Emergency services across the UK are using social media to raise awareness of the risks of using a mobile phone while driving.
The push comes in support of My Red Thumb Day (12 May) – an annual campaign which encourages drivers to paint their thumb red as a reminder not to be distracted by their mobile.
Specifically, the 2021 campaign asks drivers and their passengers to ‘break the habit’ of looking at – or using – mobile devices while driving, including hands free use.
Chris Boston, watch manager for road safety at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is a fun social media campaign with a serious message – mobile phone use while driving is a major contributory factor to a high number of fatal road traffic collisions.
“Mobile devices are used by the vast majority of the population and breaking the habit of looking at the screen can be hard to break, so My Red Thumb Day is about raising awareness that we all need to stop being distracted behind the wheel and about offering solutions to how to achieve that.”
People can show their support for the social media campaign by sending photos and videos of them putting their ‘thumbs up for mobiles down’ to @myredthumb on Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.