In 2006, the Flemish government launched the traffic safety campaign “What is your excuse?”. This campaign stimulates road users to more responsible driver behaviour.
The Flemish Government has set up many campaigns to increase traffic safety, traffic liveability and good passage. These campaigns raise awareness on different mobility issues, stimulate towards sustainable mobility and a more safe and responsible driving behaviour.
The traffic safety campaign “What is your excuse?” was launced by the Flemish Ministers of Public Works, Kris Peeters, and of Mobility, Kathleen Van Brempt in 2006.
Several themes were focussed at:
- driving left
- sustainable modes
- public transport
- driving near public road works
- correct use of emergency lanes
- more human in traffic.
For each theme, slogans on large billboards appeared at the Flemish motorways. The sayings were conceived and selected by the audience. Via the website www.watisuwexcuus.be people were encouraged to come up with excuses for not respecting certain traffic rules.
From the experience that traffic police quite frequently heard the most absurd excuses, the Flemish government wanted to stress out that many people come up with excuses, but that there are NO good excuses for not following the rules. A large poster campaign focused on each theme with the top 3 slogans.
These are only some of the slogans that Flemish road users noticed on large billboards across the motorways during 2006:
- “You remain still at the emergency lane… because you’re waiting for true love”
- “You remain still at the emergency lane … because you’re tires need some rest”
- “I drive wild … because my grandfather was a pirate”
- “I drive wild … because I’m being pursued”
- “I take over at the right… because I like living on the edge”
For the theme on driving in the vicinity of public road works, famous Flemish people drove around in slogan-cars. This particular method was dual: first by means of drawing attention by means of famous people, more people were lured towards the campaign website. Second, through these trendsetters, the threshold was hoped to be lowered for people to actually adapt their driving behaviour.
The campaign has certainly been noticed at Flemish motorways, yet actual effect studies have not been done at this time.
The campaign also received a Crystal Award at the French Festival de la Publicité de Méribel for being the best in the category “Charities/General Interest”.
Campaign website: www.watisuwexcuus.be (in Dutch)