TMS hosted a road user behaviour seminar on 10 January at the Chase Hotel in Coventry. The event was attended by over 45 practitioners and academics from across the UK, and was designed to give opportunities for discussion of new ideas relating to road users. George Dunbar, a psychologist from Warwick University, discussed issues regarding children's difficulties in transferring generalised road safety messages into specific risk situations. Ian Walker, a psychologist from the University of Bath suggested that cyclists were adversely singled out by other road users, leading to them suffering an increased perception of risk. This he believed was due to them choosing their mode of travel, whilst other users largely travel "by default". Poppy Husband, from Devon County Council's Road Safety Group talked about some of the factors leading to increased risk taking in younger male and female drivers. And finally Paul Hewson, a statistician from Plymouth University, discussed some of the factors relating to recent research on motorcycle collisions, suggesting that the "born again biker" phenomena may be due to demographics rather than a real effect, and, that whatever your age, you are more likely to be injured or killed if you ride a large motorbike compared to a smaller one.
Following the formal sessions in the morning, a series of workshops were held in the afternoon, which encouraged further discussion of the issues.
The day was chaired by TMS Director Steve Proctor, who said "The morning speakers gave us a lot of food for thought, in each case new ideas were presented that challenged our conventional ways of thinking about road user behaviour. The afternoon workshops were very animated - I'm sure the delegates went home with lots of new ideas".
TMS intends to repeat the seminar later in the year, at a venue in the north of England.