Since the first year of performances, 2005, of Safe Drive Stay Alive Surrey, six independent evaluations have been commissioned, the latest of which, that began in October 2015, was the most ambitious in terms of the number of schools and students involved, the length of the study, the use of a comparison group and the achievement of statistically significant results.

SDSA Surrey and SDSA Greater Manchester (GM) jointly commissioned Road Safety Analysis to undertake the evaluation, analysing data to find any evidence of young people’s attitude to driving being positively effected, up to 12 months after attending. The evaluation evidenced some positive changes, with statistically significant reductions in the level of young people’s willingness to undertake risky behaviours at 3 months and 12 months after attending.

In October 2015 (before performances), March 2016 and October 2016, questionnaires were distributed to schools and colleges in Surrey and Greater Manchester, 23 of which were in Surrey. Students formed the Intervention group, or the Comparison group, who did not attend SDSA. At Stage 1, over 2100 completed questionnaires were received from the Intervention group students and 308 from the Comparison group. This was followed by over 1900 and 482 returns at Stage 2 and 1100 and 479 returns at Stage 3. Such large sample sizes enabled rigorous statistical testing, which revealed statistically significant improvements, both at 3 months and 12 months, for the Intervention group, over and above the Comparison group. Such findings related to young people’s willingness to take risks, friends’ likelihood to take risks, family approval, friends’ approval and attitudes. The data from Surrey and Manchester, with very different socio-economic profiles, produced very similar positive results.

The evaluation also found that neither ‘’passenger related behaviours’’ nor ‘’personal vulnerability’’ changed or improved to a statistically significant extent. From these results, a number of recommendations were made, including to ‘’adapt the intervention to include more passenger focus’’, ‘’highlight the alternative consequences of risky behaviour, such as loss of freedom, mobility and the resulting social stigma’’ and to ‘’introduce credible coping mechanisms, either through SDSA itself or follow up lessons’’.

These recommendations have a been a focus for development in 2016, 2017 and into 2018. Work being undertaken to aim to address these recommendations includes extending learning through the Young Driver’s Guide, the Follow Up Tutor Resource Pack, incorporating additional Behaviour Change Techniques, and, most recently, Road Safety GB Connect.

The full reports can be viewed via the links below.