Road Safety News

Drive SMART campaign tackles speeding

Tuesday 12th January 2010

A new campaign warning motorists in Surrey about the potentially fatal consequences of speeding was launched on 11 January.

The 'Ben' campaign is the first single issue campaign of the Drive SMART initiative, which was launched in September 2009 by Surrey County Council and Surrey Police.

Drive SMART encourages drivers to be more considerate and change driving behaviours that negatively affect the lives of other road users or local residents. It has been developed in response to data showing that one third of collisions on Surrey’s roads between 2006 and 2008 were caused by drivers either exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions.

The campaign uses an image of a distraught small boy sobbing with the message: 'You were speeding when you killed Ben’s mum: Take your time, not a life.' The artwork will feature on bus backs,  billboards and posters across Surrey and Ben's voice will be heard on radio stations throughout the county.

Duncan Knox, Surrey Safety Camera Partnership project manager,  said: “We had a lot of very positive feedback from one of our previous campaigns, which featured a young girl called Amy.

"The Ben campaign is very much in the same mould in that it features a striking image, tells a brief story and makes drivers think about the dangers of speeding.

"Our aim is to make drivers aware of the potentially very serious consequences of driving too fast, and we hope Ben brings that home to them in a powerful and thought-provoking way.”

In addition to speeding, these issues include tailgating, bad or inconsiderate parking, using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and generally thoughtless or reckless driving.                                                                            

For more information contact Duncan Knox on 0208 541 7443.



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I think this is a superb initiative. A third of collisions caused by excessive or inappropriate speed in a two year period is alarming. This is the kind of team driven and partnership response that is needed in more areas.

I am impressed that this initiative deals with other examples of poor driving, for example, the use of hand mobile phones at the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt and tailgating.

A targeted response based on effective analysis of data and surrounding issues, with the aim delivering positive benefits, is an example of professionalism at its best.

I am sure the future evaluation of the initiative will yield useful information that can be applied in coming road safety campaigns.
Mark - Wiltshire

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