We attended the Festival of Speed at Goodwood this year and ran our stand in conjunction with GEM Motoring Assist and VSV (the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge and Engineering)
Anyone who’s seen our stand at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed before may have seen a supercar marked up as a police car. This is usually a great eye-catcher and draws the crowds – but this year, we collaborated with GEM Motoring Assist, and VSV (the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge and Engineering), and presented the Goodwood audience with the Tumbling Car.
This ingenious tool in the road safety arsenal was an ex-police car (a Skoda to be exact), which was set on a rig, and turned a full 360 when you were sat in it. Four people can “ride” in it at any time, and the idea was to show how effective the seatbelt was in keeping you safe and secure in your seat. The sensation of being turned over and over within a car was very alien – but you did just expect the seatbelt to work. And, thankfully, they do!
The humble three-point seatbelt that we know today was first introduced in Sweden in 1959, by Volvo. They deliberately didn’t copyright it, so that everyone could benefit from this contribution to road safety. It only became the law in 1983 to wear a seatbelt in England, and today, it is estimated there are still 2 million people who don’t wear one. That’s a lot of lives to save and a lot of minds to influence.
Reactions to the Tumbling Car were amazing, with people saying that they didn’t realise how important they were, or saying that you just habitually put one on when you get in the car, but you don’t consider how it can save your life. 4000 people attending the Festival of Speed tried out the Tumbling Car over the four days at Goodwood, so as well as attracting people to our stand, the car also engaged, educated and informed people about how to stay safe on the roads.
This whole project was made possible by the funding and coordination of GEM Motoring Assist. Having first been introduced to the Tumbling Car at the TISPOL conference last year, Road Safety Officer (from GEM) Neil Worth managed to bring it to England. Nearly everyone who was working for VSV was a volunteer – five of them came over to operate the Tumbling Car in their own time. Pulling our resources together like this was great for our stand, made a really big push to the Goodwood crowd about road safety, and boosted morale amongst us.
For our stand, we also brought along a safety camera van, which created some lively discussion and debate about why cameras go where they do, and what worth they had in regards to road safety. Our camera technicians were informative and engaging, and, thankfully, robust to any feedback they got.
We also had our Virtual Reality kits with us, where the viewer can experience what it’s like to be in a crash – without actually having to go through it. The film is about seven minutes long, and also creates some engaging thoughts after, as well as a few pale faces. The film is rated 15 due to the graphic content, but it does seem to have a good effect on how people want to approach their driving the next time they get in the car.
As well as all that, we also had our usual high visibility items, information booklets, stickers and flags for small people, ICE QR codes for cyclists and motorcyclists, and fountains of knowledge for anyone who needed it or wanted it.
This is a timelapse from day 3 at the FOS
We had a great festival, and hope to be back next year to save more lives. See you then!