Road Safety News
 

Daybreak launches ‘Phone Free Zone’ campaign

Friday 8th February 2013

ITV’s breakfast show ‘Daybreak’ has launched a campaign urging motorists not to use their mobile phones while driving.

The campaign, Phone Free Zone, was launched as a survey commissioned for Daybreak found that 39% of motorists have used their mobile phones while driving.

People can pledge their support for the campaign by picking up one of 50,000 Phone Free Zone window stickers from participating Shell garages.

The survey results also revealed that 12% of respondents had used their phone while driving with children in the car.

The three worst offending geographical areas for drivers using mobiles were the East Midlands, Northern Ireland and West Midlands.

4% of respondents admitted to having had a collision while using their phone; 23% said they had been distracted from driving safely by their mobile; and 20% had written a message on their phone or used Facebook or Twitter while driving.

Despite the number of motorists admitting to have used a mobile phone while driving, 75% said they thought the roads would be safer if all motorists switched off their phone before driving.

GEM Motoring Assist is supporting the campaign.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Driving while using a mobile phone can make motorists four times more likely to have a crash, and this type of shocking information shows how essential it is to raise awareness and a better understanding of the dangers.

“Daybreak is a hugely influential TV programme and we are delighted that it is promoting such an important road safety issue. We have no doubt that their campaign will have a strong and positive impact, and we hope that motorists take heed of all the advice on offer.”

Click here for more information.

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My car and my bike are phone free zones! Nothing is more important than to look on the road and concentrate on the traffic. So I would like to get the sticker here in my car, and be an example for German drivers.
Christoph Asch, Frankfurt, Germany

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0

Police find an average of 339 (0.3%) fatal or injury accidents involved “Driver using mobile phone” every year. If there are 30m motorists averaging 25 years experience each, then around 0.03% of motorists might have been involved in a fatal or injury accident while on their phone. Since we know Police only record around a 1/3 of injury accidents, this figure might be around 0.1% of motorists in reality. Add non-injury accidents and I would have expected a figure of perhaps around 1 or 2% of motorists. The survey figure of 4% does seem a bit high when looking at the evidence but, if you believe the government's road safety information, might seem incredibly low!

There is a paradox here. The one thing almost everyone agrees is that distractions while driving are dangerous yet the evidence on one of the most distracting devices of all (the phone) seems to show that drivers on the phone are less likely to crash than drivers not on the phone!
Dave, Slough

Agree (0) | Disagree (8)
-8

The quotes in the news item from those involved in this campaign don't state or reiterate that it is in fact illegal anyway.

"...and we hope that motorists take heed of all the advice on offer.” Is the 'advice' not to break the law then? There can't be many motorists who needs advice as to why 'phone use at the wheel has been made illegal, so if it's a road safety camapaign, why not make it more comprehensive and 'advise' motorists not to break any traffic/motoring laws?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Distraction from the road ahead and loss of concentration is single most significant causal factor in accidents, common to a wide range of factors recorded by Stats19.

A year-long US study of 100 drivers using CCTV monitoring the driver and surroundings found that (from memory) 70 to 80% of accidents occurred immediately after the driver was distracted or thinking about something else.

Although any injury is to be regretted, I believe that mobile phone use remains a small part of the problem (though I abstain in any case).
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (3) | Disagree (5)
-2