SHB has fully backed a campaign fronted by the RAC to actively encourage drivers to make a personal commitment to refrain from using their mobile phone device whilst behind the wheel.
With new, tougher penalties for illegal handheld phone use coming into force from the 1st March, the RAC is encouraging drivers to make a personal commitment to stick within the law and keep the roads safer for everyone with the launch of BePhoneSmart.uk.
BePhoneSmart.uk goes live on the 1st March with the backing of a wide range of organisations and initiatives including SHB as well as the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Government’s THINK! campaign, IAM RoadSmart, the Road Haulage Association, Road Safety GB, Transport Scotland, RED Driving School and a number of UK police forces. Drivers can quickly and easily make an online pledge including, if they choose, creating a photo of themselves that they can then share on social media.
In pledging to Be Phone Smart, drivers make a promise to:
- Never use a handheld phone when driving or while stopped in traffic
- Commit to keeping their focus firmly on the road ahead, for everyone’s safety
- Tell their friends, their family and other people they know they have made the promise – and ask them to do the same
The pledge website is central to a campaign by the RAC to encourage every driver to Be Phone Smart in order to end the epidemic of handheld phone use that currently afflicts the country. The RAC hopes that organisations will get behind the initiative that aims to put personal responsibility at the heart of changing driver behaviour.
The RAC has been a leading voice on the vital road safety issue of illegal handheld mobile phone use, including highlighting the scale of the problem as part of its latest Report on Motoring – two days after which the Government announced a change in the law. Figures revealed that a startling 26% of drivers admitted to checking texts, emails and social media while driving, rising to 47% while stopped but with the engine still running. A fifth (19%) said they text or post messages while driving, and 14% said they take photo and video. 31% admit to using a handheld phone for phone calls while driving, which goes up to 48% when stopped.