UK Government

Department for Transport: Seat belts advert shows deadly consequences of not belting up

Press Release   •   Feb 01, 2010 11:55 GMT

A hard-hitting THINK! campaign reminding drivers of the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing a seat belt was launched today by Road Safety Minister Paul Clark.

The £1.3 million campaign shows that if you have a crash without wearing a seat belt you actually experience three crashes, even at everyday speeds like 30mph. First, your car crashes and stops. Second - because there's nothing to stop you moving - your body carries on and hits the inside of the car. Third, you stop but your internal organs keep moving, hitting the inside of your body and can rupture under the force of the impact.

Paul Clark said:

"If you are involved in an accident while not wearing a seat belt then your body experiences a series of three collisions damaging vital internal organs.  This campaign reminds drivers that - no matter how short their journey or how slowly they are driving - they are risking their life if they set off without putting their seat belt on.

"I hope this campaign will help everyone realise that they need to belt up every time they get in a car."

You are twice as likely to die in a crash if you are not wearing a seat belt and about one life could be saved in Britain each day if everyone always wore a belt.

The THINK! campaign - which includes television, radio, cinema, and outdoor advertising - is based on detailed research into people's seat belt wearing habits which showed that people are less likely to wear seat beats on low speed, short journeys on familiar roads, even though they are still risking their lives in these cases.

The advert is so realistic and graphic it can only be shown after 9pm. An edited version will be used for earlier showings - describing but not showing the damage to internal organs.

Notes to editors

1. Seat belt facts:

* An analysis of accident statistics from 2002 to 2006 shows that 353 lives could have been saved each year if everyone always wore a seat belt.

* Once one person puts their seat belt on, everyone else in the car is more likely to do so.

* All the safety features you paid for in your car were tested with the assumption you would be wearing a belt. Without a seat belt, those safety features are of little benefit.

* Some people believe they don’t need to wear a seat belt if the car has airbags. That’s wrong – airbags are designed to be used with seat belts. They supplement them and will not provide adequate protection on their own.

* Seat belts have prevented an estimated 60,000 deaths and 670,000 serious injuries since 1983 when seat belts were made mandatory for drivers and front seat passengers.

2. Seat belts timeline:

1965: It becomes compulsory to fit seat belts in the front of cars built in Europe.

1970: "Clunk Click" TV commercials, starring Jimmy Saville show the dangers of being thrown through the windscreen in a collision, as wearing rates are very low.

1983: Front seat belt wearing regulations for drivers and passengers (both adult and children) come into force.

1989: Wearing rear seat belts become compulsory for children under 14.

1991: It becomes compulsory for adults to belt up in the back.

1993: "Elephant" TV commercial, shot in black and white, demonstrates the danger presented by an unrestrained back seat passenger in a crash, who can be thrown forward with the impact of three and a half tons.

1996: "Peter Pan" and "Doctor" radio commercials aimed at increasing awareness among children and teenagers are aired.

1998: "Julie" TV commercial comes as a reminder that unbelted rear seat passengers can not only injure themselves, but can also kill other people in the car.

1999: A cinema commercial "Vectorscope" screened nation wide in cinemas along with the "Julie" commercial.

2003: "Backwards" TV commercial demonstrates, with the help of a flying pizza, the difference that a simple click can make between life and death.

2007: "Julie" TV commercial is re-aired to educate a new generation about the importance of wearing a seat belt in the back of the car.

2008: New "Three Strikes" TV commercial launches to remind all drivers and passengers of the importance of wearing a seat belt whenever they get in a car by graphically demonstrating the internal injuries caused by collisions, even at low speeds.

3. Penalties

The penalty for non-compliance, on conviction, is a maximum fine of £500. If a Fixed Penalty Notice is offered and accepted, the fine is £60.

4.  TV advert script

Richard didn’t want to die.

But he couldn’t stop himself.

The collision didn’t kill him.

But he wasn’t wearing a seat belt,

so he hit the inside of the car.

That didn’t kill him either.

But his internal organs carried on travelling. Until they hit his ribcage.

And his lungs were punctured.

And the main artery from his heart was torn.

And that’s what killed Richard.

What’s stopping you?

Think! Always wear a seat belt.

5. Campaign dates

- TV, radio and outdoor advertising will run from 1-28 February. Cinema will run from 5-24 February

6. Research

Research on numbers of lives saved by seat belts conducted by TRL Ltd (formerly the Transport Research Laboratory). Report TRL 563 available on-line at http://www.trl.co.uk/store/report_list.asp?pid=211&pno=7&searchtext=&advancedsearch=&allwords=&submitted=1the Transport Research Laboratory.

"Strapping Yarns: Why people do and do not wear seat belts" Road Safety Research Report 98 is available on-line from http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3066
Out of Hours: 020 7944 4292
Public Enquiries: 0300 330 3000
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.u