Risk Perception and Demand For Risk Perception in Transport
T Rundmo, B-E Moen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO
The aims of this paper are to examine the associations between probability judgements, risk tolerance and demand for risk mitigation related to various types of transport amongst lay people, i.e. a representative sample of the Norwegian public, as well as experts and politicians in the country, determine the role of consequences relative to probability assessments in these models , and analyse the relation between probability assessments, evaluation of consequences of negative events, risk tolerance and demand for risk mitigation.
The results are based on a self completion questionnaire survey carried out in year 2004 among a representative sample of the Norwegian public (n=1500). In addition, a questionnaire survey have been carried out simultaneously among politicians and experts on transport safety (n=100).
Contrary to what is argued on the basis of previous studies (e.g. Slovic, 1999) the present study shows that it is the consequences rather than the probability which is important for demand of risk mitigation. There was also an association between judgement of consequences and affect and affect was related to the demand for risk mitigation. In accordance with other studies the results show that female respondents judged the risk to be greater compared to male respondents. Lay people also judged the risks to be less compared to experts and politicians.
What characterises the majority of traffic and transport risks is that the probability of a negative event is larger compared to other potentially hazardous risk sources. It may be that too little emphasis have been given to the importance of consequences in risk perception for explaining risk tolerance and demand for risk mitigation, hence, how risks become judged as problems for communities and for the society at large.
Association for European Transport