IGNORE THE RED LIGHT WHEN YOU’RE AT A RED LIGHT
By: Michelle Harripersadth
“Using your cell phone while driving makes a car crash up to 23 times more likely and causes you to spend 10 percent of your time driving outside of your lane.”
The shocking revelation came about after a charitable organisation called Shayomo – (Shallcross Youth Movement) launched their Safety Road Campaign.
“In South Africa our biggest road safety campaign is Arrive Alive. They have adverts that air on television and a great site. Unfortunately, they fail to tap into road safety that directly affect young people. This is the aim of our campaign,” said Shayomo Group Leader, Previn Vedan.
“We started the Project with the intention of focusing solely on cell phone usage whilst driving, but we discovered that there are many other safety issues that need to be addressed. The project has been converted into our yearly project, titled ‘Road Safety Campaign’ which will run throughout 2014 and focus on different issues such as the effects of lowered vehicles, drunken driving and road rage,” added Vedan.
The campaign that was inspired by the movie 7 Pounds came about in December last year and has inspired hundreds of young drivers to take precautions and not use their cell phones while driving.
A survey was conducted online and also in person on the usage of cell phones while driving. A total of 452 people have been surveyed thus far and the results are as follows:
• 86% of all persons surveyed admitted to being guilty of texting while driving,
• 50% of all persons admitted to being guilty of talking on their cell phone while driving,
• 82% of all persons admitted to texting while driving with passengers in their vehicles.
Young people have emerged as the main culprits. Drivers between the ages of 18 – 35 made up 67% of the sample group, amongst this group 97% admitted that they text while driving and 45% admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving,
Research has shown that the three main types of distraction of cell phone usage while driving are:
1) Visual: taking your eyes off the road.
2) Manual: taking your hands off the wheel and
3) Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
The organisation has implemented a social media pledge to not use cell phones while driving in an effort to bring awareness to the issue. The pledges will also be available as bumper stickers so that drivers can bring awareness to the issue and hopefully save lives.