French Government launch road safety campaign to ‘smash the stereotype’ behind dangerous driving

French Government launch road safety campaign to ‘smash the stereotype’ behind dangerous driving
The French Government’s national road safety agency, Securite Routiere, has launched its most recent safety campaign, which has taken a unique approach to stopping fatalities when driving.

Research found that 84% of deaths caused by driving in France were when men were behind the wheel, leading to the agency focusing on addressing what they call ‘toxic masculinity’. The data also revealed that 78% of all those killed on French roads were men.

A further 93% of those involved in drink-driving accidents were men.

As a result, Securite Routiere’s aim is to ‘smash the stereotype’ that could potentially lead men to be involved in accidents when behind the wheel.

Florence Guillaume, Head of the safety agency, said: “It is urgent to liberate men from the social expectation that incites them to associate virility with risk-taking.

“We are not out to generalise or stigmatise. We can’t leave this reality at the roadside.”

In the campaign video, a father is shown in a maternity ward when he meets his new-born son for the first time.

He tells him that he ‘can be a sensitive man, a man who cries – a man who knows how to show emotion’.

According to the safety agency, psychologists who ran the study found that driving defined virility for men. However, women viewed vehicles as just a form of transport.

When compared to the UK, France has almost twice as many road fatalities every year.

However, when the statistics are broken down into percentages, there are some similarities.

Department for Transport (DfT) data showed that 78% of all fatalities and further 62% of those involved in road accidents were men.

DfT stated: “While Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, we’re committed to further reducing collisions.

“Our THINK! campaign is specifically targeted at young men who are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over 25.”

In fact, DfT’s 2017 ‘THINK!’ campaign called ‘A Mate Doesn’t Let A Mate Drink Drive’ was aimed at young men to tackle similar issues.

This was then followed by ‘Mates for Life’ in 2021 which encouraged young men to stop their friends from drink driving by talking about the friendships and not ruining their lives.

What do you make of the French agency’s data and campaign? Leave your comments below.

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