Hands off THE PHONE
You’d think broken necks, head injuries, collapsed lungs, spinal fractures and comas would be enough to make young drivers aware of how their driving might affect themselves and others. You’d be wrong!
Young drivers using mobile phones is one of the biggest causes of driver distraction resulting in accidents leading to death and serious injury. These drivers tend to ignore road safety measures and are difficult to engage with, especially for a public sector organisation like Auckland Transport ( AT).
Young people, by their very nature, take risks. So making behavioural changes within this group is an exceptionally difficult task.
Significant numbers of drivers are regularly talking, texting and using smart phone technology while driving. Stopping this dangerous behaviour has been a major challenge facing AT.
The problem, use of smartphones, is coincidentally the solution. AT figured out that harnessing the potential of digital and social media in an emotional way was the route to influencing young drivers. Additionally AT recognised the important role social influencers could play in order to get the messages accepted in a peer- to- peer fashion.
This led to the idea of developing a ‘real life’ social feed for fictitious character Sophie. Sophie lures the viewer into her social world, showing all the fun stuff young people get up to and the perfect lives they project. As the feed progresses, we see a post filmed while driving, followed by three months of nothing and then a depiction of her recovery. The power lies in the fact that viewers engage with her ‘good life’ feed and then are shocked at the dire reality that results from the consequences of her phone use.
The video ends with the hashtag # myphonestopsinthecar. While this would be a hard sell, AT hoped that the unique approach would be compelling enough to get traction and get people talking and sharing.
AT also trialled tw o reasonably well- know social influencers in Jayden Daniels and Grace Palmer from Shortland Street, to push the ‘ My phone stops in the car’ message through their own channels and undertook a limited
AT recognised the important role social influencers could play in order to get the message accepted.