Professor Ioni Lewis

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PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (Queensland University of Technology)

Brief Biography Professor Ioni Lewis has extensive expertise in road safety and traffic psychology research, having commenced working in the field back in 2002 when undertaking her Honours project at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q), Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Currently, she is a Principal Research Fellow at CARRS-Q.   Ioni’s expertise is in the development and evaluation of road safety public education and advertising campaigns, drawing upon social psychological perspectives. She has led the development of an innovative conceptual framework, The Step approach to Message Design and Testing (SatMDT) which she has applied in relation to the development and evaluation of road safety campaigns addressing high risk behaviours. In 2016, the Hand in Hand: Let’s Go Places child pedestrian campaign was awarded the Excellence in Evaluation Award at the International Safety Media Awards in Tampere, Finland. Ioni has an extensive publication record comprising peer-reviewed journals, peer-reviewed full papers and abstracts for conferences, as well as reports for Government and Industry (see,_Ioni.html). She has been the Guest Editor of a special journal issue on “Communication, Media, and Road Safety Messages” within the Australasian College of Road Safety’s Journal.   Ioni has received invitations to present at international and national forums. In 2015, she was invited to the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa, USA to consult on the development and evaluation of a large-scale National Driver Safety Education Campaign funded by the National Safety Council. In 2014, she was invited to present at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia on health communications for road safety and injury prevention. Ioni was the developer and Chair of the Organising Committee for the inaugural Australasian Symposium of Health Communication, Advertising and Marketing (Health CAM) in 2014. The Symposium, the only one of its kind to be dedicated to Health Communications in Australasia, featured international and national experts as keynotes and invited guest presenters. Ioni was also Chair of the Scientific Committee of the (inaugural) 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference – the largest and premiere transport and road safety related conference in Australasia. Ioni was also Chair of the Organising Committee for the 2018 HealthCAM. After completing her PhD on “Factors which influence the Effectiveness of Advertising Countermeasures in Road Safety”, Ioni was awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, working with the Transport Accident Commission. This project sought to develop and evaluate a range of anti-speeding advertising messages with a particular focus on designing messages to influence young males as high risk road users. In her time at CARRS-Q, Ioni has been involved in various research projects undertaken via competitive funding (from external or internal grant schemes) as well as a range of tenders/commissioned research projects for key stakeholders including, for example, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Austroads. These projects regularly call upon her expertise regarding message content development, message evaluation, and/or evaluation methods. Ioni has expertise in mixed methods research methods, including both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Key Research Areas

  • Road safety advertising
  • Role of emotion (e.g., fear) in persuasion
  • Message design and evaluation (and evaluation methodologies including self-report and objective measures of persuasive processing and outcomes)
  • Health communication, persuasion, attitude-behaviour relations, and health behaviour change
  • Public education strategies
  • Factors which influence road users’ engagement in high risk behaviours

Projects (Chief investigator)


Additional information

Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
LP0990434: APDI (2009-2012)"A theory-based approach to the design and evaluation of anti-speeding messages to target high risk road users' attitudes and behaviours"In Australia, road crashes represent a significant public health concern, costing society $15B annually. A major factor contributing to the incidence and severity of road crashes is speeding. This research will design a range of theoretically-based advertising messages and evaluate the extent to which such messages persuade drivers to change their speeding-related attitudes and behaviour. The research will extend upon traditional, fear-based approaches by examining alternative approaches such as those that depict safe behaviour and incorporate positive emotions such as humour. The research will identify the most effective messages for motivating key groups of drivers to reduce their travel speeds.
A theory-based approach to the design and evaluation of anti-speeding messages to target high risk road users' attitudes and behaviours
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Road Safety; Speeding; Attitude Change; Behaviour Change; Public Education; Road User Behaviour