No phone call, text or social media update is worth someone’s life - Hazzard

Date published: 06 June 2016

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Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has highlighted the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, as the Department’s online road safety advert moves to TV after positive reaction online.

Two second glance campaign
Two second glance campaign

The online advert went live in March and will air for the first time on TV at 9.10pm on Channel 4 during 24 Hours in A&E and at 9.45pm on UTV during Heathrow.

Speaking about the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, Minister Hazzard said: “

The success of this campaign and the way it was received on social media clearly shows that people recognise how dangerous and how common and widespread this behaviour is. Many people who have seen the advert on social media have called for the campaign to be aired on TV and I am delighted to confirm that this is now happening.

“There is wide acceptance that mobile phones are distracting and dangerous while driving. In fact, glancing at your phone, for just two seconds, doubles your risk of crashing. However, a constant need to be connected seems to override this rational understanding.

“I am pleased that this advert will now be shown to an even bigger audience and I am confident that it will ring true with many drivers who may have found themselves in a similar situation.

“Airing the advert on TV allows for the opportunity to reinforce a message I fully support – that no phone call, text or social media update is worth someone’s life.”

Driver carelessness/inattention is consistently the main cause of fatalities on our roads and engagement with mobile phones and other devices while driving is an increasingly worrying factor in driver distraction. The rapid growth in the use of mobile/smart phones and other devices and the influence of the social media culture has increased the need for a change in driver behaviour.

The campaign carries the hashtag #2secondglance and can be viewed at https://www.sharetheroadtozero.com/missing/.

Notes to editors: 

A total of 22 people have lost their lives on NI roads this year. This compares to 30 at the same time last year and 29 for 2014.

2. To pledge to Share the Road to Zero road deaths visit https://www.sharetheroadtozero.com and commit to adopting positive road user behaviours.

3. Between 2010 and 2014, there were four KSIs and 26 slight injuries on NI roads where the use of a mobile phone was deemed the principal causation factor. When we incorporate additional causation, the figures grow to 16 KSIs and 65 slight injuries.

4. The 2013 Northern Ireland Road Safety Monitor reported that over a third (36%) of motorists report using a mobile phone while driving, (5% hand held, 28% hands free and 3% sometimes hand held or hands free). The majority of those who would use a mobile while driving said they were aware of the risks associated with this behaviour.

 5. In 2013, of motorists interviewed 62% who own a mobile phone said they would never use a mobile phone while driving.  This level is similar to that reported in 2011 (59%) but represents a significant increase of 6% on the 2009 figure (56%).

6. Between March and May 2016, the ‘Missing’ #2secondglance campaign achieved at least 33,503,853 views on social media across a number of platforms (You Tube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).  

7. Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure press office on 028 9054 0007. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.

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