In Summary

  • Road safety video shows how understanding of truck driving changes behaviour of young drivers around trucks
  • Re:act program a collaboration over three years with Swinburne School of Design

Re:act has released a new road safety video that demonstrates how an understanding of truck driving changes the behaviour of young drivers around trucks. The video features interviews with truck drivers and Swinburne Communication Design (Honours) students.

The students took part in this year’s Re:act road safety behaviour change program, that focused on 18-25 year olds and their understanding of road safety around trucks. In the video, students talk about how Re:act opened their eyes to the challenges facing truck drivers.

They relate how this improved their understanding and changed the way they behave on the road near trucks. Truck drivers also feature in the video and share the challenges they face on our roads.

The video was developed by Melbourne creative agency Hard Edge with the support of Swinburne, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, the National Road Safety Partnership program, Transport Accident Commission, the Australian Trucking Association, and Mr Smith Productions (video production).

The content is shot in a controlled studio environment, with the focus firmly on capturing the experience and emotions of the interviewees. The purpose of the video is two-fold.

“It’s designed to build empathy for truck drivers by humanising them and breaking negative stereotypes. This is achieved by their descriptions of frightening encounters they’ve had on the road in an emotive way that shows their more vulnerable and ‘human’ side.

The student testimonies show how awareness and understanding can create behaviour change in young road users,” says Swinburne Communication Design Honours Course Director, Associate Professor Nicki Wragg.

Initiated by Hard Edge, the Re:act program has been a collaboration over three years with the Swinburne School of Design involving Communication Design (Honours) students. From its inception design students have created campaigns educating young drivers about - Safer Use of Mobile Phones in Vehicles, Driving the Morning After Drinking, and this year, Safe Interaction of 18-25 Year Old Road Users With Trucks.

The 2018 Re:act program gained the most traction due to the exposure and support the student works received at the ARRB Awards, the ATA Conference, student presentations to the ARRB Steering Committee and seminar for Transurban. Re:act is the brainchild of Hard Edge and Andrew Hardwick, Managing Director of Hard Edge.

“The number of trucks on Australian roads is expected to double in the next twenty years and major projects, like the Melbourne Metro tunnel are increasing interactions between cars and trucks, particularly on city roads,” explains Hardwick.

“We need creative and innovative ways to change attitudes and inspire drivers to change their behaviour around trucks,” he says.

The video is a powerful way to humanise truck drivers, to make people see that trucks are not just big vehicles but have real people behind the wheel. It will be broadcast across Australia.

Swinburne students shared their work at Swinburne’s Open Day in July this year and Melbourne Metro have asked them to share the program at their construction sites near the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.

Read more news on design at Swinburne.