London, 27 Mar 2002.
For immediate release.

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ABD Welcomes Government Waking Up To Tired Driving
The Association of British Drivers welcomes the government's announcement of a new road safety advertising campaign on the effects of falling asleep at the wheel.
Too many drivers drive when they're tired, with potentially disastrous consequences. The ABD is delighted to see driver education being broadened away from relying on the oversimplistic 'Speed Kills' campaign and concentrating on issues that can make a real difference to road safety.

'As well as advertising campaigns there are practical steps that need to be taken,' said ABD Road Safety and Transport spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie, 'Drivers need places to stop where they can get some sleep, park for nothing, or just walk around and get refreshed. This is particularly the case for truck and coach drivers whose vehicles are fitted with speed limiters. These mean that they're forced to drive at a slow and constant speed, a sure way of making sure they fall asleep as they drive.' He added 'On the one hand the government rightly warns of the dangers of driving whilst tired, but on the other require lorries and coaches to be fitted with speed limiters which, by holding the vehicle rigidly to an unnecessarily low speed for hours on end, seem purpose-designed to send their drivers to sleep. Furthermore, the suggestion to add speed limiters to cars appears to be at complete odds with the latest road safety messages regarding concentration and alertness.'

Last July the ABD developed concepts for a series of road safety adverts, the 'See It - Miss It!' campaign, which included a commercial showing a tired driver crashing. These recognised that driving is a highly complex activity that needs 100 per cent concentration.

Mark McArthur-Christie said: 'We now ask the government to consider more commercials on other aspects of road safety and to tackle some of the practical issues. Let's not wait for another Selby before we take action.'

Details of the 'See It - Miss It!' campaign can be seen under 'Press Releases' on www.abd.org.uk. [See PR 301]

 

Notes for Editors