Page 75 - Linkline Yearbook 2018
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A Message from the RSA - Looking Back on their Memorable Campaigns of 2017
Our mission at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing the number and severity of collisions on the road. When we look back on 2017, a number of new road safety campaigns stand out which we and hopefully, you, will remember as defining moments for road safety.
One of the most noteworthy moments of the year for the RSA occurred on the 13 April 2017 when the RSA and An Garda Síochána jointly launched their new anti-drug driving campaign. The significance of this campaign launch was two-fold; firstly, it stood out as it would be the first time in Irish history that drivers could be tested for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates and benzodiazepines at the road-side.
Driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offense since 1961 but it has taken until 2017 for Ireland to have a drug testing device to test for the presence of drugs in drivers at the roadside. The second reason we see that day as significant was because our accompanying advertising campaign launched and it sent a clear message to drug drivers; one that told drivers that if they drive on drugs, they would get caught.
This was a wholly digital campaign comprised of some purely informational type videos which explained how the test was conducted, the consequences if arrested and how anyone with medical conditions should ensure they do not drive impaired.
The second component of the campaign was a slightly more daring video called “Uvula” aimed at young drivers highlighting that drivers can lie about drug driving but the new Draeger 5000 drug testing machine cannot. With previous research by the medical bureau of road safety demonstrating that out of 9,734 driver specimens tested for drugs between 2009 and 2015, 64% tested positive, it’s clear that the introduction of this machine and this drug driving campaign is a hugely positive stride forward for Ireland in our bid to achieving safer roads.
“I had no idea of the dangers it could cause” was a sentence we heard regularly following the launch of our “Misuse of seatbelts” campaign in February 2017. This campaign was primarily aimed at young women who wore their seatbelts under their arm instead of over their shoulder. This digital campaign entitled “This Seasons Killer Look” was supported by Stellar Magazine and a number of social media bloggers. It successfully communicated the message that how you wear a seatbelt can be as important as whether you are wearing one at all, bringing seatbelt wearing and the importance of wearing it properly to the forefront of our many conversations nationwide.
A 2016 study conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of the RSA found that out of 300 17-35 year old women surveyed, 28% admitted to wearing their seatbelts under their arm leaving themselves susceptible to severe scarring, blindness, brain injury and neck spinal injuries if involved in the event of a collision. There is no doubt that this campaign has gone a large way to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt correctly.
“Signs” is an RSA anti-speeding campaign aimed at motorcyclist’s which was launched on Friday, 4 August 2017. It was developed following the publication of the RSA’s motorcyclist pre-crash report which found bikers speeding to be a factor in almost half of motorcyclist collisions.
This advert acknowledges that when we are bombarded by so many signs/ figures of authority telling us what to do each day that sometimes it’s difficult to ignore the urge to rebel against these. It asks motorcyclists to let the warning in this advert be one they heed - in other words “Nobody likes being told what to do. Sometimes you have to listen: speeding is a factor in half of motorcyclist fatalities. Ease off the throttle.”
In 2017, there have also been a number of highlights and achievements for the RSA such as entering our 11th business year, educating another generation of drivers, and we also picked up a few awards along the way. However, no amount of awards compare to the ultimate achievement of reducing deaths and serious injuries. It is our wish that this progress continues into 2018 and thereafter.
For more information on the RSA please see their website
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