Road Safety 2.0: A Case of Transforming Government’s Approach to Road Safety by Engaging Citizens through Web 2.0

Road Safety 2.0: A Case of Transforming Government’s Approach to Road Safety by Engaging Citizens through Web 2.0

Dieter Fink (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2071-1.ch018
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Abstract

The aim of this case study is first, to determine the extent to which web 2.0 can be the technology that would enable a strong relationship between government and its citizens to develop in managing road safety, and second, to examine the endeavours of the WA Office of Road Safety (ORS) in fostering the relationship. It shows that in ORS’ road safety strategy for 2008-2020, community engagement is strongly advocated for the successful development and execution of its road safety plan, but the potential of web 2.0 approaches in achieving it is not recognised. This would involve the use of blogs and RSSes as suitable push strategies to get road safety information to the public. Online civic engagement would harness collective intelligence (the wisdom of crowds) and, by enabling the public to annotate information on wikis, layers of value could be added so that the public become co-developers of road safety strategy and policy. The case identifies three major challenges confronting the ORS to become Road Safety 2.0 ready: how to gain the publics’ attention in competition with other government agencies, how to respond internally to online citizen engagement, and how to manage governmental politics.
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Setting The Stage

During the late 2000, the CRS formulated a strategic plan for road safety, based on the work carried out by the ORS, which was adopted by the WA government in 2009. “Towards Zero: Getting there together 2008-2020” contains strategies that aim to reduce road deaths and serious injuries on WA roads. The road map to achieving community participation (i.e., getting there together) is provided by another body within the WA government, namely the Office of e-Government (OEG). This body requires each agency to transform its approach to one that is citizen centric. It laid out a staged-approach which guides the agency to move from a mere static web presence to one that offers online access of services and transactions and then to reach a transformation stage in which strong relationships are developed between itself and the public.

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