On 1 March 2017, the penalties for using a handheld phone while driving increased. At the time of campaign launch, more than 26k drivers have been issued 6 points on their licence, and 500 new drivers have lost their licence.
THINK! campaign results show that whilst awareness of the penalty increase improved among adult drivers in England & Wales, and the perception of danger and unacceptability of using a phone while driving remained high, one in six still admitted to doing it.
This could be due to scepticism about getting caught (37% agree that the chance of getting caught is minimal) and individuals not worrying about the consequences of getting caught (48% worry about the impact of getting caught).
This campaign mark the one year anniversary of the penalty increase by highlighting to drivers that using your phone while driving has risk to life and risk to your licence.
The campaign included a re-run of the case study film ‘life without Zoë” to view this campaign material click here .
If you are using your vehicle for the first time in several weeks, following Government advice, it will need a thorough check to ensure it is roadworthy and safe. You can find out more about Government advice here.
Most breakdowns are avoidable and simple vehicle checks can help you have a safer journey. Check your tyres, fuel, oil and water.
Highways England recommend carrying out a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are safely equipped to drive – the advice below includes details of what to check.
You should still stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:
- for work, where you cannot work from home
- going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
- to exercise or spend time outdoors
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Advice on what to check
You and your journey
- Make sure you are well rested and are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Plan your route before leaving, and identify opportunities for you to take a break if necessary during your journey. If you make a stop, you should continue to follow covid-19 secure guidance and limit contact time with others.
- You can check the latest traffic conditions from Traffic England.
- The legal minimum tread depth for car tyres in the UK is 1.6mm. Driving without the legally required amount of tread can adversely affect your grip, braking distance and steering.
- If you are stopped by the police and found with illegal tyres, you could receive a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
- Driving with underinflated or overinflated tyres can adversely affect your braking distance, steering, fuel efficiency and the lifetime of your tyres.
- In 2015, there were more than 7,000 breakdown incidents due to vehicles running out of fuel.
- Always keep your tank at least one-quarter full to avoid running out on your journey.
- You can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice in some locations if your breakdown was foreseeable, such as running out of fuel.
- Maintaining the correct oil level is essential as the oil lubricates, cleans, cools and protects the moving parts of your engine, preventing your engine from seizing up and breaking down.
- To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear any debris or dirt off your windscreen.
- Your lights are not only essential for you, they are also essential for other drivers to understand how you are driving your vehicle and how you intend to manoeuvre.
Knowing what to do in an emergency or a breakdown is the key to keeping yourself and others safe.
If your vehicle appears to have problems or is damaged and you’re on a motorway, always try to exit at a service station or the next junction.
If that’s not possible, you should follow these steps:
- Pull into an emergency area. These are regularly spaced along the motorway and are marked with blue signs featuring an orange SOS telephone symbol.
- If you can’t get to the SOS telephone in an emergency area but have a mobile phone with you, call our customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000. Why not save this number in your phone, so it’s available when you need it.
- If you can’t get to the hard shoulder or an emergency area but your vehicle can be driven, move it as close as possible to the nearside (left hand) verge or other nearside boundary or slip road and put on your hazard lights.
- If you feel you can exit safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door and get away from the road. Keep clear of your vehicle and moving traffic at all times. For example, if your vehicle gets hit, you’re out of the way.
- Switch on your hazard warning lights and any other lights such as rear fog lights or side lights, to increase your visibility especially if it’s dark or foggy. Do not put out a warning triangle.
- Contact your breakdown recovery service. All motorists should be able to make their own recovery arrangements in the event of a breakdown. We advise you to carry details of your provider with you.
If it’s not possible to exit your vehicle safely, there’s no safe place to wait, or you feel your life is in danger, put your hazard warning lights on and stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on. If you have a mobile phone dial ‘999’ immediately.
Our Concentrate on the road campaign was designed to highlight how distracting looking at a mobile phone is when driving.
THINK!’s motorcycling strategy aims to create empathy between car drivers and motorcyclists. It also raises awareness about the steps that both parties can take to avoid crashes.
Drivers are encouraged to notice motorcyclists on the road by thinking more about the person riding the motorcycle.
Motorcyclists are encouraged to take steps to manage and reduce their own personal risk by wearing appropriate safety gear and taking up further training.
The never too good campaign sees world Superbike Rider, Chaz Davies, joined comedian Alan Davies and eight regular riders to undertake further training to improve their riding skills on the road and prove you’re never too good to learn something new.
The ‘Didn’t See’ radio adverts remind drivers to take longer to look for bikes at junctions.
Our drug driving campaign informs road users that driving whilst taking medicines that impair driving ability is illegal.
2017 marked 50 years of drink driving campaigns.