Young passenger campaign wins Prince Michael Award

12.00 | 29 November 2013 | | 4 comments


A campaign developed by Kent’s road safety team to protect the lives of young passengers has won a 2013 Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

The campaign, ‘Speak Up’, encourages people – particularly teenagers travelling with new drivers – to find their voice if they think the car is being driven irresponsibly.

Under the heading ‘Silence can kill’, the campaign website warns young passengers that "when you feel at risk, losing your voice and staying quiet can have tragic consequences".

Speak Up was launched In January 2012  with a website and a short film which was specially commissioned to illustrate some of the issues faced by passengers. The campaign also used bus-back adverts, posters in pub and club washrooms, social networking and radio adverts.
Evaluation of the campaign shows 68% of the young people the Kent road safety team spoke to said they remembered the campaign, and of those, 93% said they had ‘spoken up’ because of it.

David Brazier, Kent County Council cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “This award is a tremendous and well-deserved achievement. It recognises the hard work our officers are doing developing campaigns that hit home to help reduce crashes and the number of people whose lives are damaged or cut short by these.
“In terms of ’Speak Up’, it is not always easy to speak out if you think a driver is  irresponsible, especially if you’re a young person. This campaign identifies the problems and helps people get out of situations they find uncomfortable or threatening.”
Presenting the award, Tony Spalding, RoadSafe chairman, said: “Giving young passengers the courage to criticise bad driving is very important and the Kent team does this in an effective and novel way.”

For more information about the campaign contact Steve Horton, Kent’s road safety team leader.


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    On occasion when my children were younger and so was I, to hear them say ‘slow down daddy’ was enough to back off the pedal. I am sure that young drivers don’t want to look foolish so friends need to make it clear when they are not comfortable with their driving.

    Simon Merrick, Kent
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    Or did they just pinch this idea from, which has a free downloadable sheet on how to be a good passenger? Mainly aimed at new drivers and their passengers which should be distributed to every school kid as from the age of fourteen onwards.

    Terry Hudson, Kent
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    Easier said than done – very difficult to tell to someone who’s a relative, friend or colleague etc. to slow down if they’re kindly giving you lift. Usually we just bite our lip and keep our fingers crossed – silly really considering the possible consequences. Moral? Always drive youurself!

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Good thinking. Many years ago an aunt of mine, if scared by her husband’s driving of a Riley Pathfinder, would reach for the door handle and threaten to get out, at speed. She never had to.

    Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield
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