Ahead of the fifth annual My Red Thumb Day, the organisers are asking road safety stakeholders to support a ‘Thunderclap’ message which will be published at 9.30am this morning (10 May).
The My Red Thumb campaign, which encourages drivers to paint their thumbnail red as a reminder not to use a mobile while driving, was originally developed in the US.
The UK campaign, organised by Devon County Council’s road safety team, sets out to reach as many road users as possible through the use of social media, and deploys behavioural change techniques to encourage people to change their habits.
The organisers’ aim is for My Red Thumb Day 2018 to be a day with no road traffic collisions caused by drivers using their mobile phones.
The 2018 event, which uses the hashtag #MyRedThumb, will be underpinned by a Thunderclap campaign – a crowdspeaking platform that broadcasts a specific message onto social media.
The Thunderclap message, which will be published at 9.30am on 10 May, reads: “Save lives on the road today by supporting national My Red Thumb day! Thumbs up for mobiles down. Please share!”
To date, the 2018 Thunderclap has 284 supporters – including the Road Safety GB Twitter feed – equating to a social reach of 1,118,047 users.
This year’s campaign includes a new road safety video (featured) featuring emergency doctor Clare Bosanko, who flies with the Devon Air Ambulance.
In the video Clare describes her personal experience of attending a road traffic collision where she witnessed the devastation left from a car crash where a driver was distracted by their mobile phone.
Clare Bosanko said: “My Red Thumb Day reminds people of the dangers of being distracted by their mobile phones while driving.
“This year on the 10 May, wouldn’t it be great if there were no accidents as a result of people being distracted by their mobile phones?
“Please put down your mobile phone, especially on My Red Thumb Day, but all the time to keep you and the people around you on the roads safe.”
Sgt Harry Tangye, Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Drivers are injuring and killing other road users by ignoring the law and using hand held devices while driving.
“My Red Thumb day is a call to action for everyone to paint their thumbs red to remind themselves to put their mobiles down when driving.
“We are also asking passengers, friends and family members to raise awareness for this life saving message and speak up when they witness a driver using their phone. Asking someone to stop could save a life.”
Further details about this year’s campaign and a toolkit of campaign materials can be found on the My Red Thumb website.