Eye eye drug driving

OK hands up how many people think the latest Government sponsored Drug Driving campaign is going to work?

The ad itself is good. It communicates the message that drug driving is bad, that you will get caught and that the penalties are severe. OK so job done. I think working on this sort of project can be a potential nightmare. From the AIDS iceberg onwards public information campaigns are littered with half hearted and misconceived attempts to get the man in the street to do the right thing.

The challenge this time isn’t the ad. The team at Leo Burnett have delivered. You’ll look different, you’ll look a freak, you’ll get caught. It’s the other premise thats the problem. Yes we’ve all had to work on stuff that we didn’t believe 100% but parts of this campaign stretch it a bit. People I’m guessing get stopped and tested either on a random basis – its Christmas, its kicking out time, you’re just leaving a pub car park, or because they’ve done something that draws plod’s attention, ie driving erratically (or in some cases too perfectly!). The chance of a policeman being able to spot the dilation of your pupils at night, at distance, at a glance, or in your rear view mirror is pretty slim. Sadly to fans of David Cronenberg your eyes don’t bulge out quite like those in the ad after a bit of weed or any other narcotic. So essentially your chances are no more or less than getting caught drink driving. Getting caught drink or drug driving still seems to rely on getting stopped for something else, the classic broken brake light or an error in road etiquette. Even if you do get stopped for whatever reason you’re not as bang to right as parts of Europe, in Germany the police have roadside swab kits that they can use there and then, in the UK its either a roadside test or back to the station for more tests. We don’t want people being pulled over purely on the excuse ‘well his eyes looked a bit funny’ either.

Take drugs and drive. The police will see your eyes, err actually no they won’t. End of campaign.

I like the giant eye on the Dept of Transport site more than the campaign for getting the message across. There’s desktops to download too, you can have your drug of choice loud and proud on your desktop. Loving the festival glasses too… However the ‘making of…’ is a little much, this isn’t after all Dr Who Confidential…

The biggest benefit of this endeavour will be to make people aware that drunk driving is a serious crime, with serious consquences.

Make no mistake this is a problem issue and get in a car either drugged up or over the limit and you should get the book, preferably a large one,  thrown at you, repeatedly. Focusing on the concept that the police will get you – even though the realistic chances of being pulled over are obviously no more than usual detection, rather than the argument that you could kill someone through your own selfishness seems a bit of a missed opportunity.

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