News story

THINK! drink drive campaign targets young men digitally this Christmas

Young men targeted in THINK! drink drive campaign this Christmas as they account for nearly two-thirds of fatalities.

  • 62% of drink drivers killed on our roads are young men
  • a fifth of young men admit to driving after having 2 or more drinks
  • second drink doubles chances of fatal collision

The government launches its THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign today (1 December 2016), specifically targeting young males, as figures show they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads.

The campaign will target young men through Facebook, Twitter and Spotify, with 5.4 million British males aged 25 to 34 on Facebook alone – the highest single demographic.

Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said:

Drink driving destroys families and ruins lives, yet some reckless drivers continue to take the risk and get behind the wheel after drinking – particularly young men who account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads.

We have some of the safest roads in the world and deaths from drink driving have fallen significantly over the last 30 years, but it is still responsible for the deaths of 5 people every week. This Christmas we are specifically targeting the biggest perpetrators of this devastating crime – young men, but our message to everyone remains the same: don’t drink and drive.

A new advert will be posted on Twitter or Facebook everyday throughout December playing on the concept of FOMO ‘fear of missing out’. The adverts aim to make it clear to young men that they have plenty to live for the following day, which they may not see if they choose to have a second drink.

Research carried out for the Department for Transport found 20% of young men have had 2 or more drinks before driving and an extra 11% say they have considered it – with a third of adults telling researchers they felt it wouldn’t impact on their driving. However, research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) shows a second drink doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a fatality.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the national roads policing spokesperson, said:

Police officers on patrols over the Christmas and New Year period will be specifically targeting people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and we will also be doing roadside testing, so we can make instant arrests.

Our message is very simple and very clear – you are breaking the law, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you and the consequences of doing so will plague you for the rest of your life.

IAM RoadSmart chief executive Sarah Sillars OBE said:

Younger drivers and especially young males are at the highest risk on the road in general and it is worrying to see just how high this proportion is in drink drive deaths and serious injuries. Through the work we do with offenders, the most common feedback we receive is “I simply didn’t realise”, particularly when it comes to the risk of still being over the limit the next day.

This clearly demonstrates the need for education, especially for high-risk groups. Our advice is always make it none for the road this Christmas, but if you’re going to have a drink, know your limits.

The campaign will run on THINK!’s Facebook and Twitter channels from 1 to 31 December, to support the police’s drink and drug drive enforcement campaign.

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