Assessment of the Road Transport and Safety Agency's communication strategies for pedestrian road safety among children in Lusaka
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This report sought to assess the communication strategies used by the Road Transport and Safety Agency in pedestrian road safety among children below the age of 16. The study employed the Descriptive and Analytical Research Design. Triangulation of research methods was also used. Quantitative analysis was done using the SSPS and content analysis was used for qualitative data. The major findings were that RTSA employs a combination of different communication strategies to bring about pedestrian road safety awareness amongst children. The strategies include the use of mass media communication channels such as are television and radio. RTSA also uses posters, brochures, billboards, t-shirts, banners, newsletters, workshops, school clubs drama and musical concerts to disseminate road safety information. The research findings revealed that the majority of the respondents both parents and children had significant knowledge and understanding of road safety. However, the children’s road safety knowledge was biased towards road safety for motorists and passengers on motor vehicles as opposed to safety of pedestrians. The main source of road safety information for parents was television while the main source of road safety information for children was television followed by their parent/guardians. Findings further reveal that the majority of the parents thought that children’s Pedestrian road safety was not being given enough attention because of limited road safety awareness campaigns. The research also established that apart from road safety awareness campaigns, there was a lack of road safety infrastructure for pedestrian which was seen as a contributing factor to increased pedestrian road traffic accidents amongst children in Lusaka. The research established that RTSA communication strategies have not had the intended impact as the country has continued to record an increase in the pedestrian accident among children. The study concluded that RTSA’s road safety communication strategies by themselves would not significantly reduce pedestrian road accidents amongst children. There is need for the communication strategies to be combined with other intervention such as provision of pedestrian safety infrastructure and enforcement of traffic laws and regulations for the country to have sustainable reduction of pedestrian accidents amongst children.