A new THINK! campaign urges young drivers on essential journeys to ‘be the mate who won’t speed’ to keep themselves and others safe on the road, and help reduce pressure on the NHS.
The new campaign, which is part of the THINK! Mates Matter strategy, will use social media assets, influencers and a partnership with LADbible to ‘normalise and champion’ positive behaviours, and radio and digital audio ads to deliver ‘in the moment’ interventions.
Statistics show there was a sharp increase in the proportion of cars speeding during the UK’s first national lockdown in March/April 2020.
While compliance rates returned to 2019 levels during the summer months, there are concerns that with lockdown restrictions back in place, speeding could creep back up to peak levels as drivers take advantage of quieter roads.
With darker mornings and evenings, and lower temperatures, creating potentially treacherous conditions during the current national lockdown, the new THINK! campaign urges young drivers to rethink the excuses they make for speeding – such as being in a hurry or driving on roads they think they know well.
According to black box insurer insurethebox, drivers are more likely to have a collision in the winter than summer, with the increase among men double (13.7%) the increase among women (6.2%).
THINK! says this raises concerns that men are more likely to overestimate their driving ability in bad weather conditions.
Government research also suggests that male drivers aged 17-24 years are more likely to demonstrate risky behaviours and attitudes compared to the general population, and admit to driving faster on roads they are familiar with or when they are in a hurry.
Only 38% of men aged 17-24 years believe it is very risky to drive too fast on a country road (compared with 62% of the general population), while only 14% consider it very risky to exceed the speed limit (42% of the general population).
Baroness Vere, transport minister, said: “During lockdown, it’s vital we all stay at home and only travel for permitted reasons. If you must travel, remember – there’s no need to speed. It’s not only illegal, but it puts your life and the lives of those around you at risk.
“We’re continuing to work tirelessly to change attitudes that lead to speeding, particularly by challenging attitudes among high-risk young men and ensuring there are tough penalties and strict enforcement measures in place for those who disobey the law.”