Motorists urged not to text and drive

Texting at the wheel of a car

The government has launched a new campaign designed to shock motorists into understanding just how much danger they place themselves and others in by texting while at the wheel.

The Department for Transport's new THINK! Initiative was launched late last week by Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick after worrying statistics revealed that almost a third of younger drivers - and 12 per cent of motorists overall - see no issue in an SMS and steering combo.

The majority (93 per cent) of those polled agreed that driving and texting at the same time is dangerous, yet still motorists persist in this reckless behaviour.

"It doesn't matter how good a driver you are, if you text while driving then you cannot be giving the road your full attention," warned Fitzpatrick.

"The message that mobile phones and driving should not mix is getting through to the majority of drivers but some people are still needlessly risking their own lives and putting others in danger for the sake of a text or a call. Our message to all drivers is simple: Don't use your mobile phone when you're driving."

A new radio advert which portrays the chilling sound effects of a text-related crash will be aired from this week, while a driving challenge game showing how much of a distraction texting can be is being circulated online.

Last year, a study carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in behalf of insurer RAC warned that texting while driving was worse than driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.