Friday, December 01, 2006

Drink OR Drive. Just Choose One

My one time employers Thames Valley Police today launched their annual Christmas Anti drink drive campaign with what I think is a pretty lack lustre poster for such a crucial issue.

This is the TVP poster, which frankly looks more like an advert for something you might find on CBeebies than something that will deter the casual Christmas drink driver, let alone the hardcore who insist that they can handle it.

At least it is promoting the choice that I have always found obvious: you either drink or you drive. Like grape and grain, you should never mix. To be honest I have always absolutely adhered to this rule - the drink or drive rule, I've often mixed grape and grain - and would choose between the two before I was legally entitled to do either! (Ah, the joys of growing up with acres of farmland to keep me busy!).

To be honest the Government's main seasonal gesture in the same direction has involved merely laying Cliff Richard's 'Mistletoe & Wine' and the 1970s Roy Wood & Wizard hit 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day' over an anti drink drive television advert from 2004. You'll recall it because it etches itself on the memory - three guys in the pub, one tries half-heartedly to decline a second drink before their pub table slams into a pretty girl in a car like fashion. It effectively showed you become a drink driver in the pub.

Part of me suspects they have stuck with the advert because it is so effective. Then again, everyone must have seen it by now and thus those already ignoring are unlikely to pay attention because it has a Christmas tune attached.

It is all correctly intentioned. Professionally I have seen the impact of drink driving many times and it is never pretty. The stats are horrific: On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions and nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involved drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit.

Remember these anti drink drive posters from Christmasses past?

Either of these is still far more impactive than the effort at the top of the page: These make you stop and think and if nothing else admire how clever they are!

And how about this retro advice from 1982 - even then the idea of choosing between drinking or driving was an option!

Clearly neither was the idea of a pint of lager in a straight jar!

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