With the illegal use of mobile phones at the wheel firmly in the media spotlight, an online campaign is today (2 March) hosting a second awareness day focussing on the issue of live streaming.
The 2017 awareness day is once again supported by Road Safety GB, whose chair Sonya Hurt has described the use of mobile phones by drivers as ‘irresponsible and selfish’.
The day is underpinned by a Thunderclap campaign, in a bid to help raise awareness across social media. This year’s campaign (to date) has received 406 backers, with a social reach of more than 3.7m – 1.2m more than the 2016 event.
Sgt Dewson-Smyth says that in the last year, the use of phones for streaming while driving has continued to increase across the world, adding that many drivers are oblivious to the dangers and risks this presents.
An investigation by ITV’s Good Morning Britain show (1 March) identified five celebrities appearing to use their phones at the wheel and then posting the footage online – including pop star Simon Webbe who is seen giving significant attention to his phone rather than the road.
Yesterday, the penalty for those caught using a mobile phone while driving doubled to six points and a £200 fine.
Sonya Hurt, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “The visual distraction of drivers checking texts, emails or social media when on the move is a significant road safety issue.
“To think that your message is more important than everyone else around you is irresponsible and selfish; we welcome the Government’s decision to double the penalties for drivers who choose to do this.
“The visual and cognitive distraction of live streaming while behind the wheel is extreme; this does not have a place on a crowded road network and Road Safety GB fully endorses this campaign to challenge this unacceptable behaviour.”
New mobile phone penalties: updates and reaction
01 March 2017