Why we are backing the AA's latest drive for motorists to #NeverTextDrive
Cycling UK has today (25 November) welcomed the AA Charitable Trust's latest #NeverTextDrive campaign. Illustrating how one bad choice permanently alters the lives of a young couple, the 11-minute video tells the story of Alice and Billy, a talented couple attempting to break into the music industry. The story unfolds with Billy facing a tough decision when he is approached by a large record label, while his partner Alice makes an unexpected discovery, but all of this unravels during one fateful car journey.
Now is the time to make distracted driving, like texting and driving, as taboo as not wearing a seatbelt or drink-driving. That's why we are full of praise for the AA Charitable Trust's impactful video and social media campaign #NeverTextDrive."
Duncan Dollimore, Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns Officer, Cycling UK
According to Populus' latest research for the AA Charitable Trust, over two million car passengers would not do anything if their driver used a hand-held phone while driving. The research also unearthed the shocking statistic that one-fifth (20%) claim to see other drivers on hand-held mobiles on every journey they make, with a further fifth (22%) saying that they see this on most journeys and over half (56%) on some journeys.
Cycling UK's Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns Officer, Duncan Dollimore, said of the campaign: "Now is the time to make distracted driving, like texting and driving, as taboo as not wearing a seatbelt or drink-driving. That's why Cycling UK is full of praise for the AA Charitable Trust's impactful video and social media campaign #NeverTextDrive. The AA’s new campaign is fantastic, but we also need drivers to fear the loss of their licence as well.
"We must tackle this problem head-on because it led to 22 deaths and 440 crashes last year. The devastating consequences of distracted driving are vividly portrayed in this film and hopefully the AA’s efforts to affect behavioural change, together with the Government’s recent announcement intending to increase penalties for mobile phone use while driving, will help to make this mobile madness socially unacceptable."
Cyclist Lee Martin was killed last year by texting driver Christopher Gard. The tragic incident took place just six weeks after Gard had dodged a ban and kept his licence, despite having six previous convictions for driving while using a mobile phone.
Further supporting the motoring organisation's campaign, Duncan Dollimore went on to say: "The Government must act now to prevent grotesque spectacles like this Gard case from happening again. The next opportunity to do this is by including driving disqualification and the exceptional hardship loophole within the Government's forthcoming motoring offences and penalties review."