THINK! has launched a new campaign to reduce handheld phone use among young drivers.

The move comes as new legal regulation of phone use in vehicles come into force.

The campaign has been launched utilising the idea of peer to peer influence – ‘Guardian Mates’.

On call

This week it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for virtually any use. This includes taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists or playing games.

Offenders can receive a fine of up to £1,000, six points on their licence, and a driving ban.

The new campaign, ‘Guardian Mates’, includes a series of short films and a radio ad. These utilise the power of influence and respect between mates/friends to help drivers tackle the temptation to pick up their phone.


Targeting young drivers

The aim is to get drivers to confront their behaviour by making mates part of the equation. Unexpectedly appearing in the backseat of the car to intervene and stop them picking up the phone while driving puts them at the forefront of the driver’s decision making processes.

Films will be run across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as online video and paid video on demand.

Driver trainers can download the campaign assets via the THINK! website, utilising the stakeholder toolkit to help training.

The core audience is 17 to 24-year-old male drivers. They are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than male drivers aged 25 or over.

However, this campaign also includes female drivers of the same age. Research shows that both young male and female drivers have similar attitudes and behaviours towards mobile phone use. They also have less awareness of the law and penalties than older age groups.