Out at night? Don’t become a road casualty!
With the responsibility for safer roads and safer pedestrians always at the front of their minds, the South Yorkshire Road Safety Team is spending the next six weeks focusing on the safety of late night pedestrians. We chatted to the team behind the initiative to find out more.
Why are you targeting 17-24 year olds and why now?
It’s a new term and time to party. We knew that we wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we didn’t give them a few things to think about at the time when they’re out at night in Sheffield either as a fresher, new college or returning student. We see them out at night drinking (we do want them to enjoy themselves in this fine city by the way!) and after a few drinks they sometimes spill out into the road, not thinking about their own safety and their friends’ safety. We’re thinking about drivers too and how they need to be careful in those situations where pedestrians might not be able to think quickly and sensibly.
Did you ask them how safe they think they are?
We did. We talked with groups of college and university students and many of them were the first to admit that when out partying they are often not careful pedestrians. So, we asked them to design a campaign with us – now in its second year and spanning South Yorkshire not just Sheffield.
What did they come up with?
They looked at past national campaigns with us, and told us what would work or not work; what would switch them on to the message and what would make them take no notice. They told us not to bombard them with words and statistics or any patronising ‘youth language’ and made it clear that the campaign should also show the perspective of the driver. They said the time when they stop and think when they are out drinking is when they go to the washrooms. And that’s exactly where they told us we should put the campaign. So we did.
Who designed the poster message?
Our designers came up with two really interesting concepts and these were given to the students for their opinions. They chose the ‘eyes’ concept, the ones that look out at you and grab your attention. We tweaked the campaign wording with them too and they chose ‘Don’t just walk into the road, will the driver see you in time?’ Simple message really.
Do you think the campaign will work and which venues are involved?
We hope so. We’ve followed what our target group asked us to do and hopefully that will pay off again this year. Over 75 venues are taking part in the campaign in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield and they are really keen – we had to print more posters last year because of the interest from venues. Sheffield’s venues are Corporation, Plug, Leadmill, DQ, all the Forum group including The Forum café bar, Old House and Common Room, University of Sheffield, Revolution, Viper Rooms, Crystal, The Harley, The Wick at Both Ends, Frog and Parrott, The Great Gatsby, The Washington, The Hop, The Green Room, Champs, O2 Academy, The Locker Room, SOYO, Bloo 88 and Maida Vale, as well as 21 venues across Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham. A big thanks to all of them.
What would you like 17-24 year old pedestrians to do now?
Be safe and look after each other when out drinking.
Follow us on Twitter @SheffCouncil and tell us where they’ve seen the posters.
Give us any views that they have about being a safe pedestrian.