Drunk man giving car key to woman, on blurred background. Don't drink and drive concept Image: Africa-Studio-AdobeStock

Christmas THINK! road safety campaign released

Don’t let your mates drink and drive – that’s the message for young men in this year’s Christmas THINK! campaign.

Three new films based on the award-winning #matesmatter campaign have been released. Last year, this campaign had the biggest shift in over a decade in young people’s attitudes towards drink driving.

One of the films sees friends in a pub intervene when a man picks up his car keys after he has been drinking, kicking the keys around the venue before they’re taken away by the landlady, who calls for a taxi.

Another shows a couple kissing, ignoring everything around them until a man picks up his car keys and goes to leave. The couple break the embrace and the boyfriend kisses the man as the girlfriend takes the keys, and says “Someone’s getting the bus home.”

Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman said:

“Drink driving needlessly puts human lives at risk. Our hard-hitting THINK! campaigns have already shown a positive impact on road users, encouraging safer behaviour so as to reduce the number of people killed and injured.

“This festive season, the simple message is that friends need to step in and stop their friends from getting behind the wheel after drinking.”

The films will be broadcast online and on social media during the Christmas and the party season. The campaign also includes football grounds, Spotify and in pubs.

Two thirds of friends would urge someone not to drink-drive

A recent RAC survey showed more than two thirds of people would urge their friend not to drive if they thought they were over the limit. This THINK! campaign provides simple solutions to encourage 18 to 24 year-old men to step in if they see their friend trying to drive home after drinking any alcohol.

RAC road safety spokesperson, Pete Williams, said:

“Drink-driving wrecks lives and we would encourage every driver to consider whether they really want to take the risk of mixing alcohol with being behind the wheel this Christmas.

“Regrettably, we have seen the number of people who admit to having driven while over the limit increase by 50% in the past 12 months from 8% to 12% so we welcome this hard-hitting campaign. It delivers a strong message that drink-driving is not acceptable, and also encourages people to speak up if they see their friends doing it.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, chief constable Anthony Bangham, said:

“Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is an incredibly dangerous and selfish decision to take, and it can have devastating consequences on people’s lives.

“Far too many people still attempt to drive under the influence and we are better prepared to catch them than ever before. We will ensure that they face the full penalty of law.

Our message is the same all year round: do not do it.