THINK! Shocking video campaign cuts drink-driving rate to 50yr low

THINK! Shocking video campaign cuts drink-driving rate to 50yr low
Road deaths due to drink driving have reached a record low, according to figures released by the Department of Transport (DoT), as a shocking new commercial is launched to coincide with the THINK! road safety campaign’s 50th anniversary.

Official government figures show the numbers deaths caused by drink driving in the UK fell from 1,640 in 1967 to 230 in 2012.

The safe driving campaign group THINK! released a sobering “celebration” advert to commemorate the 50 year campaign, with the slogan: “That’s still 230 too many.

The advert features scenes of a horrific car accident, with the Kool & the Gang’s 1980 hit “Celebration” providing a chilling soundtrack.

Watch the latest THINK! comercial here:

A recent survey commissioned by the DoT found that attitudes to drink driving had changed remarkably over the past 50 years, with 91 percent claiming they thought drink driving was “unacceptable.”

A further 92 percent said they would be ashamed to be caught drink driving – a stark contrast with data from 1979, which found over half of male drivers admitted to driving while inebriated on a weekly basis.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin called the change in attitudes a “huge success story” and praised the work of THINK! and the impact of its campaigns.

“It is hard to imagine now how shocking and ground-breaking the first drink drive campaigns were when they launched. Clearly THINK! has had a significant impact.”

The questionnaire further found that people are less accepting of those who choose to drink and drive, revealing some 88 percent of respondents would think badly of someone who drives while under the influence of alcohol.

“Most of us understand drink driving wrecks lives but there is further to go,” added McLoughin. “In 2012, 230 people were killed in drink driving accidents – 230 too many. This makes the THINK! campaign as relevant as ever.”

The advertising campaigns have changed considerably since the first adverts, which urged women not to allow men to drink and drive, as most women at that time were not in possession of a driving license.

“Compared with 50 years ago, drink-driving is now very much minority behavior,” said Shaun Helman, Head of Transport Psychology at the Transport Research Laboratory.

“This change has been achieved through firm laws, highly visible enforcement, and a sea-change in public attitudes; drink driving is now frowned upon by the vast majority of people.”

Helman added that emergency services had not become complacent about their achievements.

“Through a commitment to catching drink-drivers, and through harnessing peer pressure, we will continue to reinforce the message that drink driving is completely unacceptable,” he said.

According to the survey, drink driving has less of a stigma than casual unprotected sex, with 24 percent claiming they would rather tell their partner they’ve had a sexually transmitted disease (STI) than drink drive.