Autovolt Magazine

Christmas Driving Safety Campaigns Say, “None for the Road”

Unfortunately, many people, particularly over the Christmas period, lose their lives due to drink driving. The issue is serious. It is a sad fact that the statistics are despite numerous anti-drink drive campaigns pushed out year upon year at Christmas time, but despite these campaigns aiming to educate, the statistics for drunk driving are still far worse around the Christmas period.

A new tact is therefore being taken with the latest anti-drink drive campaign pointing out what can happen after a conviction and the impact on the rest of your life as well as Lotus getting in on the picture by providing a highly visible Police liveried Lotus Evora S Police car to help spread the word. While that may seem like a bit of a publicity stunt, the noticeable nature of the car is meant to aid in spreading the word about the ‘Fatal Four‘ driving behaviours: drink driving; speeding; not wearing a seatbelt; and driving whilst using a mobile phone.

It is perhaps apt that Lotus’ early reputation landed it with the acronym, “Loads Of Trouble, Usually Serious” which is exactly what would happen to anybody breaching any of the ‘Fatal Four’. It is no laughing matter though, as the  latest THINK! drink drive campaign is quick to point out:

Lotus Evora S Police Car

Millions of people risk losing their job or face difficulty finding a job if they drink drive at Christmas. The snowball effect a conviction can have on future job prospects is dramatic. Up to a million people work in jobs that would be directly affected, i.e. jobs that directly rely on driving such as taxis or delivery vehicles. Furthermore, a survey has shown that 27% of people would have to give up their current employment as they are reliant on a vehicle to get to work.

It is also worth pointing out millions of jobs require criminal records checks, such as teaching, care workers and even jobs in finance and banking which would also be off the cards should you have had a drink driving conviction.

Any employer can ask to see unspent criminal convictions and research shows that three-quarters of employers admit to taking a criminal conviction into account during the recruitment process.

During December officers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire constabularies are taking part in national and European-wide campaigns The activity of stopping and breathalysing drivers at all times of day will be increased in an effort to reinforce the message that firm action will be taken on drink drivers and promote safer road use.

Aslam Farikullah, Chief Operating Officer for Group Lotus plc, said,

“Lotus recognises its responsibility to safety, that relates to the safeguarding of our people, our products, our racing pursuits and the wider community. We build cars for people to enjoy driving safely so we are happy to be part of this initiative and hope that strong action like this saves lives and keeps our roads safe for everyone.”

UPDATE (9.45 10-12-2013)

Further to the above post, it is worth adding two more campaigns about road safety which are also pushing out against drink driving and driving while using a mobile phone.

GEM Motoring Assist is calling on drivers to put their phones away while in the car. To mark the 10thanniversary of the ban on using hand held mobile phones while driving, and in full support of Brake Road Safety’s ‘put it in the boot’ campaign, GEM says it’s time to put the phone down, once and for all.

Recent statistics from the Department for Transport show that with reaction times of mobile phone users up to 50% slower, drivers are four times more likely to crash if they use a mobile phone at the wheel. Furthermore, according to research from ROSPA, drivers who use a mobile phone, either hands-free or hand-held:

  • Fail to see road signs
  • Feel more stressed or frustrated
  • Are much less aware of what’s happening on the road
  • Fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
  • React more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
  • More likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic

GEM has prepared a video to educate people on the dos and don’ts for using a mobile phone when driving:

Road safety charity Brake and Direct Line are appealing to party-goers to help prevent Christmas tragedies by standing up to designated drivers who break their promise by drinking alcohol. This puts their passengers and other road users at risk.

Research released today by Brake and Direct Line, shows a huge shift in public attitudes towards drink driving over the past decade. While the vast majority of drivers now subscribe to a zero tolerance approach to alcohol and driving, in line with Brake’s advice, a minority continue to cause enormous risk by driving after drinking – and passengers are struggling to stand up to these drivers.

In 2012, 280 people were killed and 1,210 suffered serious injuries in crashes caused by drivers over the drink drive limit [2]. It’s estimated a further 65 deaths are caused annually by drivers who have been drinking but are under the limit [3]. These deaths and injuries cause a huge amount of pain and suffering to those involved and the families left behind, many of whom are supported by Brake’s support services for bereaved and injured road crash victims.

Source; Lotus Cars & Department for Transport – GEM & BRAKE