The aim of the film and wider THINK! campaign is to cut road casualties. Our goal is to make sure that all road users take responsibility for their own safety. The film was just one element of a wider campaign aimed at cyclists, HGV drivers and motorists.
The film showed a cyclist undertaking a lorry to highlight the danger of getting caught between a lorry and a left turn. It was developed after research showed that 35% of people who ride bikes thought it was not at all or only a little dangerous to position yourself to the front left of an HGV – an area where 94% of cyclist fatalities happen.
The message for cyclists to ‘hang back’ refers to a very specific manoeuvre when a lorry ahead is turning left – an area where a third of collisions between HGVs and cyclists happen. It provided simple advice to help cyclists avoid finding themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. It also showed that even if a cyclist feels safe to undertake, a driver might make an error that could cause potentially fatal consequences.
To ensure we deliver the best value for money, we use specific communication channels to target different audiences with different messages.
We worked closely with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Transport for London, and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to target HGV drivers, and advise them on what steps they need to take to avoid a collision with a cyclist. This included messages such as taking extra time to look out for cyclists and giving cyclist space at junctions. For motorists, we developed a series of tips about what drivers can do to look out for cyclists.
Highlighting the dangers of left turning vehicles is an important issue to communicate. The campaign generated national media coverage and wide spread debate about the issue – among cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
The number of cyclists killed on our roads has fallen to its lowest level on record. But we can never be complacent. THINK! has a responsibility to look at how we can influence behaviour to help bring casualty figures down further. Any death is a tragedy and if a death can be prevented by raising awareness of this key issue we stand by our decision to do so.
An independent research agency will review the impact of the campaign on people’s attitudes and claimed behaviour. We will use this, and the feedback we have received to inform future campaign activity.