Campaign 2014 "Be #smA4rt, drive safely!"
“Be #smA4rt, drive safely!” was the slogan of a campaign initiated by Stalexport Autostrada Malopolska S.A. (SAM S.A.) concerning sensible use of smartphones while driving. The aim of the action was to increase drivers' awareness about using mobile phones in accordance with the regulations of the Traffic Code and minimising the negative impact of this activity on the safety of driving. The campaign was supported by the Malopolskie Voivodship Police Headquarters.
According to the carried out survey*, four out of five drivers who posed a threat on the road as a result of using mobile phones while driving had not noticed another vehicle. Over a half of them talk on the phone holding a phone in their hands. Every fifth driver who caused a dangerous situation on the road using a mobile phone, had not noticed a pedestrian. 66 per cent of them type and read SMS messages while driving.
Also 6 out of 10 drivers know that using a mobile phone while driving is a violation of traffic regulations but nearly 70 per cent of them talk on the phone holding a phone in their hand. 8 out of 10 drivers think that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous but over a half of them talk while driving, holding a phone in their hand and one in five types and reads SMS messages.
However, according to the statistics of the National Police Headquarters, every year the number of drivers fined for improper use of mobile phones while driving is rising. In 2013 almost 90 thousand drivers were fined for this offence, and in the period from January to July this year as many as 70 thousand. A fine of PLN 200 and 5 penalty points for improper use of a mobile phone while driving does not make drivers give up this habit - as the survey shows*, only one per cent of drivers gave up using mobile phones while driving after having been fined for it.
– Traffic Code regulations clearly state how not to use the phone while driving - namely they forbid drivers to use a mobile phone in the way requiring holding it in one's hand. The phone may be used by a driver only when it not held in their hand, e.g using the phone's navigation when it is placed in a special holder or speaking with the use of a hands-free system or a wireless headset. In each case, however, we should be careful and use our common sense – said major Krzysztof Lis, Chief of the Motorway Police in Krakow.
– The results of the carried out survey reveal that most drivers are aware of the results of the improper use of mobile phones while driving. But neither this knowledge nor experiencing dangerous situations on the road or even getting a fine, do not make drivers change their behaviour. This made us take up educational actions concerning sensible use of mobile phones in cars, that is in line with the Traffic Code – said Rafał Czechowski, the spokesperson for Stalexport Autostrada Malopolska S.A.
With drivers, passengers and people around them in mind, SAM S.A., in cooperation with the Police, prepared a list of tips for how to use the phone sensibly when travelling in a car. Readers of the guide could get to know what behaviour concerning the use of mobile phones increases their safety, like using a hands-free kit or keeping the phone in a special holder. They could also gain the knowledge what behaviour they should avoid, e.g. typing SMS messages while driving or wearing both ear pieces of the wireless headset, what limits the possibility of hearing what is happening on the road. The guides were given to drivers by motorway police officers during routine checks of vehicles on the A4 Katowice-Krakow.
On Toll Plazas, drivers using the A4 Katowice-Krakow got leaflets with some tips about how to safely use a phone while travelling and how to join the action. The campaign also had a dedicated website at: www.badzsmart.pl, where Internet users could read survey results, tips for drivers and passengers as well as interesting information about using phones while driving, also in other countries.