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Racing heroes give IAM RoadSmart the ‘thumbs up’ to increase courtesy on the roads

Nigel Mansell supports the IAM RoadSmart 'Thumps Up' campaign

IAM RoadSmart has labelled August ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ month, as the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity gears up for a campaign to increase courteous and polite driving and riding on UK roads.

Across the month of August, IAM RoadSmart is encouraging drivers and riders via its network of 202 local groups around the country to acknowledge and demonstrate their appreciation when another road user lets them into traffic, allows them priority or gives them a helping hand – with a simple thumbs up, or one of IAM RoadSmart’s special thumbs up stickers.

IAM RoadSmart staff and volunteers will be out watching for good deeds done and will be armed with thousands of stickers to hand out in support of the campaign.

IAM RoadSmart local groups will be fundraising during the month of August, so there are plenty of other ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ items available.

The money raised will go towards a special IAM RoadSmart safety vehicle, decked up in IAM RoadSmart colours, equipped with road safety merchandise and equipment. If the target of £10,000 is reached, IAM RoadSmart groups around the country will be able to use the vehicle free of charge for promotional events or displays through the year as they help spread the road safety message to young people and local community groups.

The ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ campaign has won the support of two of the country’s most respected motorsport heroes – Nigel Mansell CBE and Paddy Hopkirk OBE, plus one of the UK’s most accomplished riders, Maria Costello MBE.

Nigel, who is world famous for his 14 year Formula 1 career culminating in winning the 1992 world title in a Williams, said: “Nowadays it sometimes feels like courtesy on our roads is in rather short supply – and it’s about time that good driving is rewarded. I am wholly in favour of ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding’ month – anything that leaves a smile on the face after a journey is a good idea to me.”

Paddy, who became a household name after winning the Monte Carlo and Acropolis rallies in the iconic red Mini, as well as competing at Le Mans, Daytona in the USA and the epic London-Sydney Marathon, added: “I’ve been driving for more than six decades and being thanked or thanking someone changes the whole tone of a journey.

“Let’s just make all our lives that much more cheerful by giving the thumbs up where it’s deserved and moving on with a smile.”

Maria, who made history as the first woman to claim a podium at the Isle of Man Classic TT alongside her hero John McGuinness and who held the Guinness World Record as the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course for five years, said: “It really is a shame to see conflict on the road escalate so fast, when all it takes is for one party to back down and diffuse the situation. We urge everyone out there to be the ‘bigger man or woman’ and take the first step towards promoting courtesy between road users as the norm and not the exception.”
IAM RoadSmart is asking drivers and motorcyclists to get involved with the campaign by sharing their own positive driving and riding experiences on social media using the hashtag #ThumbsUpForGreatDriving or #ThumbsUpForGreatRiding.

Further information about how to get involved is available at www.iamroadsmart.com/ThumbsUp, @iamroadsmart or Facebook.com/iamroadsmart or supporters can go to to https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/70439-thumbs-up-2018 help share the message.

Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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