Communication Strategies to Influence Audience Behavior: The Case of Road Traffic Safety Radio Programs in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


This study examined the effect of road traffic safety radio programs on road use behavior of audiences and the communication strategies being employed to achieve this purpose. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were chosen as methods of inquiring for this study. To collect data through a questionnaire for the quantitative survey, a total sample of 180 respondents from two Kebeles of Kirkos Sub-city in Addis Ababa, the study area, were contacted mainly through multi-stage sampling that combines random sampling and stratified sampling. The qualitative approach employed in-depth interviews with 13 audiences and road safety experts, text analysis of six months’ road traffic safety radio programs, and observation of commuters’ actual road use behavior focusing on whether pedestrians use zebra markings when they cross streets. The analysis of data collected revealed that the majority of the respondents are aware of the prevalence and preventability of road traffic injuries. As to the medias’ role in awareness raising and causing behavior change among the public, there is a significant effort of coverage, but because they do not base their efforts on theoretically and practically recommended BCC theories, and due to the fact that the mediated efforts are not backed up by interpersonal communication, it is revealed that actual road use behavior has not yet met expectations or what it is claimed to have been. The study finally attempted to give recommendations for future road safety intervention programs.



Strategies to Influence Audience Behavior