New campaign highlights emerging road safety issue
An online campaign which aims to discourage people from recording or streaming videos while driving took place last week (8 April).
Don't Stream and Drive day had the support of Road Safety GB and other road safety stakeholders including Brake, Road Safety Wales and RoSPA. It was also recognised by a number of police forces from across the country.
Through Thunderclap, a crowdspeaking platform, the campaign's message was successfully broadcast over social media. A tweet was sent from the accounts of its 509 supporters, including Road Safety GB, with an estimated social reach of 2,485,344 people.
You can contine to show your support for the campaign by using the hashtag #DontStreamAndDrive.
On 31 March, it was the feature of a BBC report in which the campaign organiser ‘Neil’, or @SgtTCS as he is known on Twitter, took his seat in a driving simulator to explain the obvious perils of streaming while driving.
Official figures show that using a mobile phone while driving accounted for 21 fatal collisions in 2014. As a result, the Government announced a consultation to seek views on the introduction of stiffer penalties for using a hand-held mobile while driving.
In recent years, the rise of video apps such as Snapchat and Periscope has led to a trend of livestreaming, with some drivers choosing to record videos while they drive.
In a blog post about the event, Neil, who is a serving police sergeant, wrote: “As phones have become an essential part of day-to-day life the use of them by drivers has increased.
“In 2014, using a mobile phone whilst driving was a contributory factor in 21 fatal accidents. 21 families torn apart with grief. 21 lives needlessly taken because of unnecessary mobile phone use.
“But there is more to worry about. This isn’t making phone calls. This isn’t sending texts. This is the massively increasing trend of livestreaming on the internet.
“Drivers showing themselves driving and the scary amount of time their eyes are looking at the phone and not on the road. Drivers admitting that what they are doing is probably illegal, reckless or dangerous, but still doing it.
“The consequences of this new behaviour are very frightening. It will not be long before the first person livestreams their own death or that of another whilst driving.”
Iain Temperton, director of communications for Road Safety GB, said: “We support this campaign and applaud Neil for the time and effort he has put in to get it off the ground.
“While livestreaming apps may be great fun, recording a video when behind the wheel of a car and not giving full attention to the road ahead is clearly irresponsible, dangerous and completely unacceptable behaviour.
“We hope through our support on Thunderclap, and by promoting the campaign on our Twitter page and newsfeed, we can help spread this important message and ensure that new technologies are used in a safe and appropriate manner.”