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Australian television is road safety role model



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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

45/91

1 March 1991

AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION IS ROAD SAFETY ROLE MODEL

A special report examining the portrayal of road use and alcohol on Australian television has praised local producers for their responsible attitudes to road safety.

The report, released today by the Minister for Land Transport, Bob Brown, said many Australian shows and car- related advertising depicted responsible motorist behaviour including seat belt use.

In contrast the report is critical of certain American shows which contain many depictions of speeding, dangerous driving and few road safety messages.

The study, entitled Portrayals of Driving and Alcohol in Popular Television Programmes Screened in Australia was prepared for the Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) by the University of New England's Psychology Department.

'The study compared Australian and American television shows and alcohol advertising to gather information on many road safety education issues.

'Findings suggested some alcohol advertising aimed at males had the potential to reduce the perceived need for self control regarding alcohol and driving', Mr Brown said.

'Also road crashes were treated as jokes in some television advertising raising some concern at effects on driving behaviour.

'The report's release would help increase awareness in the television industry of the importance of showing desirable behaviour to road users.

'Increased awareness of these important issues to educate road users would help cut the high social and economic costs of road crashes'.

During a week in November 1989, 54.5 hours of high rating television programming identified by AGB McNair was sampled in the study which followed changes to alcohol advertising guidelines.

The study follows a 1987 project commissioned by FORS to monitor and analyse the road safety content of childrens television.

Media contact: Brian Hill (06) 277 7440

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