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New road safety campaign launched in Medway

Date: 28/10/2008           Category: Community Safety

Shoppers outside the Dockside Outlet Centre in Chatham were greeted by an unusual sight on Monday, 27 October. Medway Council’s Road Safety Team were out in force along with staff from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police and The Highways Agency in a bid to remind people about the dangers of not paying attention on the road. Medway is leading the partnership campaign, called Engage Your Brain - and stay road aware. Its aim is to change peoples’ attitude by getting them to engage their senses and concentrate on the road, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists, to reduce road crashes and casualties. Staff talked to shoppers about the campaign and handed out a range of giveaways carrying the Engage Your Brain message - everything from balloons to pencil toppers were available to carry the message home to road users of all backgrounds and ages. Visitors also saw a preview of the campaign’s hard-hitting cinema commercial, which was screened at the launch, and will be seen in Medway’s cinemas from 31 October. Rather than adopt a preaching tone, the commercial takes a satirical angle, using the enthusiastic presence of a funeral director to hit the message home. The undertaker was present at the launch, complete with a coffin, sending passers-by a striking reminder to engage their brain on the roads. Posters will also be seen across Medway in the coming weeks, showing images of different road users whose brains are, literally, somewhere else - such as listening to their iPod, using a mobile phone, or thinking about a work problem. Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services was present at the launch. Cllr Filmer said, “I am delighted that so many people have taken the time to stop by and see what we’re trying to do. All contributions towards bringing down the number of killed or seriously injured incidents are very important and this campaign is a striking reminder to people to keep their mind on the road. If it means even just one life is saved, it will be worth it." ENDS For further information and photographs please contact Lisa Caleno on 01634 338308 or email lisa.caleno@medway.gov.uk