A major new road safety campaign aimed at car drivers in Greater Manchester has plenty of good advice for bike riders, too.
The series of films by Safer Roads Greater Manchester offers a new perspective on the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Called ‘Your Car Can’t Say No’, the campaign carries the warning that there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking before you get behind the wheel of a car.
And that’s a message that resonates loudly for bike riders too - indeed, possibly more so, as research has shown that the key skills bike riders’ rely on, including balance, fine motor skills, risk awareness, judgement and observation, are more acutely affected by any level of drink and drug use before riding.
The campaign shows three videos of seemingly sober people approaching their car in human form, which begins to have a back-and-forth conversation with their driver and advises them against driving.
Each person ignores their car’s advice and ‘gets behind the wheel’ by hopping on their back before suddenly being brought back to reality having crashed their car, without realising how drunk they are – even the morning after drinking – or after taking drugs.
Safer Roads Greater Manchester (SRGM) says:
“It is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit, so we always strongly recommend having none for the road.”
“The way alcohol affects an individual depends on the type and amount of alcohol they’re drinking, what they’ve eaten recently, stress levels at the time, weight, height and so on. The same applies for legal and illegal drugs. That’s why, before you drive or ride, the only truly safe level is nothing.”
Peter Boulton, Transport for Greater Manchester’s head of highways, said:
“Anyone who decides to ride their bike or drive a car after drinking or taking drugs must be prepared for the consequences that follow. They are putting themselves and others in danger, and also risk ending up with a criminal record, a driving ban or a prison sentence.
“While the Your Car Can’t Say No campaign is intentionally light-hearted, the issue at its centre is a really serious one. Each of the drivers shown in the videos are confronted with the reality of the consequences of their actions.
“I hope this campaign encourages people thinking of having a drink to leave their car or bike at home and stay safe because the likelihood of getting caught, or causing real harm to themselves and others, are high, and the risks are simply not worthwhile.”
You can see the campaign here