Clever road safety campaign in Mayo aims to stamp out one of the most dangerous driving habits
Would it really kill you to put it away?
The dangers of using a mobile phone while driving are often highlighted, but it’s a habit that many motorists persist with while behind the wheel. You might even be guilty of it yourself.
Numerous safety campaigns have been launched to prevent a habit that’s incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road – not just the guilty parties – and one originating in Mayo is one of the cleverest yet.
Next Friday, April 28, ‘My Green and Red Thumb Day’ will be promoted in schools, work places and through social media in Mayo, encouraging people to paint their thumbs red and green in the lead up to Mayo day, which takes place the following day, April 29.
Schoolchildren in Snugboro National School supporting the campaign in 2016
The idea behind the campaign is to promote a message to motorists not to use their phone while driving, which, of course, they will be less inclined to do so if their thumbs are painted and will smudge the screen in the process.
People from Mayo and beyond are being encouraged to take part and you don’t have to paint your thumbs red or green either; the brighter and wackier colours the better, as long as it intrigues other people enough to ask you about it so that you can then tell them all about the campaign.
Like last year, schools and workplaces are being encouraged to take part and it is hoped that people will post and share their thumb selfies via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Commenting on the campaign, Noel Gibbons of Mayo County Council said: “While the campaign was launched in response to a local need, based upon an evidence led approach; it is clear that the message is transferable to other areas and it is hoped that the campaign will continue to spread as it has continued to take off in the USA.
“Drivers who use their phone are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and/or other people. They are much less aware of what is happening on the road around them and fail to see road signs as well as failing to maintain proper lane position and steady speed, according to research.
“Driving requires full concentration at all times. Responsible drivers switch off their phones whilst driving. If you must keep your phone switched on, we recommend that you pull over where it is safe and convenient to do so to make or receive a call. This should be in emergency situations only.”
For more information on road safety in Ireland, check out the Road Safety Authority website.