Road transport is recognized as a high risk mode of transport. The World Health Organization estimated that every year road accidents account for 1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries worldwide. Road collisions have been implicated as the main cause of death of those aged 45 years and below. The total socio-economic cost of road crashes is around £17 billion per year. More people are killed on the road than by any other forms of transportation.

In Shell, road accident is the single largest cause of fatalities. A large proportion of these crashes were preceded by one or more traffic offences. These offences are mostly behavioral and not system or situation induced.

On an aggregate level, traffic offences are the major contributory factor to road crashes and injuries. Yet, in comparison with other types of road safety activity, relatively insufficient effort is being put on behavioral safety to prevent road users from committing offences. In view of the many other pressing problems facing the average road user, the concept of ‘state of mind’ becomes a key issue in enforcing compliance to traffic rules.

In most countries, road traffic regulation enforcement typically has low priority. While traffic levels continue to rise, several countries appear to be devoting fewer resources to traffic rules enforcement than they were several years ago. Traffic rules and regulation enforcement are poorly budgeted for and mostly slaughtered on the alter of so called more expedient national issues. Yet, we do know that nothing could be more expedient than attending to the un-abating carnage on our roads, which is progressively decimating the future by the death of the young and able.

Much of the knowledge that has been gained through enforcement experiments and demonstration projects carried out over the years has not yet been translated generally into strategies that effectively change road behavior, reduce crash risk or reduce injury severity. Any such strategy would only succeed to the extent to which it affects and positively influences the thought process of the individual road user. This is the link between hearts and minds and road traffic rules enforcement. This link guarantees that a very substantial safety benefit would be achieved if road users were to be deterred from committing traffic law offences.

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