In Tanzania in 2014, 3,760 people were killed on the roads, and 14,530 were injured (Tanzania Traffic Police, 2015). One barrier to addressing this problem is the fatalistic belief, common in Africa, that a road crash happens ‘because it has to happen’. However, another possible reason is a lack of knowledge about sources of risk when using the road. The purpose of this research was to test a traffic psychology training program designed to improve risk perception regarding road use among school children in a rural area in Tanzania. 211 Students at a school in the Arusha region of Tanzania received a 2-hour lesson developed and conducted by a traffic psychologist about road safety. The effectiveness of training in improving risk perception was measured through a Static Hazard Perception Task (SHPT) administered pre and post lesson. Results show that students identified a higher average number of hazards in the SHPT after the training than before. Notwithstanding limitations of the research, the results strongly suggest that applying a traffic psychology approach to road safety education fostered reflection in the students, about their experiences as road users. Implications for more effective road safety education in Africa are discussed.
- risk perception