Safer driving initiative hailed as top campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:35 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:35 11 February 2013

Honest Truth campaign for Devon and Cornwall wins numerous awards at national public relations award.

A campaign to help make Devon and Cornwall’s roads safer has been hailed as the country’s top public sector campaign by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Local Public Services Group.

The Honest Truth joined together several public bodies with driving schools, providing driving instructors across Devon and Cornwall with free teaching resources to help teach youngsters safer driving habits.

At the national CIPR Local Public Services Conference the project was named campaign of the year following its effectiveness in encouraging young drivers to develop better habits such as always wearing their seatbelts, not using mobile phones in the car, and lowering their speed.

It also won an award for its teaching resource booklet, which was named best publication leaflet or flyer and the partnership approach was recognised with Highly Commended status in the partnership excellence category.

The Honest Truth Partnership includes Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Peppers School of Motoring and Community Safety Partnerships from around Devon and Cornwall, all of whom work together to deliver the campaign.

The Driving Standards Agency also supports the scheme by carrying supplies of leaflets in its driving test centres.

The Chairman of The Honest Truth Partnership Board, Sergeant Olly Tayler, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “The results of the project are way above what we ever dreamed of, and it’s only getting bigger.

“In 20 years of roads policing I’ve never been part of a campaign like it, and it’s a great example of public services working together with the private sector for the greater good.

“All this has been achieved with around £3,500 being spent on research, design, print and evaluation. Set that against the costs of a major collision of around £1.5M in reacting, cleaning up, investigating and where appropriate prosecuting.

“If we stop just one crash from happening then this has all been worth it, not only from a financial point of view but more importantly an emotional one.

“I’ve seen families destroyed by car accidents, and through The Honest Truth we’re making a proven difference to many young drivers’ behaviours.”

Tim Borrett, of East Devon District Council, who is the project’s Board Member for Communications, added: “We’re extremely proud to be recognised by the only Chartered body for Public Relations in the UK. These are tight times when people quite rightly scrutinise public sector spending on communications. Hopefully we’re proving that well researched and evaluated communications work can make a real and positive difference to people’s lives and the public purse.

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