Tele­coms firm talks to 7DAYS about its new road safety cam­paign

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - Watch the video at 7DAYS.ae

ele­coms provider Etisalat has pro­duced a road safety video urg­ing driv­ers not to use their mo­bile phones at the wheel. The video, en­ti­tled ‘Drive with a smile’ il­lus­trates some of the dan­gers of be­ing dis­tracted while driv­ing, with a woman re­vers­ing into a flower stall while she takes a selfie while an­other driver nearly has a headon col­li­sion while mes­sag­ing.

Here, Fares Ha­mad Fares, Vice Pres­i­dent, Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Etisalat, talks about the project and why the firm de­cided to take a stand on the is­sue.

QWhat A Mo­bil­ity has im­pacted us all; we are more con­nected to­day than ever be­fore, not to men­tion highly en­gaged with ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing around us 24x7.

While it has its many pluses, an overde­pen­dence on our mo­bile phones has ren­dered this ben­e­fi­cial tech­nol­ogy as an ex­ten­sion of our be­ings, re­gard­less of our sur­round­ings and some­times at our own peril. One such safety haz­ard is us­ing the phone while driv­ing. Near misses, mi­nor ac­ci­dents and dis­rupt­ing traf­fic are a few reper­cus­sions of which we may be aware but choose to ig­nore ev­ery now and then.

Our Drive with a Smile cam­paign is an ef­fort to cre­ate this aware­ness in a man­ner that best res­onates with ev­ery­one. It demon­strates ev­ery­day sce­nar­ios that one en­coun­ters, and laughs off. We wanted to let the au­di­ence see th­ese sce­nar­ios, smile at the ab­sur­dity and fa­mil­iar­ity of th­ese ac­tions. We then in­ter­rupted the ac­tion with a life or death sce­nario that snaps you out of the trance, and ham­mers home the point that your life is no jok­ing mat­ter. Us­ing your mo­bile while driv­ing is truly noth­ing to smile about.

QWhy A Etisalat ac­tively lends sup­port as well as cre­ates aware­ness around many so­cial is­sues that concern us as cit­i­zens and res­i­dents of this coun­try. Us­ing mo­bile phones while driv­ing is one such is­sue that has been ram­pant for quite some time and con­tin­ues to plague us, and we be­lieve that any time is the right time to urge peo­ple to avoid dis­tracted driv­ing and dis­cour­age us­ing the mo­bile phone while driv­ing.

Q A The re­sponse to the video on so­cial me­dia and the view­er­ship are in­di­ca­tors our ef­fort is well re­ceived, which we are happy about.

The view­er­ship has reached over a mil­lion views, which val­i­dates the grow­ing rel­e­vance and pub­lic in­ter­est on this sub­ject. We be­lieve and hope that our ap­proach will pos­i­tively shift at­ti­tudes and change be­hav­iour of many, if not all.

Q

A The well-be­ing and safety of our cus­tomers in gen­eral con­cerns us - whether it is about peo­ple adopt­ing healthy life­styles or avoid­ing dis­trac­tions while driv­ing such as mo­bile phones.

To that end, we hope that our road safety mes­sages reaches as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, and more im­por­tantly aids the ef­fort of the au­thor­i­ties and other or­gan­i­sa­tions who are work­ing to­wards bring­ing about a pos­i­tive change in driv­ing habits.

QWhat

A Drive with a smile and don’t use your mo­bile!

Your safety, your fam­ily’s well-be­ing and that of others is much more im­por­tant and pre­cious than a phone call, text mes­sage or selfie.

DAN­GER! Some of the sce­nar­ios that are fea­tured in the video caused by not con­cen­trat­ing

SAFETY FIRST: The dan­gers of driv­ing while us­ing a mo­bile phone are in the spot­light

CAM­PAIGN­ING: Fares Ha­mad Fares, from Etisalat

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