Clunk Click Every Trip

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"Clunk Click Every Trip" is the slogan of a series of British public information films, commencing in January 1971 and starring Jimmy Savile. The BBC adapted Savile's slogan for the title of his Saturday night variety show beginning in 1973.[1] The slogan was introduced during the previous campaign, fronted by Shaw Taylor and featuring the slogan "Your Seatbelt Is Their Security". However, it was the onomatopoeia used by Taylor to describe the act of closing the door and fastening a seatbelt that proved the most memorable aspect of that campaign, and so it was upgraded to act as the slogan when the films moved into colour.

The advertisements highlighted the dangers of being thrown through the windscreen in a traffic collision and reminded drivers that the first thing they should do after closing the door ("Clunk") is fasten their seatbelt ("Click"). These advertisements, which included graphic sequences of drivers being thrown through the windscreen and, in one Savile-hosted PSA, an image of a disfigured woman who survived such an accident, helped lay the groundwork for compulsory seatbelt use in the front seat of a vehicle, which came into force on 31 January 1983 in the UK, although car manufacturers had been legally obliged to fit front seatbelts in vehicles since 1965.[2]


Some of the films in the series included:

  • Maximillian, in which a young man who was paralysed in a car crash as a result of not wearing a seatbelt advises the audience to "Clunk Click Every Trip"
  • Shopping, with Savile explaining that, contrary to popular belief, most road accidents occur on short trips and often on roads with which the driver is familiar, such as women going shopping for groceries or collecting children from school
  • Accidents At Speed, showing what can happen to an unbelted person in the front of a car in a crash at 30 mph or faster
  • Lucky Escape, where a young couple explain how seatbelt use saved their lives in an accident that completely crushed their car
  • Myrtle Searle, showing a woman who was blinded in a car accident because she wasn't belted in
  • Loose Objects, in which Savile demonstrates, using an egg in two different boxes, how a seatbelt will protect you in the event of an accident
  • Carol, featuring a teenage girl mutilated in a crash after being thrown through the windscreen
  • Broken Bottle, in which Savile compares the impact of crashing through a windscreen to being hit in the face with a glass bottle, and shows images of heavily scarred crash victims.
  • Keith Dawes, Nerys Hughes, Dennis Dryburgh, Margaret Rudder, Mr Sturges, Mr Reader, Dinah Gibbs, all interviews with victims of road crashes; some seriously injured, maimed or paralysed, others who survived because of seatbelt use.
  • Dangerous Weapons, using crash test dummies to demonstrate the impact of a driver going through a windscreen.

The last Public Information Film to use the slogan was Elephant, produced in 1993.

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