The Isle of Man’s road safety team has launched a billboard and radio campaign to highlight the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving.
The campaign warn that using a hand-held mobile while driving is illegal and puts passengers and other road users at serious risk, particularly during times of peak traffic such as school runs and the morning and late afternoon/early evening commute.
The campaign points to research which shows that being distracted by a call or text makes drivers four times more likely to crash, and that reaction times are slower when using a mobile.
John Houghton, member of the Department of Infrastructure with responsibility for highway services, said: “We are living in an age when being constantly connected is the norm. More and more people have mobile phones and smartphones, which they find difficult to switch off, even for a minute.
“Talking, texting or emailing on a hand-held mobile diverts attention from the road and puts other people in danger. Many people who wouldn’t dream of drink-driving are using their mobile when behind the wheel, oblivious to the fact that the consequences can be just as serious.”
“The aim of this campaign is to reduce collisions and raise awareness of the potential outcomes of being caught. The billboards will appear at a number of different locations for a day or two at a time to reach the widest possible audience. Our message is ‘if you see the sign, think of the fine’.”
Gordon Edwards, road safety manager, added: “Using a mobile phone is incredibly dangerous when driving, but I’d also ask drivers to think about where they stop when they take a call.
“We’ve seen examples of vehicles stopping around blind bends, on pedestrian crossings and mostly double parking, causing congestion. We simply ask drivers to show more consideration and common sense.”