Six road safety teams in the North East have come together to encourage people across the region to have a ‘care free Christmas’ by leaving the car at home.
The initiative is part of the regional Road Respect campaign – a joint initiative by North Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Sunderland City Council, Newcastle Council and Gateshead Council – which aims to ‘change the culture of driving and foster respect for law, lives and roads’.
#CarFreeChristmas, which focuses on the dangers of drink driving and the illegal use of mobile phones while driving, includes an ‘innovative and shocking’ online video and photo campaign which is running on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The ‘visual digital campaign’ follows four friends on a Christmas night out in Newcastle – including their chosen methods of getting home and subsequent outcomes.
As part of #CarFreeChristmas a series of roadshows is also being staged across the region with interactive games, giveaways and strong messages on the consequences of not showing ‘road respect’.
A bespoke game, featuring stills of the four friends’ video, is being shown, with people given five seconds to spot as many things as possible. The idea is to highlight how much a driver can miss while glancing at a phone screen.
Danae Abadom, Road Respect spokesperson, said: “With recent figures showing that one in six admissions to hospital in our region is due to car collisions it really is important that people realise the dangers of picking up their phone or having ‘just the one’ drink when driving.
“With our integrated digital, media facing and face to face roadshow activities we hope to reach over 100,000 people in December alone.”