How are you tackling road safety in your area?
Every 20 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road – each of these tragedies are preventable.
To mark this year’s Road Safety Week, we’ve been looking at the challenges that Counties and Local Authorities are now facing when trying to improve public education about road safety in their region. BECG has been working with Hampshire County Council on its road safety campaigns.
The history of road safety in the UK
The Government has been investing in road safety campaigns for over 75 years, with the most famous initiative THINK! launching over 19 years ago. Initially this delivered amazing results – in its first decade, the number of road deaths in the UK reduced by 46%. However recent reports have outlined new figures showing that since 2010, fatality statistics have flatlined, and in in 2017, we saw the highest number of road deaths since 2011 – over 1,793 people have had their lives cut short on the road.
Earlier this year, the Government published their Road Safety Statement, which addressed the fact that road safety initiatives need to change in order to deliver improvements, and reduced statistics. As the way we use our roads and pavements has changed, road safety campaigns must also evolve. Initially messaging focused on the use of seatbelts, excessive speed and drink driving, but more recently has come to include modern issues such as a rise in drug driving and the use of mobile phones at the wheel.
Reduced funding has put pressure on local authorities
In order to support government guidelines, local authorities (LA’s) are responsible for funding and developing local road safety campaigns to help them meet their own road safety targets. However, with the loss of the central government road safety grant, LA’s are now working with limited funding from their own budgets. As a result of these funding cuts, many LAs have indicated that they no longer have the capacity to improve road safety, including meeting their own targets.
With limited budgets and rising road safety figures, it’s more important than ever for LA’s to deliver effective campaigns that demonstrate a good Return on Investment (ROI) and strong results. Digital campaigns provide an opportunity for LA’s to maximise reduced budget – reaching large audiences whilst being highly targeted and focused on the most vulnerable road users. They also enable campaigns to deliver transparent results, demonstrating which audiences have engaged and with which messages – enabling future campaigns to be easily adapted in order to be even more effective.
Case study – Hampshire County Council Road Safety
BECG recently worked with Hampshire County Council to deliver their road safety campaigns, focusing on 9 identified areas of concern. These included speed, mobile distraction, cyclists, motorcyclists, teen pedestrians, drink and drug drive, seatbelts and vehicle checks. Each campaign had identified target audiences that ensured we were reaching vulnerable road user groups – for example cyclists and motorcyclists, who are disproportionately more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident.
For each of the campaigns we developed individual insight based creative campaigns – tailoring the messaging, creative designs and channels to the target audience to ensure the campaigns would deliver results. Creative elements were then rolled out across multiple digital marketing channels relevant to those audiences – including digital channels such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Spotify), programmatic, GDN and radio, but also outdoor media including bus backs, 6-sheets at key locations around Hampshire to maximise visibility.
Collectively the campaigns achieved over 10 million impressions across Hampshire, and with time, we hope to see a reduction in road safety incidents as a result.