By Ian Dunt
The road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick launched a £3.2 million campaign today highlighting the psychological effect of killing someone on the road.
The 'shock factor' campaign aims to deliver the message that if you kill someone while speeding you will be tormented by it forever.
The new THINK! Campaign, 'Kill your speed, or live with it', includes TV, radio, cinema and online advertising. The television advert sees a driver haunted by the image of a child he has killed while speeding.
Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Speed kills. More than 700 people were killed in 2007 in accidents where someone was driving too fast - that's two people every day of the year who didn't go home to their families.
"The last THINK! campaign on speeding highlighted the shocking fact that if you hit a child at 30mph there's an 80 per cent chance they will live but if you hit them at 40mph there's an 80 per cent chance they will die. It's 30 for a reason."
The campaign follows yesterday's Department for Transport statistics, which showed there were 247,780 road casualties in the UK in 2008.
Mr Fitzpatrick added: "We now want motorists to consider the consequences of speeding for them: what is life like for the driver who kills because they are in a rush to get home and how does that split second decision affect the rest of their life? I hope this powerful new campaign will get drivers to kill their speed before it's too late."
The 'Kill your speed, or live with it' campaign is just one of the government's initiatives to further cut the number of people killed or injured on Britain's roads. As well as other THINK! campaigns, the Department for Transport is currently consulting on a range of proposals to improve road safety, including increasing the penalties for those who commit the most serious speeding offences.
The Royal Automobile Club Foundation has welcomed the launch of today's campaign.
Stephen Glaister, director of the Royal Automobile Club Foundation said: "Driving at an appropriate speed to suit local conditions is something that all responsible motorists do. Good drivers should be prepared to drive at speeds below the limit.
"The Department for Transport's new campaign is aimed at those drivers who do not fully understand this message. Driving at inappropriate speeds should be seen as unacceptable as drinking and driving."