The widow of a driver killed on the M27 has lent her support to a new business-led road safety initiative, launched at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
Project Pictogram encourages UK fleets and organisations to use a voluntary industry sandard set of vehicle stickers to communicate the dangers of the ‘fatal four plus one’: inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, drink/drug driving and not maintaining a safe braking distance.
Rachael Burton’s husband Kevin died on his way to work when his car was hit from behind by a lorry in March 2015. The motorway was closed for nearly 24 hours. Rachael said: “We all know roads in the south are very crowded. At the inquest into my husband’s death, I called for experienced motorists to concentrate on their driving and lose the distractions. We all need to get into better habits – keep stopping distances, reduce speed, dispose of the distractions, belt up. I support Project Pictogram because its simple vehicle stickers reinforce those good habits, when we need them most: on the road.”
Unlike most safety programmes, Project Pictogram is aimed at business drivers and commuters and is based on retail brand marketing techniques. Creator, Phil Palfrey said: “The backs of vehicles are well-known advertising locations; by taking a small part of that space for road safety pictograms, we can create brand awareness to influence behaviour. Driving is a herd activity; as Project Pictogram positively influences large sections of the herd around these key risk-reducing driver behaviour habits, the wider group is likely to conform to the new safer practices being displayed. Safer, freer flowing roads deliver business profit protection.”
Every collision harms business and the economy. In 2011, the government estimated that lost hours caused by motorway closures cost the economy over £1 billion. The RAC estimates that having vehicles off the road costs small businesses £500 a day.
All the guidelines and artwork is available free of charge from www.hantsfire.gov.uk/project-pictogram. At around £2.50 per vehicle, cost of printing the five sticker set for the back doors of a multiple retailer’s entire fleet equates to the damage caused by one minor rear-end shunt or the trade disruption at one store resulting from a collision-related road closure.
Phil Palfrey added: “Project Pictogram is a powerful initiative that protects profit and guards against the prospect of staff injury or fatality. As businesses get involved, they can dive deeper with specific educational campaigns for their own staff and promote safer driving through other media, such as on-the-go coffee cups, insurance reminders and literature at tourist attractions.”