A £2.3m advertising campaign launched last week to warn of the risks of driving whilst under the influence of drugs has received a mixed reception from the British public and road safety experts.
The television advert warns motorists that police can spot the involuntary signs of someone being under the influence of drugs if they are stopped. These signs include severely dilated or constricted pupils. The advert shows a car carrying several young people with their eyes enlarged, adding: “Your eyes will give you away.”
Young men aged between 17 and 29 are thought to be most likely to drive while on illegal drugs. Indeed, a recent survey in Scotland suggested that 81% of clubbers have driven whilst under the influence of illegal drugs.
The Department for Transport (DfT) estimates that as many as one in five drivers or motorcyclists killed in road accidents may have an impairing drug (legal or illegal) in their system. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in a recent interview, “Whatever one’s views on drug taking, we’ve got to make it absolutely socially unacceptable to drive while under the influence of drugs, because it can kill.”
Today, the goverment launches it’s latest campaign against drivers texting whilst on the move. The Think! campaign is especially targetted at young drivers, 30% of whom admit to texting at the wheel.
The Department for Transport noted that using a mobile phone at the wheel is considered the second most unacceptable driving behaviour among motorists with 93% agreeing that texting while driving is dangerous. However, 12% of all motorists admit to texting while driving.
Whilst online this morning, I came across this unbelivable video from CNN, showing a bus driver, driving disabled passengers in Texas, crashing into stationary traffic whilst texting:
The new radio campaign features a driver’s voice spelling out a text message followed by the harrowing sound of a car crash. Click here to listen to it.
An online ‘driving challenge’ game is also available, which demonstrates how using a mobile at the wheel can completely distract the driver. Try it out for yourself!
Following the recent publication of the results of the DSA’s Learning to Drive Consultation comes the Government’s latest document seeking views on the vision, targets and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain beyond 2010.
“Making Britain’s Roads Safer” is the title of the consultation document, and we would urge you all to get involved and make your opinions known. The full document and related research articles can be found here. The closing date for this consultation is 14th July 2009.
The key challenges for the new strategy are as follows:
reducing the number of road deaths, which have fallen at a slower rate than serious injuries;
pedestrian and cyclist casualties in our towns and cities – particularly in deprived communities;