A new THINK! campaign combating winter lockdown speeding has launched from the Department for Transport.
Dubbed ‘Be the mate who won’t speed’, it’s particularly targeted at young men. While stats show all drivers are more likely to have an accident in the winter than summer, driving too fast for the conditions or being careless, reckless or in a hurry were factors in almost half of road deaths and serious accidents involving male drivers aged 17-24 in 2019.
Furthermore, the DfT has highlighted that young male drivers are over-represented in industries where they need to travel for work in lockdown.
The campaign has been prompted by the sharp increase in the proportion of cars speeding seen during the UK’s first national lockdown; recent DfT data revealed a 7% rise in speeding cases over this period. While latest speeding compliance statistics, taken when the country was out of lockdown during the summer, indicate speeding compliance has returned to 2019 levels, there are concerns that speeding could creep back up as drivers take advantage of quieter roads.
Road casualty data also highlights the risks of careless driving even with fewer cars on the road, with 40% of road deaths and serious injuries among 17-24 year-old men resulting from single-vehicle accidents
The new THINK! campaign encourages young drivers to watch their speed in a bid to reduce the number of young people killed and seriously injured on the roads. Darker mornings and evenings, and lower temperatures, during the current national lockdown make winter conditions particularly treacherous and the THINK! campaign urges drivers to rethink the excuses they make for speeding – such as being in a hurry or driving on roads they think they know well. A
Transport Minister Baroness Vere 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.”
For more information on the campaign, click here.