New campaign targets drivers still using their mobile phones

Updated: 

A film that is littered with pink kittens and shot in the style of a music video is being used to urge drivers to stop using mobile phones at the wheel.

The Department for Transport's THINK! road safety campaign - which will run online, in cinemas and on social media - is aimed at cutting the numbers of people killed or injured this way, and hopes to show drivers how distracted and dangerous they can be when they are looking at their mobile phones.

If a driver travelling at 30mph glances at their phone for just 2.3 seconds, they miss 100 feet of road - the length of a Boeing 737, the DfT said.

Several pink kittens appear in the film to show how much drivers can miss if they are looking elsewhere.

It was directed by We Are From LA, who are behind the music video for Pharrell Williams's worldwide hit song Happy, and has a soundtrack from musician Aphex Twin.

Road safety minister Jesse Norman said that "the awful truth is that tens of thousands of drivers are still flouting the law and endangering others by using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel".

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Penalties for using a handheld mobile while driving were doubled to a £200 fine and six penalty points on March 1.

It means that drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban and also £1,000 fine. The punishment could also see new drivers who had passed their test within the last two years face having their licence revoked if caught just once, according to the DfT.

More than 15,000 fines have been issued under the new penalties.

Look out for the #PinkKittenpic.twitter.com/AUUJkKwOBU

-- THINK! Road Safety (@THINKgovuk) October 23, 2017

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: "The RAC's latest research reveals that the problem is still at epidemic proportions with a hardcore of drivers persisting in texting, talking, tweeting and even taking photos at the wheel.

"We therefore welcome THINK!'s thought-provoking video, which highlights the dangers of a two-second glance at your phone while driving.

"Motorists risk a collision with potentially fatal consequences which could change their life, and the lives of others, forever.

"We hope that this will help persuade more drivers to put away their handheld mobile phone for good when driving and be phone smart."