An elicitation of speeding behaviour beliefs in school zones in Australia
Keywords: Driver Psychology / Human Factors
Submission Date: 2012
This elicitation study was designed to explore salient behavioural, normative, and control beliefs in accordance with the Theory Planned Behaviour (TPB) and in relation to drivers‟ speeding behaviour in school zones. The study also explored mindfulness and habit as additional constructs in the TPB framework. The aim of this study was to identify those beliefs which influenced drivers‟ speeding behaviour in school zones and thus gain greater insight into the motivating factors underpinning the behaviour which may inform interventions to reduce this behaviour. Seventeen Australian drivers participated in one of a series of focus group discussions. Overall, conceptual content analysis revealed some similar issues across the groups. In particular, highlighting the influence of behavioural and normative beliefs, there was much agreement that there were no real advantages to speeding in school zones with the behaviour considered dangerous and unacceptable and likely to also be regarded as such by important others. In addition, given the public concern about safety of school children, acknowledgment of such concern represented an important factor discouraging one‟s likelihood of engaging in speeding in school zones (i.e., complying with the school zone speed limit). However, despite normative support not to speed, and the need to ensure children‟s safety as an important factor discouraging speeding, the study also found that there was a tendency for drivers to report unintentionally speeding in a school zone. Instances of unintentional speeding were reported as occurring due to several reasons including a driver‟s current affective state (e.g., more likely to speed in a school zone if they were in a bad mood), the extent to which they were familiar with the environment (i.e., more likely to drive mindlessly – on „autopilot‟ – in more familiar contexts) and when feeling fatigued. The theoretical implications of including mindfulness and habit with TPB constructs and the practical implications in terms of suggested interventions are discussed.