The Public Health Approach
The National Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program 2017-2021 Strategic Plan takes a new (to the RBS community) approach to the planning and implementation of the initiatives. This is illustrated in the first item in Challenges & Opportunities:
“The goal is to influence and cause real boat operator and passenger behavioral change utilizing an evidence-based model, such as the Public Health Approach, through awareness, education, and other interventions that will result in increased situational awareness and safer recreational boating practices while underway.”
This new approach represents a cultural and system shift for most of the state recreational boating safety agencies in the National RBS Program. As such, it is critical that the major contributors to the implementation and success of the National RBS Program – namely, the state boating safety agencies – become fluent in the public health approach to injury prevention.