Shock tactics shunned in new Christmas drink driving campaign

Humour is at the heart of a new anti-drink driving campaign, with a group of friends in a pub having a kickabout with a set of car keys fronting a new film by the government's Think! campaign.

A still from the government's latest drink drive film

The key message of the ‘Time to Tackle’ film is don’t let your friends drink and drive, and it has already had more than 12,000 views and several hundred engagements since its release last Friday.

It shows a group of friends out drinking when one of them announces that they’re off home. This prompts an exchange of looks between the rest of the group, who then proceed to kick the car keys out of the hands of their friend and show off their footballing skills with them - accompanied by samba music.

The film ends with the car keys being volleyed into a pint glass held by the pub landlady, who shouts "right, taxi!"

As the group of friends hold aloft the pint glass like a football trophy, the message "a mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive" appears on screen.

The Christmas campaign, which is targeting 17 to 24-year-old men, is the latest stage in the #MatesMatter awareness programme and is being promoted on social media.

Young men are disproportionately involved in drink-driving accidents, according to the Department for Transport, with 280 young men killed or seriously injured due to drink driving in 2016. On average, men aged 17-24 are 24 times more likely to die or be seriously injured than drivers aged over 25, and four times more likely than women the same age.

The new film is one of three which have been made for the latest campaign. Another shows a couple kissing, ignoring everything around them until a man picks up his car keys and goes to leave. They break off from their embrace and the boyfriend kisses the man as the girlfriend takes the keys, and says "Someone’s getting the bus home".

The films will be shown online and on social media during the Christmas and party season, as well as at football grounds, on Spotify and in pubs.

The campaign is informed by a recent RAC survey, which revealed that more than two thirds of people would urge their friend not to drive if they thought they were over the limit, and will run until 3 January 2019.

Laura Kane, deputy head of marketing at Department for Transport, explained the rationale behind the campaign: "Peers and mates are hugely influential in the lives of young people. Our latest THINK! campaign leverages these relationships to tackle drink driving at Christmas – a time when social drinking is at its peak. Rather than communicating with the driver, we’re talking to friends."

Road safety minister Jesse Norman commented: "The simple message is that friends need to step in and stop their friends from getting behind the wheel after drinking."

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