Highways England has today (12 March) re-launched its ‘Vehicle Checks’ campaign in the run-up to the Easter holiday period.
The centrepiece of the campaign is an ad (above) which shows a plane full of passengers ready for take off. When the pilot says he’s skipped the routine safety checks, all of the passengers attempt to disembark.
The ad signs off with the message: “You wouldn’t fly without the proper checks, so why drive without them?”
The campaign has run on two previous occasions – in March and August 2017 – and Highways England says that both bursts of activity ‘showed a correlation with a reduced numbers of breakdowns’ on the Strategic Road Network.
The 2018 campaign will once again run on TV, video on demand, radio, out of home sites, printed media and on Facebook.
New channels this time around include the ‘Pay Per Click’ adverts that appear alongside Google search results, and ads which appear in the Gmail Inbox.
Highways England acknowledges that ‘not checking your car before long journeys’ causes fewer KSIs than other behaviours, but was identified as the ‘behaviour that would be easiest to change’. The agency also says that fewer breakdowns on the Strategic Road Network will also lead to fewer ‘incidents’.
Commenting on the campaign, Steve Horton, Road Safety GB director of communications, said: “While it may not contribute to a significant number of serious crashes on the roads, having a well maintained and roadworthy vehicle is fundamental to safer driving – as well as being a legal requirement.
“There are recent examples of where vehicle breakdown has placed occupants in huge danger, especially on high speed roads. There are tragic stories of where stationary vehicles on the hard shoulder have been hit, as well as those rare occasions where a vehicle has broken down in a live running lane.
“I can’t think of many scarier situations to be in than stuck in a broken down car with large, fast traffic passing close by.
“To avoid the inconvenience of a breakdown, and more importantly the risk of becoming a target for fast moving vehicles, I hope all drivers can play their part in making sure they use a fit and proper vehicle for all journeys.”
The campaign is also running on Highways England’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and other road safety stakeholders are being asked to to share and retweet the content with their social media followers.