What is CAST?

CAST - Campaigns and Awareness-raising Strategies in Traffic Safety
Designing and implementing mass media campaigns and evaluating their (isolated) effect on traffic accidents and other performance indicators

CAST is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) set up with the support of the European Commission, to meet the Commission’s needs for enhancing traffic safety by means of effective road safety campaigns.

CAST aims at developing and assessing an evaluation tool for road safety campaigns. These handbooks will enable the EC to design and to implement future campaigns and to evaluate their (isolated) effect on traffic accidents and other performance indicators.

The project is carried out by a consortium of 19 partners and coordinated by the Belgian Road Safety Institute (IBSR-BIVV).

Objectives

Scientific and technological objectives of the project: Meeting the requirements of the European Commission
CAST is a Specific Targeted Research Project supported by the European Commission, aimed at meeting the Commission’s needs for enhancing traffic safety by means of effective road safety campaigns.

In the White paper (1) on European transport policy, published in 2001, the EC adopted an ambitious mid-term strategic objective: namely to reduce the number of road fatalities in the EU by half by the year 2010. It supports the realization of pan-European road safety campaigns to contribute to this objective. Consequently, the EC wishes to provide powerful and innovative guidelines to design, implement and evaluate road safety campaigns to improve future campaigns. The evaluation tool has to be based on a methodology capable of isolating the effects of a campaign among effects interfering from other parallel measures and has to focus on the direct impact sought which is the reduction of the number of killed and injured in traffic.

The CAST project is assembled to meet the demand for such powerful and innovative guidelines to design, implement and evaluate road safety campaigns that can be used by the Member States, by the EC for its own campaigns (or campaigns financed by the EC) and by other stakeholders. These handbooks will be used to evaluate a real campaign under development by the EU and as a demonstration for the design and implementation of a pan-European campaign aiming to support the implementation of new measures to improve road safety. These handbooks are aimed at identifying the necessary knowledge concerning the driver’s psychology as well as the needs in statistical data. It will make it possible to evaluate the impact of cultural diversity on the object and of the contents and nature of the campaigns.

More precisely, CAST will provide two practical tools: an evaluation tool aiming at isolated effects of road safety campaigns on road crashes and other outcome variables (various safety performance indicators like safety awareness or seatbelt wearing rates, prevalence of drink driving, etc.); and a manual for road safety campaigns based on existing research and new results produced in CAST. The evaluation tool will enable a thorough evaluation of a single campaign, while developing a tool for the joint evaluation of several campaigns, i.e. meta-analysis is considered to be beyond the scope of this proposal. The design tool will be developed as a manual consisting of clear guidelines to design and implement a road safety campaign.

The project is led by the Belgian Road Safety Institute and includes all of the major EU groups with skills and experience of the subject of road safety campaigns. The broad objective of this proposal is to establish a temporary structure that will bring together relevant expertise within the EU. This information will be fundamentally oriented to support the policy needs of the EC, i.e. the need for effective road safety campaigns aimed at enhancing traffic safety and the need for ready-to-use evaluation and design tools for fieldworkers.

(1) EC, 2001. White Paper – European Transport Policy for 2010 – Time to Decide. EC, Luxembourg.