London, 25th July 2001.
For immediate release.

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See It - Miss It!
An effective road safety campaign is proposed by the Association of British Drivers
The ABD calls for an end to the single issue approach to government road safety campaigns and puts forward some suggestions.

Many years of road safety policy focused almost entirely upon getting drivers to adhere to often unrealistic speed limits has been a dismal failure in reducing road deaths and injuries. Another 3,400 are scheduled to die this year. 3,200 WILL NOT be as a result of excess speed! The ABD suggests that the Government must now learn from this experience and turn its attention to the real causes of accidents which are almost invariably lack of concentration, poor observation and lack of hazard awareness skills.

The ABD have put forward the following suggested series of advertisements to the government which concentrate upon things drivers can see for themselves and will believe, rather than relying upon numerical values that clearly bear no relation to the road they are on. We urge the government to take some positive action to reduce casualties and adopt these suggestions:

The 'SEE IT - MISS IT!' Campaign:

  1. "Always drive at a speed where you can safely stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Assume there is a mother pushing a pram beyond every corner. One day there just might be!" This advert would show a vehicle rounding a blind bend and hitting a pram.

  2. "Never allow your concentration to wander from the road. You never know when that child might run out" This advert would have three versions. The first would show a driver chatting to a passenger when a child steps out from behind a parked car. The second, a driver changing a tape. The third, a driver using a mobile phone.

  3. "Watch out for cyclists, pedestrians, horses and motorcyclists". They are not always easy to spot but they are VERY easy to kill! The key to safe driving is good observation. Always position yourself for maximum vision of potential hazards and keep your eyes on the road". This advert would show a driver taking an extra look at a road junction and spotting an approaching cyclist.

  4. "When did you last brush up on your driving skills? We could all learn something. Contact this freephone number for details of driver training courses in your area" This would involve an answering service being set up giving details of local contacts for advanced training courses. It would show a driver negotiating a roundabout incorrectly and the effect it has on other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

  5. "Don't drive when tired". This advert would show a driver falling asleep in lane one of a motorway and drifting into lane two with disastrous results.

  6. "Be aware of the effects of your driving on other road users". This would show a driver in the middle lane of a motorway whilst not overtaking and the congestion causing effect it has on following traffic who have to funnel around him/her.

  7. "Joe didn't think he was speeding. He was travelling within the speed limit when he lost control. Remember: Most excess speed accidents occur within the speed limit. Are you driving at a safe speed?". This advert would show the consequences of driving down a busy street at 30mph in a 30mph limit.

The Association of British Drivers believe that proper education of all road users, combined with road engineering to iron out accident blackspots, and enforcement targeted squarely at the reckless few, are the only ways to reduce deaths and serious injuries. It must start now!

 

Notes for Editors