In July 1988 the Police launched a National Motorway Safety Campaign to improve drivers' behaviour and help reduce motorway accidents. Previous campaigns were run in 1985 and 1986. The themes of the campaign were 'Keep your distance' and 'Watch your speed'. The campaign involved national and local publicity with the focus on Service Area Exhibitions. A policy of high police presence and enforcement was recommended during the campaign. Interview surveys and traffic data measures were taken before, during and after the campaign. Results showed that high awareness of the campaign was achieved by free national and local TV and radio coverage with more than two thirds of drivers having heard of the campaign. Exhibitions were far less effective in achieving awareness. Recall of the main themes was relatively poor, the prevalence of non-campaign themes (ie general road safety themes not selected for the campaign by the organizing committee) seemed to have interfered with recall. Less than half the drivers interviewed (33%) said that their behaviour would be affected by the campaign and most did not identify themselves as the target audience. Knowledge communication with regard to stopping distances was extremely poor. There was a slight increase in awareness of the police during the campaign though few drivers said this had influenced their driving. Behavioural measures suggest that the campaign had little effect on speed or close following. Overall the findings suggest that excessive speed and close following behaviour are extremely resistant to modification through traditional publicity techniques and alternative strategies need to be researched.

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