Title: Take Extra Care (campaign)

Organisation: Road Safety GB & the DfT's THINK! campaign
Date uploaded: 29th April 2020
Date published/launched: March 2020

This campaign encourages all road users to help reduce the strain on the emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic by taking extra care when making essential journeys by road.

The campaign was developed by Road Safety GB with support from the Department for Transport’s THINK! campaign, and made available for road safety teams and other stakeholders to use free of charge.

The campaign toolkit (see link below) includes a web banner, social media graphic, A4 poster for printing, press release and suggested social media posts.

On 23 March 2020, prime minister Boris Johnson announced a series of measures to delay the spread of the coronavirus – in order to reduce pressure on the NHS and save lives.

Under the measures, people were only allowed to leave home for very limited purposes:

• Shopping for basic necessities
• One form of exercise a day
• Any medical need
• Travelling for work purposes, but only where people were unable to work from home

These measures significantly reduced the number of vehicles on the roads, but there was evidence of an increase in the number of people cycling to fulfil their daily exercise quota.

Road Safety GB launched this campaign to stress to all road users the importance of taking extra care while making essential journeys.

Statistics show 160,597 people were killed or injured on Great Britain’s roads in 2018 – an average of 440 people each day.

In all of these cases, the police would have attended – due to the nature of the Government’s casualty reporting system – while a significant proportion would have required the care of paramedics.

An average of 70 people per day were seriously injured (25,511) on the roads in 2018 – the vast majority of whom would have required hospital treatment.

To reduce the number of road casualties during the unprecedented times associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the Take Extra Care campaign urges all road users to only travel when absolutely essential.

For those who must, the plea is to do everything they can to avoid collisions and casualties, including:

• Always drive at an appropriate speed
• Always wear a seatbelt
• Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Never use a mobile phone behind the wheel

Launching the campaign, Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, said: “These are unprecedented times and society as a whole has a responsibility to ease the strain currently being placed on the NHS – and all emergency services, who are already working so hard on our behalf.

“Whether you are a driver, rider, cyclist or pedestrian – we can all play our part over the coming months by only travelling when necessary, and taking extra care on every journey.

“Our key message – as is always the case – reduce speeds, wear a seatbelt, drive sober and alert, and stop your vehicle to use a mobile phone.”

Baroness Vere, roads minister, added: “We all need to follow government guidelines and travel only when it’s essential, but fewer people on the roads doesn’t mean we should be any less careful.

“It’s important our NHS staff and emergency services are able to concentrate all of their efforts on coronavirus – so now more than ever it’s crucial that we take care when driving. It’s just one way we can support our incredible frontline workers and do our bit.”

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