The NRMA has today joined a global campaign designed to reduce the number of people killed on roads across the world, particularly those caused by drivers being distracted by smartphones and other technology.
Ads featuring multi-Grammy and international award winner Pharrell Williams highlight the risks associated with using your mobile device while driving.
The advertising will appear on over 200 bus shelters across NSW with the message that 3,500 people are killed in road crashes globally each day: this is supported by the social media campaign #3500LIVES.
NRMA President Kyle Loades said while the horrific road toll was a global epidemic, the pain and suffering caused by people dying needlessly behind the wheel was local.
“Deaths on our roads rip families apart and decimate local communities and the NRMA is today very committed to the FIA’s global response to this international scourge,” he said.
“Pharrell Williams is not happy about the fact that motorists, and in particular young people, are using smartphones behind the wheel – and nor should he be, because we know that this practice is killing people.”
Local statistics around driver distractions are alarming: in the five years to 2014, there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers were identified as a contributing factor, including seven deaths and 116 injury crashes, and more than 38,000 fines were issued for the infringement in the past year alone.
However, the NRMA is concerned that these figures are under-reported because of the difficulty of finding evidence of illegal mobile phone use at crash scenes.
“The message is simple – we have clear rules around when you can and can’t use your phone behind the wheel,” Mr Loades said.
“Please abide by these rules because it will save you from losing four points and a $325 fine: crucially, it might help save your life or stop you from killing someone else.”
The global campaign was launched in Paris last week, with Sydney’s campaign starting today with advertising to appear on bus shelters across NSW.
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