The Heads Up, Phones Down! social media campaign highlights how the mobile phone obsession is putting people in danger as they use them on the move.
First launched in November 2019, the campaign comprises three social media films, showing how everyday folk can allow their phone fixation to lead them into disaster on London’s roads – whether they are walking, cycling, driving or motorcycling.
The videos follow the journeys of typical Londoners and shows how being absorbed in distracting on-line conversations and internet surfing causes them to come a cropper.
Since launching, the films have been viewed 1.4 million times.
According to the World Health Organisation, the problems associated with drivers using their phones while driving is on the increase. It suggests that at any one time, between 1% and 11% of drivers are using a phone, not necessarily for making a call, but for a variety of other applications.
As this is a fairly recent and emerging issue it recommends that public awareness campaigns must strive to increase awareness of risk, so that manufacturers and consumers are not pushing the demand for increased in-vehicle technologies. Campaigns also need to increase awareness among the public that for drivers, hands-free phones appear to be as distracting as hand-held phones.
In addition, our stakeholders, local authority road safety officers, reported an increase in collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians looking at their phones as they travel, being too focussed on their social media, route planning or other apps to notice the dangers of the road.
- Research shows that using a mobile phone while driving multiplies a person’s risk of a serious crash by four times
- One in seven pedestrians admit to being so engrossed with their smartphones that they step onto a busy road without looking