x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Creator of successful UK road safety campaign to steer the UAE

Emma Stranack, whose road safety campaign reduced road deaths in the UK by 45 per cent over 10 years, is to speak in Dubai.

DUBAI // The creator of a campaign that helped to cut road deaths in the UK by 45 per cent over 10 years says a similar approach could boost safety here. Emma Stranack, who works for Britain's transport department, led the development of the THINK! advertising campaign to promote the road safety message.

One series of advertisements warned drivers that if they killed while speeding they would be tormented by the memory for the rest of their lives, while others targeted drink-drivers and those who text while behind the wheel.

Ms Stranack, who will be speaking about the campaign at a conference in Dubai next month, said: "The issues we have tackled by THINK! are similar to those faced in the Gulf region, and I hope that sharing some of the techniques and approaches that have worked in the UK will help contribute to improving road safety in this area of the world."

She said raising public awareness of the risks of speeding, using mobile phones while driving and not wearing seat belts helped to change attitudes, leading to safer and more considerate road behaviour.

"Research shows that human behaviour, rather than vehicle or environmental factors, accounts for the majority of road casualties. In addition to legislation and safety engineering measures in vehicles, our experience illustrates that public information campaigns on road safety have a clear role to play in raising awareness of risk, changing attitudes and in creating consent for legislation and enforcement measures, thus generating social norms."

Road deaths on British roads fell from 3,409 in 2000 to 1,850 in 2010.

Ms Stranack will be one of the speakers at the Gulf Traffic Conference, which will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from December 12 to 13.

newsdesk@thenational.ae