By Charlotte Webster-
An online campaign designed to influence young men to discourage their friends from drinking has been launched today mates drink and drive
This year’s Christmas THINK! campaign features three new films aimed at conveying the acts of sensible young people in situations where individuals who have been drinking are prevented from driving by sensible people.
The three new films are being released, based on the award-winning #matesmatter campaign, which last year had the biggest shift in over a decade in young people’s attitudes towards drink driving.
One of the films sees friends in a pub intervene when a man picks up his car keys after he has been drinking, kicking the keys around the venue before they’re taken away by the landlady, who calls for a taxi. Another shows a couple kissing, ignoring everything around them until a man picks up his car keys and goes to leave. The couple break the embrace and the boyfriend kisses the man as the girlfriend takes the keys, and says “Someone’s getting the bus home.”
The festive period is a time when many young people carelessly go behind the wheel despite having had a drink, and many lives have been lost in the past because of people who were drinking. Taking sensible steps to prevent drinking and driving is the best thing anybody can do for their friend or anyone they know. Drinking and driving puts the lives of others at serious risk.
New breathalisers are to be used by police officers to test drivers instantly at the road side, saving police time as well as getting drink drivers off the roads immediately as they won’t have time to sober up on their way to police station.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham described drinking under the influence of drink or drugs as an incredibly dangerous and selfish decision to take, and it can have devastating consequences on people’s lives.
Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman said:
”Drink driving needlessly puts human lives at risk.Our hard-hitting THINK! campaigns have already shown a positive impact on road users, encouraging safer behaviour so as to reduce the number of people killed and injured.
This festive season, the simple message is that friends need to step in and stop their friends from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
A recent RAC survey showed more than two thirds of people would urge their friend not to drive if they thought they were over the limit. This THINK! campaign provides simple solutions to encourage 18 to 24 year-old men to step in if they see their friend trying to drive home after drinking any alcohol.
The films will be broadcast online and on social media during the Christmas and the party season as well as at football grounds, on Spotify and in pubs.
RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams said:
Drink-driving wrecks lives and we would encourage every driver to consider whether they really want to take the risk of mixing alcohol with being behind the wheel this Christmas.
Regrettably, we have seen the number of people who admit to having driven while over the limit increase by 50% in the past 12 months from 8% to 12% so we welcome this hard-hitting campaign. It delivers a strong message that drink-driving is not acceptable, and also encourages people to speak up if they see their friends doing it.