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    New Flemish campaign targets drivers distracted by smartphones

    A new campaign in Flanders aims to help drivers avoid smartphone temptation. Credit: Unsplash

    A new campaign is encouraging drivers tempted by their smartphones to put their devices into “car mode” when they’re behind the wheel, in a move by Flanders traffic authorities to boost responsible driving.

    The campaigns promoters describe “car mode” as a driver’s “deliberate choice to avoid distraction while driving by putting [their] smartphone out of reach or setting it to do not disturb mode,” according to VRT news.

    Launched by road safety authorities with support from telecom operators, the new campaign comes after a survey showed that while a majority of Flemish drivers disapprove of the use of phones behind the wheel, a large number confessed to being guilty of it.

    “Most people realise that it is dangerous and not allowed,” Werner De Dobbeleer of the Flemish Traffic Engineering Foundation (VSV) said, adding: “but at the same time, they feel the urge to respond immediately to every incoming message or call.”

    The campaign will include information about the wide range of options offered by devices which could help avoid driving distractions, with some of the most recent models being capable of switching to “do not disturb mode” when a driver sits behind the wheel.

    Additionally, the campaign cites a number of mobile apps designed to keep a driver’s focus on the road, such as AutoModus, Drivemode and In-Traffic Reply.

    Telecom operators such as Base, Mobile Vikings and Orange, and others are expected to promote the campaign with their customers in Flanders, according to the outlet, with some of the company’s CEOs opting to deliver the message themselves through video.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times