‘Be the mate who won’t speed’ (campaign)

Organisation: DfT THINK!
Date of publication: January 2021
Date uploaded: 10 February 2021

This new THINK! campaign urges young drivers on essential journeys to ‘be the mate who won’t speed’ to keep themselves and others safe on the road, and help reduce pressure on the NHS.

The new campaign, which is part of the THINK! Mates Matter strategy, uses social media assets, influencers and a partnership with LADbible to ‘normalise and champion’ positive behaviours, and radio and digital audio adverts to deliver ‘in the moment’ interventions.

Statistics show there was a sharp increase in the proportion of cars speeding during the UK’s first national coronavirus lockdown in March/April 2020.

While compliance rates returned to 2019 levels during the summer months, there were concerns that with lockdown restrictions back in place in winter 2020/21, speeding would creep back up to peak levels as drivers take advantage of quieter roads.

With darker mornings and evenings, and lower temperatures, creating potentially treacherous conditions during the lockdown, this THINK! campaign urges young drivers to rethink the excuses they make for speeding – such as being in a hurry or driving on roads they think they know well.

According to black box insurer insurethebox, drivers are more likely to have a collision in the winter than summer, with the increase among men double (13.7%) that among women (6.2%).

THINK! says this raises concerns that men are more likely to overestimate their driving ability in bad weather conditions.

Government research also suggests that male drivers aged 17-24 years are more likely to demonstrate risky behaviours and attitudes compared to the general population, and admit to driving faster on roads they are familiar with or when they are in a hurry.

Only 38% of men aged 17-24 years believe it is very risky to drive too fast on a country road (compared with 62% of the general population), while only 14% consider it very risky to exceed the speed limit (42% of the general population).

Find out more about the campaign on the THINK! website: