Campaign seeks to make drivers think before risking lives
A haulier, police problem solvers and a Police and Crime Commissioner have teamed up to launch a campaign to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads.
The campaign will see impactful safety messages created by the Honest Truth charity displayed across six Evans Transport lorries this summer.
They warn about the dangers of drink and drug driving, speeding, driving when tired, failing to use seatbelts and using mobile phones while driving.
The project has been co-ordinated and part funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, with family-owned haulier Evans Transport, which has depots across Devon, supplying the space on vehicle backs for no charge.
The Honest Truth is a Devon-based and award winning national charity which works with driving instructors to deliver vital safety messages to new drivers. It uses animals to portray behaviours which can be dangerous behind the wheel, such as a cat for a warning about driving while tired.
The campaign was the brainchild of Safer North Devon, a collaboration of police and partners which seeks to reduce the impact of crime on communities.
Evans’ vehicles bearing the messages will be regularly seen on the A361 North Devon Link Road, where a number of high profile crashes in recent years have had tragic consequences for several families.
Alison Hernandez, the Police and Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is the national lead for road safety with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
Most of the 5,000 people who took part in a survey by her office last year across Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly, said they were most concerned about distraction driving, followed by drink/drug driving, speeding and road conditions.
Alison praised Evans for its support of the campaign.
She said: “There were 63 deaths in the Devon and Cornwall Police force area in 2017, the last year for which statistics are available, this was 12 more than in 2016 when 51 people were killed. In 2015 there were 36 road deaths. These are not just statistics but represent someone’s brother, sister, mother or father. The toll is simply horrific and we should not just accept it as part of the risk of driving.
“With 12,500 miles of roads in the force area there’s no way that we can simply enforce our way out of this situation. We need to work in partnership with others, and with a greater emphasis on education, that’s why I am so pleased to have the support of Stagecoach and Evans, who have done the communities in which they operate a real service in supporting this campaign.”
Tom Evans, from Evans Transport, said that the company was delighted to be helping out on such an important issue.
“We were approached by Annette from the Honest Truth and Donna Woolway, a Devon and Cornwall Police problem solver, and we were happy to help,” he said.
“Our vehicles travel all over the country from depots in Devon so it’s a great way to get the message out in the Westcountry and beyond. It’s nice to be doing our bit to be making the roads that little bit safer.”
The adverts will also appear on 30 Stagecoach buses this spring in a campaign funded by the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Annette said she hoped that people would heed the messages, and said that the charity was keen to hear from any other organisations who wanted to offer their support.
“We are delighted to be working in close collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and local haulier Evans Transport on this targeted road safety campaign across North Devon,” she said.
“We believe our campaign, highlighting risky driving behaviours, will cut through to drivers in an impactful and memorable way making them think about and ultimately change their driving behaviour so keeping them safer on the roads.”