A new THINK! campaign to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone when driving was launched last week.
The £1.5m campaign, featuring a new radio advert as well as the hard-hitting
television advert launched last year, reminds drivers to switch off before getting behind the wheel. It is timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the introduction of tougher penalties for using a mobile phone when driving.
Jim Fitzpatrick, road safety minister, said: "Talking on a mobile phone when driving is distracting and affects your ability to react to dangerous situations, making you four times more likely to have a crash.
"That is why we increased the penalty to three penalty points and a £60 fine. Our latest research shows the message is getting through to drivers but some people are still needlessly risking their own lives and putting others in danger for the sake of a phone call. I urge all drivers to switch off or go to voicemail before they drive off."
Recent research showed a 40% reduction in the number of car drivers seen using hand-held mobiles at the wheel between September 2006 and August 2007. Just 1% of car drivers were observed using a hand-held mobile while driving, compared with 1.7% in 2006.
The THINK! campaign runs until February 29 and includes a mix of TV, cinema, cinema ambient and radio advertising.