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   Think! Motorcycle Campaign for Urban Commuters

The THINK! Motorcycle Safety Campaign for Urban Commuters

THINK! motorcycle safety campaign encourages drivers in an urban environment to "THINK! Take longer to look for bikes", through radio and television adverts. At the same time, motorcyclist are reminded how to make sure that they are seen with an outdoor poster campaign. They have a 30 second television advert encouraging urban car drivers to look longer for bikes. "How close" shows a typical accident at a T-junction. The car driver who is coming from a side road, has a quick glance to the right before pulling out and turning right onto the main road. Suddenly, a motorcycle travelling along the main road crashes into the side of the car, leaving the motorist confused and shocked. 'How close does a biker have to be before you see them?' asks a voice. This scenario is replayed, but this time with the car driver looking for longer - first right, left and then right again - while the bike passes in front of the car. The end line reads: "THINK! Take longer to look for bikes".

The radio advert also backs up the television message and acts as an in-car reminder. There is a strong link between the two elements of the campaign.

"Don't take it in" focuses on more common scenarios when people look but don't see. The advert reveals that every year about 1500 motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured because drivers look but don't see.
The campaign compliments a third year of THINK! sponsorship of the British Superbike Championship, targeting leisure riders. The first three-year review of the Government's casualty reduction targets in 2003 confirmed that bike riders continue to be disproportionately represented in casualty statistics. Actually at that time biker casualty figures were the only ones going in the wrong direction.

There was a drop in casualties in 2004 (compared to 2003) bikers - who represent just 1% of road users still accounted for 17% of fatalities. 585 bikers were killed and 6,063 seriously injured in 2004 and bringing the figures down is a top priority for THINK! During 2003, 73% of all crashes involving a two-wheeled motor vehicle also involved a car.

The DfT report concluded that the common cause of motorcycle crashes is a 'right of way violation'. The majority of these incidents occur at T-junctions and it is usually the motorist who is at fault. In around 65% of these particular 'right of way' incidents, a driver fails to see a motorcyclist who should be in clear view - a biker who is spotted by witnesses and other road users who are present at the time. The figure of 65% does not include incidents where drivers don’t take a restricted view into account, or fail to judge the speed or distance of an approaching biker.

The THINK! team worked very closely with key motorcycling associations including the Motorcycle Industry Association, the British Motorcyclists' Federation and the Motorcycle Action Group - to develop this campaign. Feedback from these associations suggests that encouraging riders and drivers to 'look out for each other' reinforces the blame culture that exists between the two groups.

THINK! campaign now targets drivers and riders separately with safety messages to prevent either side opting out of the message. The advertisement contains a clear call to action to try and bring about behavioural change.

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