Mobile phone use while driving in the Bay of Plenty is the key focus for this year’s Road Safety week which runs from May 6 -12.

Co-ordinated by charity Brake, the theme “SAY NO TO FOMO” will highlight the perils of using a mobile phone while driving and the distraction it causes.

“Anecdotally police in the Bay of Plenty report there is wide spread phone use by drivers,” Whakatane District Council Road Safety and Community Development Advisor Lorreen Hartley said.

“Mobile phone offences have grown in the region from 67 in 2009 to 1,162 in 2017.”

Ms Hartley said rather than telling people what they already know about the dangers, the campaign is asking drivers to say no to FOMO (The Fear of Missing Out). 

“FOMO is what drives the behaviour and compels people to pick up the phone. Replying to a text or checking a news feed can be equal to driving drunk.  The risk of crashing increases but many drivers will still pick their phones up.”

The campaign is being run on local road safety facebook pages. Let’s all get behind road safety week and make the commitment to say no to FOMO.  ‘Save Lives #SpeakUp’ and improve road safety in our region.

Mobile phone offences2009201020112012201320142015201620176months to Jun 2018
Eastern Bay of Plenty7163343476673156201139
Rotorua22729118132732034830425996
Western Bay of Plenty38138223380314367628717702326
Bay of Plenty total672263476046887531,0491,1771,162561

-ends-

Notes for editors:There are three road safety clusters in the Bay of Plenty, Eastern Bay encompassing Whakatāne, Kawerau and Ōpōtiki district councils , Rotorua Lakes  Council and Western Bay (Travel Safe) encompassing Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.  The Councils’  road safety co-ordinators work closely with  NZ Police, NZTA, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, schools and other community organisations on road safety promotion and education.

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, effective road safety policies and coordinates national Road Safety Week.