A road safety campaign in County Mayo in Ireland is encouraging young drivers to download an app which prevents them from becoming distracted by their mobile phones.
The Drive Safe campaign has been launched in time for the summer months as teenagers and young adults increase the amount of time they spend behind the wheel.
The app, also called Drive Safe, was developed in the county and prevents drivers from noticing and accessing incoming calls and text messages. It operates through an auto start feature, using the driver’s speed to determine if they are driving, before blocking access to the phone.
The app also contains a customizable auto-reply feature which immediately notifies callers and texters that the recipient is driving and will respond to the text when the trip is complete.
Drive Safe is already being used in 61 countries worldwide with 54% of its total users coming from America.
Andrew Irwin, the young developer behind the app, said: "During the summer months when schools and colleges are not in session, teenagers and young drivers spend more time behind the wheel.
“It is imperative that drivers my age and all other motorists and pedestrians, take extreme caution and remain attentive while they are behind the wheel to avoid crashes."
Noel Gibbons, Mayo’s road safety officer, said: “We need to change the attitudes in our society towards texting and driving. Any distraction while driving is disturbing, including calls on mobile phones, but texting is really taking it to a much more serious level.
“Distracted driving is a major cause behind road crashes; pulling the driver’s’ attention away from the road and its potential hazards, potentially leading to fatal outcomes.”