NRMA joins global campaign to reduce road toll

14 March 2017
The NRMA has today joined a global campaign designed to reduce the number of people killed on roads across the world, with a particular focus on drivers being distracted by smartphones and other technology.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) advertising campaign in cooperation with JCDecaux, which features multi-Grammy and international award winner Pharrell Williams, highlights the risks associated with using your phone or other distractions while driving.

The advertising will appear on over 200 bus shelters across NSW and highlights that each day 3,500 people will be killed in road crashes globally.

The education campaign is supported with a social media campaign #3500lives.

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.

This included seven deaths and 116 injury crashes. Within 12 months more than 38,000 fines were issued for the infringement.

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.

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," Mr Loades 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.

"The NRMA has been at the forefront of road safety for almost 100 years and we are honoured to put our name to a campaign that aims to save lives around the world – 3,500 people killed every day driving is a horrific number.

"Hence the message is simple – we have clear rules around when you can and can't use your phone behind the wheel. 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 advertising campaign starting today en masse.

The advertising will appear on bus shelters across NSW.

Learners and provisional (P1 & P2) drivers are prohibited from using a mobile phone or device while driving at any time.