Targeting Specific Audiences

There are major differences in the walking abilities, behavioral patterns, and learning capacities of different groups of pedestrians and other road users. For example, children have different physical and psychological abilities than adult pedestrians, young drivers exhibit different behaviors and driving skills than older drivers, and college age pedestrians may be reached through educational outlets that differ from those of other groups. Because of this, educational programs need to be tailored to the specific audiences they intend to address and to the behaviors they seek to modify.

Common audiences for pedestrian-related education programs include:

  1. Road users, including drivers (young, adult, or older), bicyclists, and pedestrians (children, college age pedestrians, the drinking population, adults/parents/neighbors, older pedestrians, etc.)
  2. Commuters/employees
  3. Transportation officials and decision makers, including engineers, planners, developers, local officials/leaders, and law enforcement officers

For each of these groups, it is important to consider:

  1. When and how the audience should receive information—for instance, children, depending on their stage of development, may not be able to understand certain messages or complicated images used to convey messages
  2. Demographic factors—for example, how the percentage of non-English speakers in a community affects the educational materials developed or how people with disabilities or low-income populations can get access to the information

For ideas on messages and strategies for educating these audiences, see Relaying Important Messages.