My Red Thumb day is 12 May and is a road safety awareness campaign which aims to reduce the number of accidents and deaths caused by distractions, especially those associated with using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Initially launched in Devon in 2014 as a multi-agency road safety initiative, it has grown to become a national social media campaign.
Drivers using a phone while at the wheel are not only less aware of what is happening around them, but they react more slowly and take longer to brake. They are also four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing yourself and/or other people, according to research by RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).
Laura Pratt, SM Community Safety Education & Road Safety – Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “This year we will be trying to get as many people as possible to spread the message about the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
We will be promoting the messages though social media links to associated websites as well as through engagement events throughout the Service area. We also have purchased silicone thumb rings to promote the message and act as a visual reminder of not to use a mobile phone whilst driving and to challenge drivers who do.”
The campaign also encourages people to paint their thumb nail red as a reminder not to check their phone whilst driving and also show their support for the campaign by sharing their red thumb selfies on social media.
The advice to motorists before starting a journey is:
- Turn off your phone or put it on silent.
- Put your phone out of reach where you will not be tempted to reach for it.
And when making a journey:
- If you phone rings ignore it or ask a passenger to take the call for you.
- If you need to make a call first find a sensible place to stop and turn off your engine.
For more information visit www.myredthumb.com. On Twitter @MyRedThumb or go to Facebook.com/myredthumb