Research and analysis

THINK! speed

Information about THINK! road safety speed campaign.

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Urban speed strategy

The THINK! strategy for urban speed illustrates the dangers of excessive speed and encourages people to drive at speeds appropriate to the conditions. Even relatively small increases in speed can have significant consequences: It’s 30 for a reason.

The ‘Live with it’ campaign asks drivers to consider the long term impact on their own lives if they kill a child while speeding. The aim is to make driving at inappropriate and excessive speeds socially unacceptable and illustrates why speed limits, particularly the 30 miles per hour (mph) limit exist.

A THINK! survey (2009 annual survey) showed that dropping litter was considered more unacceptable (82% of people) than driving at 40mph on a 30mph road (71%).

A combination of engineering and enforcement measures alongside the education campaigns have seen some improvements in speeding behaviours. For example, in 1999 67% of cars exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads; by 2009 this had reduced to 48%.

Key messages

  • kill your speed, or live with it. THINK! - It’s 30 for a reason
  • keep to the speed limit and slow down
  • if you kill a child while speeding you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences - these emotional consequences could destroy your life
  • speed limits are there for a reason

Recent campaign activity

The ‘Live with it’ campaign first ran in February 2009 with the latest burst in January 2010. TV, cinema and radio were the key media channels used to generate mass awareness and challenge societal norms of the acceptability of speeding.

Visit the THINK! Speed page to view adverts

THINK! Speed research


Although the national speed limit applies on the majority of rural roads, most drivers do not exceed it on them. The major problem is driving too fast for the conditions. The rural speed component of the THINK! speed campaign focused on the dangers of driving at inappropriate speeds on rural roads. It was particularly targeted at young, male drivers and habitual speeders.

The aim of the campaign was to make young drivers and habitual speeders aware of the risks of driving too fast for the conditions.

Key messages

  • car drivers and passengers are four times more likely to die on a rural road than on an urban road
  • don’t assume it’s safe to break the speed limit on rural roads because there is less traffic
  • with a clear road ahead you may be tempted to put your foot down - THINK! before you accelerate on rural roads - junctions or bends can mean you don’t see another vehicle until it’s too late if you’re driving too fast
  • drive at a speed suitable for the characteristics of the road and be aware that there may be unexpected hazards, such as blind bends, vehicles coming out of junctions and animals on the road
  • the national speed limit is not a target speed

Recent campaign activity

The last burst of the rural speed part of the THINK! speed campaign ran from November 2006 until March 2008. It focused on the dangers of driving at inappropriate speeds on rural roads.

It was particularly targeted at young men and habitual speeders who often drive for work.

The rural speed campaign used a mixture of national radio advertising, national ambient advertising (including petrol pumps), posters and national and regional PR.


In 2009, 81% of people questioned agreed that it is dangerous to drive too fast for the conditions, compared to 60% in 2005. (THINK! annual survey)

THINK! Speed research

Road Safety Scotland

Published 3 February 2012