The road code: encouraging more efficient driving practices in New Zealand
Scott, Michelle Grace; Lawson, Rob
Road transport contributes a significant amount towards New Zealand’s carbon emissions, mostly from light vehicles. These emissions could be partly reduced by an increase in more efficient driving practices, and reductions of 10–20% of fuel are possible without increasing trip times significantly. This study was conducted to understand whether people knew how to drive efficiently, whether they actually ever drove in an efficient manner and what ways there could be to influence people to drive more efficiently. Focus groups were conducted across New Zealand in urban and rural areas with groups of students, young professionals, parents and older people in order to cover different lifestyles and environments. These focus groups covered a wide range of topics including knowledge and practices of efficient driving, learning to drive, infrastructure and aspirations. Our results show that most people reported knowing the things they could do to be more fuel-efficient, however, despite this knowledge, they very rarely engaged in these practices. When they did consider fuel efficiency, it was almost always linked to saving fuel costs and environmental aspects were not considered. There is a clear lack of connection between carbon emissions and driving when people are in their cars. Better messages could be presented to drivers linking their driving practices to carbon emissions and therefore climate change. There are a range of other options where more efficient practices and choices could be encouraged depending on context, the driver and their way of life.
Publisher: Springer Link
ISSN: 1570-646X (Print); 1570-6478 (online)
Rights Statement: Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Transport Energy efficiency Behaviour Efficient driving
Research Type: Journal Article