A new campaign has launched in Western Australia to raise awareness among young drivers of the risks of driving fatigued by highlighting stimulants cannot overcome the effects of driving tired.

The “Not a Substitute for Sleep” campaign has been created as part of the annual Re:act road safety behaviour change program, which challenges TAFE graphic design students to create a campaign to raise awareness among 16-24 year old road users of a critical road safety issue.

Stephanie Simpson, the student who created the selected campaign, said research showed a high proportion of young drivers turned to stimulants to mask the effects of fatigue.

“What stood out when we did our research was that young people in general think it’s okay to use stimulants to combat the symptoms of fatigue, so I wanted a campaign to warn people against that and let them know that the only way to combat fatigue is to get a good night’s rest,” she said.

“I’m a shift worker and I finish work in the early hours of the morning. It’s only a 15 minute drive but I do pay a lot more attention now to how tired I am when I leave work and if I should be driving.”

WA Minister for Road Safety Paul Papalia said he was encouraged by the work being done by students though the Re:act behaviour change project to raise awareness of road safety issues.

“The Re:act behaviour change project brings together government, industry and community to work together on improving road safety, building a sense of shared responsibility,” he said.

Visit reactforchange.com to learn more about the Re:act program.