London, 28 June 2001.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Hitting The Child - Missing The Point
The Government's new road safety ad sends the wrong message, says drivers' group.
The Association of British Drivers said today that the new 'Think' road safety ad will do little to improve road safety. The new ad shows a driver hitting a child as he drives through a built up area at 35 mph.

Brian Gregory, the ABD's Chairman commented:

"This advert encourages people to think they are safe because they drive at 30 mph. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many times when 30mph is far too fast for urban conditions and others when it is safe to go faster. We need to show drivers how to read the road ahead and make judgements correctly rather than telling them a fixed speed is safe. Paying attention to the road is far more important than a 5mph difference in speed. Until the so-called road safety campaigners understand and promote the enormous difference between exceeding an arbitrary limit and driving too fast for the conditions, deaths on the roads will not decrease. Only the latter is dangerous, yet only the former is being targeted."

The ABD believes the campaign needs to have a broader emphasis.

Gregory continues:

"We need to tell drivers about how important it is to look well ahead and anticipate - to see the child before he runs out and to be ready to avoid him should he do so."

The ABD also stresses the need for drivers to use observation links. For example, if a ball bounces into the road, wait for a child to run out after it. If one child runs across the road, expect his friend to follow him.

Brian Gregory concludes:

"Too many people turn their brains off when they turn their engines on. Government safety campaigns should switch them on again with useful and relevant advice. Drivers need to be more aware of what is going on around them."


Notes for Editors