Road scents: Lincolnshire Police using air freshener reminders in new road safety campaign

A new road safety campaign launched by Lincolnshire Police today (Wednesday) will urge drivers to “Belt up. Hang up. Ease up.” every time they step inside their vehicle.

Neighbourhood Policing Sergant Stuart Mumby-Croft, covering Sleaford and its surrounding rural areas, displaying some of the new campaign air fresheners reminding motorists to "Belt up. Hang up. Ease up." EMN-210929-150338001

The force is offering free air fresheners for members of the public, with each featuring a simple message reminding people to pause for thought before they set off on their journey.

The air fresheners are jasmine-scented, feature a red outline to represent a “stop” sign, and three icons representing each theme, along with the slogan.

They have been sent to stations around the county and local PCSOs at some of the smaller stations will also have them.

The slogan that will appear on air fresheners reminding motorists of the key messages in the new road safety campaign. EMN-210929-094012001

Chief Inspector in Specialist Operations, Ian Richardson, said: “Road safety starts with the person behind the wheel, and if we can get those driving on our roads to pay attention to these very simple road safety messages, we might find that we have fewer serious or fatal collisions to attend.”

On far too many occasions, officers witness first-hand the devastating consequences that speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel, or failing to wear a seatbelt can have.

Research shows:

○ You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone, and reactions two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive;

○ This increases to 3 times if you use a handheld phone;

○ You are twice as likely to die if you do not wear a seat belt, and people are less likely to use seat belts on short or familiar journeys;

○ If someone drives more than 10 to 15 per cent above the average speed of the traffic around them, they are much more likely to be involved in an accident.

Lincolnshire Police are working with the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership on the campaign to encourage people to take responsibility for safer driving as the nights get darker.

The air fresheners can be collected from the front desk at police stations in Boston, Grantham, Skegness, South Park, Gainsborough, Horncastle, Spalding, Stamford, Holbeach, and Louth, and local PCSO and officers in the Neighbourhood Policing Teams will hand them out where possible.

Ch Insp Richardson added: “Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text, and just a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash. The higher the speed, the longer it takes to identify and react to what is happening around you, and crucially, the longer it takes to stop. And seatbelts are a pretty simple one; if you are involved in a collision, do you want yourself or you passengers safely strapped in, or smashing into seats in front, the dashboard, or travelling through the nearest window onto the road?

“Our ultimate goal is to make Lincolnshire – and that includes its road network – one of the safest places to live, work and visit, and we hope this campaign will go some way to achieving that.”

The campaign follows a successful bumper sticker initiative earlier this year, which encouraged people to pick up a bumper sticker which featured a reminder to follow the speed limit. Data showed that in the two weeks before the campaign, there were 126 speeding offences, which dropped to 51 offences during the campaign, and saw a sustained drop in the two weeks after.

Steve Batchelor from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, added: “We have decided to follow a similar approach to this campaign because we’ve seen that engaging with people directly, and having them participate in the road safety message, works.

“Keeping our road network safe is our main priority as we know that using a mobile phone is still sadly something that happens too often, ever though the law is clear that it’s illegal, and people will still speed or not wear their seatbelt without thinking of the consequences.

“We’re hopeful this campaign will be really well engaged with, and we’ll see a difference in the number of collisions as a result.”

If you have information about poor or illegal driving, you can call 999 in an emergency or report here: https://www.lincs.police.uk/reporting-advice/driving-roads-and-vehicles/report-a-driving-offence/