The annual My Red Thumb Day takes place tomorrow (12 May), aiming to highlight the importance of driving safely and avoiding distractions behind the wheel.
Originally developed in the US, My Red Thumb encourages drivers to paint their thumbnail red as a reminder not to use a mobile phone while on the road.
The UK campaign, organised by the South West Road Safety Partnership including Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and local authorities, sets out to reach as many road users as possible using the hashtag #MyRedThumb on social media.
Devon County Council says this year’s event takes on extra significance, following the Government announcement that more people can return to work – which will lead to an increase in the number of cars on the road.
The council stresses that it is vital that drivers take extra care while travelling and do not allow themselves to become distracted.
Andrew Priest, safer travel officer at Devon County Council, said: “Over the past few months our lives have changed dramatically.
“Many of us have embraced technology to maintain social connectivity and to continue working. Being digitally connected has so many benefits but it is essential that we do not continue to use our mobile devices and become distracted when driving.
“Driving is a complex skill and requires a lot of concentration. Many people will not have driven regularly since lockdown and the added distraction of a mobile phone will make the task of driving safely even more difficult.
“MyRedThumb would like drivers to put their phone away before starting their journey to avoid the temptation of taking a sneaky peak when you should be concentrating on the road.”