Multi-agency campaign highlights risk of distraction

12.00 | 10 June 2014 |

A new multi agency campaign has been launched in Devon to raise awareness of the risks of distraction, and specifically those associated with using a mobile phone while driving.

The campaign, My Red Thumb, is designed to reach as many road users as possible through the use of social media. It has been developed by a partnership comprising Devon County Council’s road safety team, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue, Devon & Cornwall Police, Torbay Council, Peninsula Trauma Network, South Western Ambulance Trust, Learn2Live Partnership, Devon Air Ambulance, The Honest Truth Partnership and the Highways Agency.

The campaign is designed to spread virally and deploy behavioural change techniques to encourage people change a habit. It was launched on 16 May via social media, links to associated websites and variable message boards on roads across Devon. It was also promoted at the Devon County Show on 22–23 May.

Nigel Flower, Devon County Council, said: “The Red Thumb campaign was originally introduced in America to remind drivers not to use their phone while driving.

“To localise our campaign we’ve developed a website and a short video clip called ‘Things you can do with your thumb’.”

My red thumb currently has 283 followers on twitter and the website has received more than 5,165 page views.

Nigel Flower concludes: “My Red Thumb was an experiment in the use of social media with an extremely low budget.

“The results we have seen within the first two weeks indicate the campaign’s success and the strengths and power of partnership working – together with the use of social media.”


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