Uni students' pitch chosen for Queensland road safety program

Campaign highlights the danger of driving while tired.

A road safety campaign created by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students has been selected for the 2021 Queensland Re:act road safety behaviour change program.

The “Even the best rest” campaign was created to raise awareness among 18 to 25-year-old road users about the risks of driver fatigue.

The campaign “humanises those at the ‘top of their game’ by speaking to the reality they still need sleep to perform at their best”.

QUT student and campaign co-creator Saskia Harper said the idea was inspired by research that showed young drivers considered driving while fatigued to be normal.

“Our target audience are aware of the dangers of driving fatigued but feel they have no choice and they prioritise their lifestyle over their safety,” Ms Harper said.

“Our research also showed they believe they are capable of managing their tiredness while they drive, that they compare themselves to influencers, professionals and celebrities, and they are tired of road safety campaigns that use fear, so we wanted something humorous and authentic.”

Ms Harper said participating in the campaign changed her own driver behaviour.

“Just the other day I woke up feeling very tired,” she said.

“I had to go somewhere with my friend and I asked my mum if she could drive us. Previously I would have just driven.”

In a recent RACQ survey, 25% of respondents admitted to knowingly driving while tired and 29% said they had accidentally driven while fatigued.

Of those drivers who knowingly drove while tired, 39% continued to their destination.

Re:act founder Andrew Hardwick said drawing parallels between sleep and peak performance created a strong connection for young drivers to realise they too needed rest to drive safely.

“With those at the top of their game often put on a pedestal, it’s a very intelligent approach to reinforce that even the best in the world still need sleep to perform at their best,” Mr Hardwick said.

“Even the best rest” will be featured across more than 300 marketing assets across Queensland including university campuses, retail sites, street furniture and roadside billboards.

RACQ is a partner of Re:act.