An innovative YouTube initiative designed to encourage younger drivers in NSW to avoid endangering themselves and others on the road by using their mobile phone at the wheel has been getting big results.
Launched in June, 'Get Your Hand Off It' is a Centre for Road Safety marketing campaign with a difference. While it includes traditional advertising methods, its central feature is a YouTube music video by Derek Anderson, written in collaboration with the team behind 'Beached As' and 'the Bondi Hipsters'.
And that video has been a bonafide hit, racking up nearly 600,000 views in six weeks.
With a bit of humour and a catchy tune, it gets across an important message: mobile phones are a dangerous distraction on the road.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road, they endanger not just those in the vehicle, but other road users as well.
The good news is that this novel approach to spreading a road safety message seems to be making a real difference.
Roads minister Duncan Gay said this week (August 6) that since the campaign's launch, mobile phone offences had dipped by 11 per cent across the state.
He noted that in Sydney alone there had been a 13.5 per cent reduction in the number of motorists caught using their mobiles illegally.
"These results are extremely positive. It's an encouraging trend and we're glad motorists are taking heed of the message to 'Get Your Hand Off It'," said Mr Gay in a statement.
The campaign has even made a splash overseas. The French Foundation for Responsible Driving, VINCI Autoroutes, has asked the NSW government for permission to host the 'Get Your Hand Off It' video on their website.
Minister Gay said the government was happy to share the video with French authorities, as it conveyed an important lesson for drivers.
"The message is a very clear one – holding your mobile phone while driving threatens your safety, your passengers and other road users like cyclists and pedestrians," Mr Gay said.
Anyone unsure of their entitlements can find out more by contacting car accident lawyers who have special expertise in these sorts of claims.