Attitudes to Road Safety and Think! Road Safety Campaigns

  • Published: MURMUR prepared for the Department for Transport, no date
  • Authors: M. Ratcliff and S. Bouchier-Hayes
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 15 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


  • To review existing road safety communications aimed at children and teenagers and investigate possible methods/routes for improving communication.

  • To explore the need for a separate marketing approach for 10-11 year olds during the transition from primary to secondary school.

  • To ensure the key messages in current and future campaigns appeal and resonate.

  • To explore the possibility of linking cycling and pedestrian safety into a single campaign that would be flexible enough to work with both children and teens and within that males and females.


The methodology was based on interviews and immersion studies as detailed below:

  • Interviews with a number of road safety experts (Police, Road Safety Officers and Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents).

  • 30 group interviews were undertaken amongst a variety of children of different ages across the country.

Key Findings:

  • ‘Camera Phone’ is a very successful piece of road safety advertising, a scene filmed on a camera phone depicts the protagonist being run over and consequent harrowing screams. It elicits enormous empathy with its depiction of teenage life and delivers a genuine and visceral shock which stays with respondents, especially under 15s.

  • Teens tend to live moment to moment, they are not future focussed ‘Don’t Die Before You’ve Lived’ is too future focussed for teenagers to truly engage; it’s far more resonant among parents.

  • Graphic illustration of catastrophe should not be shied away from when depicting the impact and consequences of RTIs. Significant numbers from 8-11 year olds and the vast majority of those over 11 can cope with it.


Teen road safety, Education Campaign, Evaluation, Impact


Highlights a number of pieces of research.