New campaign to encourage motorists to put their mobiles into “car mode” while driving

“Put your mobile phone out of sight, turn off the sound or activate the ‘do not disturb function so that calls and texts will be blocked”. That’s the call to motorists that has been launched by the Flemish Traffic Management Foundation (VSV) and the mobile phone operators. VSV and the mobile phone operators have launched a new campaign to make motorists aware of the dangers of using their mobiles while driving. Research has shown than many Flemings still make telephone calls while driving, despite at the same time feeling that it is unacceptable to do so. Many drivers are looking for a way to reduce mobile phone and smart phone use behind the wheel.  

   

Many people can’t resist the temptation to take a look or even answer if they receive a call or text while they are driving. This is despite conclusive proof that using a mobile phone while driving is extremely dangerous. Research carried out by VSV has shown that most Flemings agree that it is dangerous for motorists to use their mobile phones while driving.  

Nevertheless, a lot of Flemings still do so.

VSV’s Werner De Dobbeleer told VRT News that "Most people realise that it is dangerous, but at the same time feel compelled to react straight away to every message or call they receive”.  

"From our questionnaire you can see that most people say that they would like to reduce their mobile or smart phone use, but that they find this difficult and they would like to find a solution”.  

Consequently, VSV has launched a new campaign calling on motorists to put their mobiles and smart phones into “car mode” wherever possible when driving.  

"Car mode is the conscious decision to prevent yourself being distracted while driving by putting your smart phone out of reach, to turn off the sound or to switch it to do not disturb.”    

“Do not disturb” blocks incoming messages and calls, but still lets you use the phone’s navigation system and play music. If you wish can also programme the phone to allow calls from your “favourites” through.  

The latest smartphones can be programmed so that the do not disturb function is activated automatically as soon as you start driving or connect the smart phone to your vehicle via Bluetooth.   

For those that don’t have the latest phones there are various apps such as AutoModus, Drivemode and In-Traffic Reply. These app sent an automatic reply when you are driving.  

VSV’s campaign enjoys the support of all the telecom operators that are active in Flanders. They will each produce posters in their own house style calling on to switch to “car mode” while driving.