Image: Transport Scotland via Twitter
A new campaign has been launched to highlight that drivers are four times more likely to crash if using a mobile phone while at the wheel.
Launched yesterday (26 June) by Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf (pictured left), ‘Looks Can Kill’ has been developed by the A9 Safety Group* as part of its ‘continuing drive’ to reduce casualties on the route.
The campaign, which runs across radio and online – as well as public areas along the route – highlights the dangers of using, or even looking at, a mobile phone while driving.
The A9 Safety Group says a number of collisions over the past two years may have been caused by a high degree of fatigue or distraction.
The group points to new research, undertaken for the campaign which suggests that social media and in-car technology are causing ‘a major distraction’ to Scottish drivers.
30% of the 1,000+ people who participated in the research said they have seen drivers using social media at the wheel, while 20% have witnessed selfies being taken.
68% of respondents had noticed someone texting behind the wheel, while 89% have seen drivers talking on a hand-held mobile phone.
Humza Yousaf said: “The consequences of using mobile phones for either making calls or for social media are all too apparent. The work being carried out by the A9 Safety Group clearly indicates that drivers are putting both themselves and others at significant risk with this activity.
“Any activity which takes a driver’s concentration away from the driving task is potentially dangerous and we encourage everyone to acknowledge driving as a skill which requires concentration and judgement. I urge all drivers to avoid using mobile phones when behind the wheel.”
Michael McDonnell, A9 Safety Group and director of Road Safety Scotland, said: “We hope the new campaign will encourage drivers to plan their journey on the A9 in advance and make sure they plan a sufficient number of stops to use their mobile phones if necessary, rather than risk being distracted at the wheel.”
*The A9 Safety Group was set up by Transport Scotland to reduce fatal and serious road traffic accidents on the route. The main aim of the group is to work together with partners to explore measures to positively influence driver behaviour, whether that be through engineering, enforcement or education.
In November 2014, a SPECS average speed camera system was installed along the entire 220km length of the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness.
Want to know more about mobile phones and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory