No mobile when mobile – how BOC helped inspire Crimestoppers’ latest safety campaign

BOC’s In Vehicle Distraction Policy ‘no mobile while mobile’ has helped inspire Crimestoppers’ latest safety campaign; Out of sight, peace of mind’.

The dangers of using a mobile phone behind the wheel are well documented, but what about other distractions? Using hands-free kits while driving can also have serious consequences which is why BOC introduced an In Vehicle Distraction policy – known among staff as ‘no mobile when mobile’. As part of this, there’s a zero-tolerance approach to using hands-free kits, as well as other distractions like starting a satnav once the vehicle is moving, eating and drinking.

And now, the charity Crimestoppers is launching its own campaign – ‘Out of sight, peace of mind’’ – to encourage other transport, logistics and other commercial businesses to do the same.

We spoke to Rodger Holden, Crimestoppers Director of Business Development, about the new campaign and why it’s such an important issue right now…

Why do you think it is so important to highlight the dangers of mobile phone use behind the wheel?

The dangers to life are very evident. A moment’s distraction, answering a mobile phone call while driving, could have tragic consequences. Nothing is more important than a person’s life. This initiative mirrors previous road safety campaigns such as wearing a seat belt, or a helmet on motorbikes and mopeds. At the time people questioned the authority or need. No-one would now.

In addition, the consequences of a collision are greater for transport companies as the larger and heavier the vehicle, the greater the impact.

What are the benefits of a zero-tolerance approach from transport companies?

It sends out a clear and unequivocal message that using a mobile phone, while in transit, is actually illegal and that using hands-free is also a major road safety issue. It demonstrates active commitment from transport, logistics and other commercial operations who run fleets of vehicles to get engaged with the issue and to become champions. We also believe that this initiative will have a wider influence on personal use in the longer term.

Why did you want to team up with BOC for this campaign?

Frankly, we have been really impressed by their passion on this important issue and determination to take a lead. They want to make a difference for the common good. We respect them for that. BOC are getting the ball rolling – taking the initiative and setting an example to other fleet and transport companies. It shows passion, commitment and bravery – they are prepared to be judged on their own performance.

Can you tell us a bit about the work being done as part of the campaign?

The campaign message is Out of Sight, Peace of Mind.

We are targeting CEOs and senior managers of logistics and transport companies on LinkedIn and Facebook to raise awareness of the dangers of their drivers using handheld and hands-free mobile devices while driving. We aim to show that you can run a successful business effectively with a zero-tolerance mobile policy in place.

We are also targeting drivers through Facebook advertising.

Digital assets created include two live-action videos filmed at a BOC site and a number of digital posters.

What is the campaign’s overall aim? What would success look like?

We want to demonstrate to companies that zero-tolerance is actually right for business as well as serving the wider good. We wish for a change in attitude and ultimately for all businesses to see using the mobile phone in transit as socially and commercially unacceptable.

What are the big challenges campaigns such as this need to overcome?

There will be companies thinking that a zero-tolerance approach is bad for business. It isn’t compared to the consequences of causing an accident. Some companies will be under the misapprehension that it won’t happen to them. It’s exactly these companies that are susceptible, not the ones who ban it. There is a belief that hands-free is ok. It isn’t. How is it possible to fully concentrate on the road ahead and take information on a mobile phone at the same time?

Do you have any advice for businesses looking to implement a zero-tolerance approach to mobile phone use?

Please just do it. Don’t procrastinate. Every time an employee answers a mobile phone in transit, they are also putting lives at risk….and the viability and reputation of their employer’s business.

BOC is very proud that our In Vehicle Distraction Policy is the inspiration for this campaign and to be working in partnership with Crimestoppers. Rob Bryson BOC’s National Transport Manager features in one of the films and explains “BOC introduced a zero-tolerance mobile phone policy over 10 years ago and have proven it’s possible to be an efficient, successful company without needing to speak to our drivers whilst they are on the road – and that includes on a hands-free system. Nothing is more important than a person’s life. We hope this initiative will have a wider influence in the longer term as more and more companies commit to champion the highest road safety standards.”

Want to find out more about the campaign and implementing a zero-tolerance approach to mobile phone use? Take a look at the Crimestoppers website

Gary Bowler

Head of SHEQ,BOC