This paper reviews approaches to three public health-related behaviours about which public perceptions and attitudes have changed radically – smoking, seat belt wearing, and drink driving. The paper examines the evolution of policies and strategies designed to manage these public health issues and bring about enduring changes in peoples behaviour. In each case, identification and understanding of them problem has derived from epidemiological investigations of the behaviours themselves, which in turn have provided the basis for the introduction of control measures. This has significant implications for improved management of travelling speed.