A surge in the manufacture of motorized vehicles resulted in a dramatic increase in traffic accidents.
A public meeting at Caxton Hall, London, was held in 1916 to elect a ‘Safety First’ Council to educate the public. This led to the formation of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
A National ‘Safety First’ Association was formed in 1923, taking a small stand at the 1926 Motor Show. The Duke of York became its patron. By the time he ascended the throne as King George VI in 1936 the public had developed a much greater awareness of accident prevention, and by the following year, the 21st anniversary of the Safety First Council, government statistics confrimed that road accidents had declined.
Wills cigarette cards were published as part of its campaign in 1934.