THINK! launches first new seat belt campaign for 13 years

A new campaign to remind young men to ‘CLICK’ their seat belt in a bid to shift attitudes and save lives on roads across England and Wales has been launched by THINK!.

THINK! says every week on average, four young people aged 17 to 29 are either killed or seriously injured on roads when not wearing a seat belt, with young men more likely to not wear one, especially on short or well-known journeys. In 2022, 30% of fatalities among 17- to 29-year-olds were unbelted.

To help combat this, alongside targeted advertising on roadside posters, radio and social media, the £1.2m CLICK campaign will collaborate with partners, including various county football associations and local clubs, to promote ‘belting up’ when travelling to matchdays to keep themselves and their teammates safe.

Taxi and private hire vehicle companies, including Uber, are also supporting the campaign and looking to introduce direct reminders to passengers to wear their seat belt when making journeys in cabs.

Guy Opperman, roads minister, said: “We know how important wearing a seat belt is, reducing the risk of death for drivers in a collision by 50%.

“This campaign is part of the government’s plan to make our roads even safer and aims to make clicking in a seat belt second nature to young men, who currently run the highest risk of death or serious injury – reminding them that a simple CLICK can save lives.”

CLICK – the first seat belt specific campaign since 2011 – pulls on relatable, personal moments between friends to drive home the consequences of not wearing a seat belt. It acts as a reminder that something as simple as clicking your seat belt could save your life and that of your friends.

The campaign also serves as a reminder of the importance of wearing a seat belt when travelling on a minibus, bus or coach, with operators expected to clearly signpost rules and individual responsibilities when it comes to belting up, and with passengers over 14 years of age expected to take responsibility for themselves and ensure they are buckled up.

The creative approach focuses on the ‘CLICK’ sound of a seat belt fastening, which serves as an audible and visual reminder that something as simple as clicking your seat belt could save your life, and the lives of your friends.

The campaign ‘leverages the power of social consequences and relatable scenarios’ to shift attitudes and behaviours around seat belt wearing. It shows young men the range of ‘good times’ they risk missing out on (potentially forever) if they don’t belt up.

The campaign will run across social, radio, digital audio, digital display and ‘contextually relevant’ out of home (OOH) sites until the end of April. It also includes a new filler for public broadcasting on radio.

The campaign is backed by the RAC, whose road safety spokesman, Rod Dennis, said: “To most people, it’s second nature to wear a seat belt, but every time someone forgets to click theirs into place, they’re putting themselves and other passengers at risk.

“Young male drivers are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed than any other age group because they haven’t buckled up.

“For this reason, we’re in full support of THINK!’s ‘CLICK’ campaign urging all car occupants to wear their belts in transit, but especially young male audiences for whom this message could literally save lives.”

Road safety professionals are encouraged to head to the stakeholder page on the THINK! website to download campaign assets and the toolkit, which includes more details about thew campaign and how to support, including sample social copy.

The THINK team is asking road safety professionals to share the campaign via their channels and networks to ‘help cut through with this important road safety message’.

20 March 2024