New initiative ‘nudges’ road users into behaviour change
Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service has launched a new ‘road safety and profit protection initiative’ based on the premise that ‘subtle, indirect suggestions can change behaviours on a large scale’.
‘Project Pictogram’ is designed to encourage UK fleets and organisations to use an industry standard set of vehicle stickers to communicate the dangers of the ‘fatal four’: inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt and drink/drug driving. The campaign is supported by a number of road safety organisations including Road Safety GB, RoSPA, IAM and the ABI.
The campaign is based on the premise that collectively, by aligning to this industry standard for road safety communication, “we can create a movement for positive change on the roads we all share”.
The set of standardised pictograms is intended to become the 'recycle logo of fatality reduction and profit protection'.
Home Retail Group (Homebase) is one of the first organisations to adopt Project Pictogram.
Andy Leigh, Home Retail Group’s health & safety manager, said: “The cost of applying the sticker sets to the back doors of the entire Homebase fleet equates to the damage caused by one minor rear-end shunt, or trading disruption through one store by a collision related road closure.
“The stickers last the lifetime of the vehicle, and so deliver daily on-road safety reminder ‘nudges’ for the next five to seven years – all for £2.75.
“Keeping roads flowing safely has a massive impact on business profit protection as well as the obvious human factors of fatality and injury reduction.”
Phil Palfrey, new product development manager with Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The psychology which underpins Project Pictogram, ’nudge’ theory, is the widely acknowledged behavioural science concept that subtle, indirect suggestions can influence motives and change behaviours on a large scale.
“These frequent, near subliminal-level reminders of safe driving will, over time, influence driver behaviour habits towards safer practices.
“Driving is a herd activity, with individuals typically aligning to the social norms of the group around them. By positively influencing large sections of the herd around these key risk-reducing priorities, the wider group is likely to conform to the new safer practices being displayed.
“For Project Pictogram’s ‘nudge’ approach to work successfully does require large scale of the messaging so it is seen frequently.
“This is where road safety teams can get involved and help promote Project Pictogram within their local authority and other organisations they are associated with including schools, colleges, sports groups etc.
“Please share the Project Pictogram guidelines with your fleet management colleagues, school transport teams, and any other council suppliers who run vehicle fleets.”
Full details of Project Pictogram, and all associated artwork files, are available to download FOC from the project website.