Fasten Up Your Future


Amount awarded


Uploaded to Knowledge Centre
31 January 2024

In 2019, So-Mo conducted research on seatbelt usage among South Asian communities in Birmingham and discovered an alarming non-wearing rate of 38% (observational study of 507 vehicles, 2019, So-Mo), which was an astonishing six times higher (DfT, 2021) than the average rate observed across the UK.

So-Mo hypothesised that a culturally tailored campaign designed to resonate with young South Asians could encourage seatbelt use. The campaign involved the collaboration of young adults from South Asian communities to create optimised campaign posters and short videos.

So-Mo and Birmingham City Council were successfully funded by The Road Safety Trust to develop and test the campaign prototypes.

The prototypes leveraged anticipated regret. Anticipated regret is the negative emotion felt when comparing the expected outcome of inaction (not wearing a seatbelt) with the outcome of taking action. Insights from Phase 2 showed promising results, with the tailored campaigns outperforming existing local and national campaigns across all metrics. The engagement of young people from the South Asian community in Birmingham was particularly successful, indicating the effectiveness of co-designing and customising campaigns for specific target demographics.

So-Mo partnered with Transport for West Midlands for an additional grant of £25K to test these insights in the real world.

This study tested these insights in the real-world by embedding them in a series of videos and posters that were launched as an online social media campaign: “Fasten up your Future”.

The videos which formed part of the final campaign are are short (less than one minute each) and can be viewed here.

The young people worked within the previous phase reported spending a significant amount of their time on various social media platforms, namely Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. This study, therefore, assessed how culturally tailored and behaviourally optimised seatbelt awareness themed videos and images would perform on these social media platforms.

Evaluation found that the project was able to reach around 72.5% (470,697) of the estimated young people population in West Midlands, demonstrating the power of using social media to promote road safety messaging.

Out of the surveyed participants who had prior exposure to the campaigns (N=131), 47% (62) reported that they always wore their seatbelt. 40.5% (53) reported they wore their seatbelt more after viewing the campaign.

The campaign message was remembered by 73% (96) who saw the campaign assets. Extrapolated to the Instagram audience (470,697) this means up to 343,608 people have seen and remembered this safety message.

The researchers say the case study showcases the different stages of activity involved a behavioural science project; from determining root cause, to uncovering the insights needed to develop an appropriate and verifiable solution.

Click the following link to download the full evaluation report: