Honest Truth launches in Dorset

12.00 | 23 September 2014 | | 4 comments

A road safety initiative targeting young drivers, which was conceived in Devon, is today being launched in Dorset.

The Honest Truth is a partnership initiative between road safety officers, the police, fire and rescue services and approved driving instructors. The partnership’s mission is to reduce casualties among young drivers.

The Honest Truth was developed in 2009 following a fatal collision in South Devon in which three young people lost their lives.

Using the strapline ‘Small changes save lives’ the Honest Truth sets out to encourage new drivers to make one small change and pass it on to others in vehicles in which they are driving or travelling. It includes a resource pack to help ADIs deliver road safety messages to young learner drivers.

There are currently more than 900 ADIs participating in the scheme which is being delivered in Devon, Cornwall, Hertfordshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Cumbria, Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire.

Kate Underhill, road safety manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This international initiative was designed by the Devon Road Safety Partnership following the death of three young people.

“We have adopted it in Dorset as a new way of connecting with our young road users to support our Safe Drive Stay Alive and Dying to Drive presentations.

“The lifesaving messages this award winning programme allows us to deliver are not new, but working with driving instructors we can deliver them in a brand new way.”

The Honest Truth will be presented to delegates at the 2014 National Road Safety Conference in Brighton (25-26 November), in the session focusing on partnership working.



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    A bit harsh to criticise. For the purposes of the exercise and gettimg messages across it is essentially true – whether calling it “the honest truth” was adviseable I don’t know, as someone will no doubt be pedantic and pick holes in it – perhaps ‘reality’ would have been better than ‘truth’.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Certainly Nick, here’s a few from the “What’s the truth” page:

    Under “Drugs“, effects of drugs are claimed to be definitive such as “Cannabis You have slow reaction times and struggle to do two tasks at once”. While probably mostly true, it won’t be true for all users at all dosage levels.

    Under “Mobile phones” it states people are “four times more likely to crash”. This is under simulator conditions but real world data suggests this is false. Crashes involving phones are a lower percentage of all crashes (even fatal crashes) than the percentage of drivers on the phone.

    Under “Speed” it states: “Drivers who exceed speed limits are not only more likely to be involved in crashes, but are also more likely to commit other road traffic offences”. For this to be true we would need evidence of crash and offence frequency of those who never speed, and such a group has never been identified. Also evidence suggests that crashes are probably more likely when drivers are not speeding, than when they are.

    These are just a few examples but for “The Honest Truth” to be true to their title, they should at least state the percentage of crashes that involved the use of a phone, or that involved a driver exceeding a speed limit etc. This is not difficult, they already have this data.

    The website is well laid out and attractive but if the “The Honest Truth” partnership were honest, would that have less of an impact?

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    Perhaps you could outline the claims that you consider to be ‘deceptive or without good evidence’, in order that the instigators of The Honest Truth can respond, should they wish to do so.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
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    “The Honest Truth” contains many claims that are either deceptive or without good evidence. I suspect there are many who believe that exaggerating certain perceived dangers might help prevent a few of them occurring but, if you are going to do this, don’t call your website “The Honest Truth”!

    Dave Finney, Slough
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