innovations, and demonstrate the value of drawing on the research evidence to design effective projects.

“As well as sharing good practice between practitioners, we have ensured there is useful information for police officers, road safety officers, technology companies, charities, drama groups, schools, in fact, the compendium is aimed at anyone who is trying to do something about preventing mobile phone use by drivers.”

Visit the Mobile:Engaged project for more information, and an electronic copy of the compendium will be available there shortly.