The Flemish Traffic Foundation (VSV) will be launching a new campaign this month to encourage drivers to focus on the road and not on their mobile phones.
The campaign consists of a series of billboards along roads in Flanders with messages like ‘Ignore your boss,’ ‘Ignore your lover’ and ‘Ignore your friends.’
The awareness campaign comes on the heels of increased penalties for drivers caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel, which can now lead to drivers losing their licence in certain parts of Belgium.
Distracted driving on the rise in Belgium
Research by VSV shows that more than eight out of 10 drivers use their smartphones while driving.
“Distraction is and remains a major problem in traffic,” said Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters.
“In 2020, 62,645 traffic offences for mobile phone use behind the wheel were recorded in Flanders. The figures for 2021 don't look too rosy either with 40,258 traffic offences for the first half of that year.”
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The posters will be displayed along Flemish main roads from 2 to 29 May. There will also be radio spots on popular stations and a social media campaign.
“Through the new campaign, we are asking drivers to focus on the road and not on their mobile phones,” said Peeters, “even if it means that they are temporarily unavailable. After all, no call, report or message is so important that it is worth an accident.”