International road safety behaviour change program has UK launch

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An international road safety program, proven to increase awareness and influence the behaviour of young people on our roads, was launched in London on February 11, supported by the FIA Foundation.

Collaborating with London College of Communication, UAL, the Re:act behaviour change program challenges local university students to create a road safety campaign that educates 18-25 year old road users about an issue critical to their peers.

The Re:act 2020 topic is distraction.

An initiative of behaviour change creative agency Hard Edge, Re:act is expanding internationally in 2020, with the UK the first overseas market to run the program. Re:act is expected to expand into the US and selected developing countries next year.

Re:act is being launched in the UK in collaboration with London College of Communication, and program partners FIA Foundation, Pepsi, Zurich Insurance, Transport for London and founding agency Hard Edge. Re:act partners provide professional feedback to student participants during campaign development and, in late-May, will choose the most effective final campaign, which will be activated in June.

“Re:act challenges university students to design and develop road safety campaigns that engage their peers, raise awareness of critical road safety issues and change behaviour on our roads,” Re:act founder and CEO Andrew Hardwick said.

“The program is unique in how it engages government and the private sector to collaborate with young people. This approach creates a platform for professional development, road safety awareness and for young people’s thoughts to be heard, while giving partner organisations insights into effective road safety messages for younger road users.”

FIA Foundation’s Kate Turner said young people were more likely to die or be seriously injured on the world’s roads than from any other cause.

“This is a universal tragedy, which is true across every region of the world and includes vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers themselves,” she said. “Our streets belong to everyone, and every death is one too many.

“It’s time to listen to young people, to give them the tools and support to be able to build a peer-led movement and enact meaningful change, which is why the FIA Foundation is delighted to partner with Re:act for this innovative program.”

London College of Communication Partnerships Manager Matt Guy said: “The London College of Communication experience is all about learning by doing. Projects with industry partners give students opportunities to test what they learn in the classroom on real challenges, while getting feedback from professionals.

“Our diverse students offer unique insights that are hugely valuable to companies and we’re really pleased to be able to use this to help promote road safety with Re:act.”

Paul Tacey, from Zurich Risk Engineering UK, said: “As a global insurer, we’re all too aware of the proven link between distracted drivers and collision frequency.

“Getting involved with this program provides us with a fantastic opportunity to engage with young people, share our expertise around road safety and, most importantly, learn from their ideas.

“Supporting this initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to influencing driver behaviour and improving road safety for all.”
Re:act’s Andrew Hardwick added the program had proven its ability to educate and change attitudes among young drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in Australia, as well as inspire partner organisations.

“With challenges like road user distraction being a universal issue, Re:act is becoming a global road safety movement making a real difference around the world.”