03 May 2019

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

In a joint effort by local road safety co-ordinators 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,” says Bay of Plenty Regional Council General Manager Strategy and Science Namouta Poutasi .

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

Ms Poutasi says 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. In the Western Bay the campaign is supported by the Tauranga City Council Travel Safe team, and in the Eastern Bay and Rotorua on those local council’s road safety Facebook pages. It is the first time all the councils have collaborated on a social media campaign in this manner.

Let’s all get behind road safety week and make the commitment to say no to FOMO. Support national road safety week 'Save Lives #SpeakUp' and improve road safety in our region.