Road Safety News

Mobile campaign asks drivers to ‘put it away’

Friday 9th December 2016

The Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership has launched a new campaign in an effort to encourage drivers to put away their mobile phones at the start of a journey.

‘Put It Away’ has been developed on the back of an internal survey in which a quarter of respondents admitted to using their handheld mobile phones behind the wheel in the last six months.

It is being officially launched today through Thunderclap, a crowdspeaking platform. To date, the campaign has more than 100 supporters, equating to a social reach of more than 225,000 social media users.

Each supporter will send an automated tweet/status at the time of the launch, reading: “Answering a call is never worth somebody else’s life. You don’t need your phone while you’re driving. Put It Away.”

Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership says in the average time it takes to read a text on the motorway, a driver will have travelled the length of a football pitch without looking at the road. The campaign also reminds motorists that whether they are driving or stopped in traffic, using a handheld mobile phone is against the law.

Terry Douris, Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Despite the evidence that mobile phones are extremely distracting to drivers, many continue to check texts, answer calls, and browse social media.

“Through the Put it Away campaign, we will work together with our partners to ensure that Hertfordshire drivers are clear on the law and aware of the consequences of driving while distracted.

“The problem is not necessarily with new drivers – our research shows that men aged between 45 and 64 are the most likely to believe they’re safe using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

David Lloyd, police and crime commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “There have been recent high profile cases of drivers killing fellow motorists by doing something as basic as changing the music on their phone.

“There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour and the use of a mobile phone at the wheel should be seen in the same light as drink driving – it is simply unacceptable behaviour.”



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I agree with every comment I have read but I would like to add that any driver causing injury or death through using a phone should be dealt with harshly. An appropriate prison sentence, even life, should apply.
V. Conran Hertforshire

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

What about banning smoking whilst driving? It's an equal if not greater distraction to hunt for the packet, take out a cigarette, find the lighter...etc. etc.

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)

<Derek Hinge> My daughter has been on a road awareness course as a result being caught just turning off her phone - touch your phone and you can be nicked. On the course they were advised to use standalone satnavs as they were liable even if just using phones for satnavs.
AK, Hemel

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

I have a bluetooth car and mobile phone, so can talk on my mobile in my car whilst my phone is in my pocket, however on the rare occasions when I have used my mobile whilst driving, I have felt that it is a potential distraction so should be included in the legislation to ban ALL mobile phone use whilst driving.

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

I think drivers caught using a phone in their hand, whilst driving, should be fined plus points plus have the phone confiscated.
david jackson

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)

What I find astonishing is those drivers who drive along holding their phone away from their ear thinking this is legal. I would also like to ask how to report them and without making sweeping statements, they are generally the drivers who are driving in an erratic manner with lack of lane discipline, thinking they can pull out in front of another car and driving 2' from my bumper . . . . . . need I go on?
MR Stanmore

Agree (21) | Disagree (0)

"SAFE" driving requires 100% concentration. Any phone use reduces that concentration by a large margin. Ban any phone use in any road vehicle, and TRIPLE the fines for those caught, endangering other road users.
Keith, Cheshunt

Agree (28) | Disagree (0)

We see people on their phones driving around and through Harpenden on a regular basis. How can we report it? Do we take their registration number? It's our word against theirs, who would be believed?
Sheila Satchell, Harpenden

Agree (26) | Disagree (0)

I fully agree with the law and the comments raised on this but, until the Police are provided with the resources to enforce "Traffic Law" in general the situation will not improve. However, looking at the driving habits of some in the UK, enforcement might just be self funding "if the will is there"!
Kevin W

Agree (20) | Disagree (0)

Until the vast majority of police actually enforce this legislation it's useless and people will continue to use the phone whilst driving. Majority of Ol Bill do not have the time to deal with this due to other stresses, targets, calls etc they are trying to get to.

The most I ever see is ol bill shouting out the windows at drivers to get off the phone. The drop in road policing / traffic officers is directly related to what can now only be described as an epedemic, folks just don't think they will ever get caught and the truth is, they don't! Unless they are very very unlucky.... until our police and senior cops truly care, all these campaigns are pointless.

Enforce enforce enforce with 6 points and £300. Then The message may get through.
Sick of Blatent disregard for this law

Agree (49) | Disagree (0)

I never cease to be amazed at the scale of mobile phone use whilst driving. I drive to London every week and drive around Hitchin where I live and it is beyond belief. They are not even furtive in their body language, they know it's unlikely they will get caught, unlikely much will happen if they do.
Kate. hitchin

Agree (36) | Disagree (0)

I use my mobile phone as a satnav using google maps software. Is this allowed?
Derek Hinge

Agree (14) | Disagree (7)

If the police do not "nick" people they will do as they want. Alternatively make "hands free" phones compulsory and stop the rot. Hands Free installation does not cost a fortune and can be removed when the car is sold on.
Owen Barnes Watford

Agree (21) | Disagree (4)

Why don't we just apply the law regarding mobile phones? I see them, and I'm sure you do, regularly flouting this law and proportionately the massive majority get away with it. If you want to improve the situation, simply apply the law.
Jack Cook Doncaster

Agree (126) | Disagree (0)