Road Safety GB is calling on drivers to ‘work out for themselves’ that it is ‘totally obvious you cannot do well two things at once’, and therefore using a mobile phone can lead to ‘life-changing or life-ending crash situations’.
Figures published by the DfT today (1 March), to mark one-year since tougher penalties for the offence came into force, show that more than 26,000 motorists – including 500 novice drivers who had their licences revoked – have been caught using a mobile phone in the last 12 months.
To mark the first anniversary, THINK! is highlighting the chances of being caught in a series of adverts which will run on radio, social media, on demand video and in shopping centres, as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB director of communications, said:
“A meaningful level of punishment is important to help drivers appreciate the magnitude of the offence, and the size of fine and points given to those caught makes it very clear that the offence is taken seriously.
“To properly benefit from this deterrent, the fear of detection needs to be at the front of every driver’s mind – and as police forces target this behaviour with more visible policing, the likelihood of being caught is increasing.
“But ideally drivers would work it out for themselves; it’s totally obvious that you cannot do well two things at once – one of those things will dominate your attention and it’s always the use of the phone that detracts from safe driving.
“Talking, texting and accessing apps will impair a driver’s ability to focus on what really is important – maintaining control of a large, heavy object while mixing with other road users. Get that wrong and you don’t just misspell a message, you create life-changing or life-ending crash situations.
“Those extreme violators who persist with thinking it’s OK, or they won’t get caught, are kidding themselves and placing the rest of us at risk – and they should rightly face the full weight of prosecution.”
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01 March 2018