A new road safety campaign has enlisted the help of Grammy-winning directors, pink kittens and dance music icon Aphex Twin to get its message across.
The Department for Transport’s road safety arm Think! has launched a new video highlighting the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
Directorial duo We Are From LA, who were behind the video for Pharrell Williams’s Happy, shot the clip in the style of a music video and it features a soundtrack by Aphex Twin along with numerous pink kittens to highlight how much drivers miss if they are distracted by looking at their handheld phone.
If a driver travelling at 30mph glances at their phone for just 2.3 seconds, they miss 100 feet of road – the length of a Boeing 737.
Jesse Norman, Road Safety Minister, said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we are always looking at ways to make them even safer.
“But the awful truth is that tens of thousands of drivers are still flouting the law and endangering others by using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
“This eye-catching advert demonstrates how dangerous looking at your phone for just two seconds can be, and the devastating impact it can have on other road users.”
“We have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert. It only takes a few seconds of distraction to change lives forever”
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham
On March 1 2017 penalties for using a handheld mobile while driving were doubled to a £200 fine and six penalty points. Since then more than 15,000 fines have been issued to drivers breaking the law.
Think! is urging Android smartphone users to download the Car Mode app or if using an iPhone, activate its drive safe mode, which automatically detects when you’re driving, and silences incoming calls and messages.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “The RAC’s latest research reveals that the problem is still at epidemic proportions with a hard core of drivers persisting in texting, talking, tweeting and even taking photos at the wheel.
“We therefore welcome Think!’s thought-provoking video, which highlights the dangers of a two-second glance at your phone while driving. Motorists risk a collision with potentially fatal consequences which could change their life, and the lives of others, forever.
“We hope that this will help persuade more drivers to put away their handheld mobile phone for good when driving and be phone smart.”
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, added: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.
“Police are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – but we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.
“As this campaign makes clear, it only takes a few seconds of distraction to change lives forever.”