Moldovan Speed Awareness Pilot Project
EASST Expertise consultants managed a ground-breaking programme in Moldova piloting Speed Awareness courses for drivers.
The project, developed and piloted a tailor-made course for speed offenders modelled on the UK’s unique National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.
Initial work started in December 2014 when a study tour to the UK for Moldovan police officials took place. The Officers viewed UK Speed Awareness courses and the impact they made on driver behaviour. A further study tour was organised in April 2015 to learn more about the administration of driver courses linked to traffic offences. The decision was then taken to explore the development of Speed Awareness courses in Moldova.
Following this Tatiana Mihailova conducted a research survey looking at the attitudes of speed offenders in Moldova. The survey found major differences between the attitudes and knowledge of Moldovan and UK driver offenders. The Moldovans were better at knowing the legal speed limits, but more tolerant of speeding behaviour, thought there was little chance of being caught, and believed that others in the community would not disapprove of speeding.
Using this data, a bespoke pilot Speed Awareness Course was developed with the supported of a leading Health Psychologist from Leeds Metropolitan University. EASST Director, Emma MacLennan, trained police and civilian trainers to administer the new Moldovan Speed Awareness Course. Following this course, these new trainers trained three groups of Moldovan drivers and speed offenders – a three-hour course that challenged drivers’ beliefs, tested their knowledge, and left them with new skills for speed avoidance. In all 30 drivers went through the course. Their attitudes both before and after were measured to assess the course’s impact.
The results were clear: On a scale of 1-9 (with 9 being ‘excellent’), on average course participants rated the training as:
- Important? (8.5 out of 9)
- Relevant to you? (8 out of 9)
- Useful to you? (8.3 out of 9)
- Interesting? (8.5 out of 9)
Participants gave an 8 out of 9 rating for the ability of the course to improve community safety, encourage people to speed less often and create safer drivers in Moldova:
- Ability to improve community safety (8 out of 9)
After completing the course participants associated significantly fewer positives with speeding, and significantly more negatives. People reported they would find it easier to avoid speeding in future and would speed less often. Most importantly, participants now reported it was morally wrong to speed – a significant predictor of future speeding behaviour.
Draft legislation is now being prepared to enable Speed Awareness Courses to be carried out more extensively in Moldova. It is hoped to be able to run a larger pilot linked to speed enforcement, and to develop the framework for linking course participation to penalty points on drivers’ licences – with points waived for those successfully completing the course.
- EU TRACECA II Road Safety Programme
- US Embassy in Moldova
- UK National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.
- Addressing speed risk
- Police enforcement
- Research and data analysis
- Policy and legislative change
- Stakeholder engagement
- Behavioural change
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