Centre for Road Safety

There is no excuse

Watch the original YouTube video that pokes fun at the excuses made by drivers who use mobile phones illegally.
Read a transcript.

Mobile message on TV

Watch the television commercial or read a transcript.

The highly successful Get your hand off it online campaign was expanded to include television commercials, radio, cinema and other media. Since the start of the online campaign in June 2013, it has attracted more than 645,000 views on YouTube. The advertisements were accompanied by targeted NSW police initiatives on the use of mobile phones while driving.

In the past five years, our research has attributed mobile phone use to contributing to at least 216 crashes, 100 of which resulted in someone being killed or injured.

Dangerous behaviour

The use of mobile phones while driving is a growing issue that research shows could be a significant contributing factor in road crashes in NSW.

To overcome the attitudes and behaviour of using a hand-held phone while driving, the ‘Get your hand off it’ campaign challenges the excuses that drivers come up with to justify their illegal use of mobiles.

Mobile phone use

While two-thirds of the driving population agree that using a mobile phone when driving is dangerous, statistics show many still do it. From July 2010 to June 2011, 52,680 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for using hand-held mobile phones.
Data from 2006 to 2010 shows that there were 157 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers was identified as a contributing factor. The figures included:

  • Four fatal crashes
  • 66 injury crashes
  • 87 tow-away crashes

While crash risks are well documented, the crash numbers are under-reported because of the difficulty of establishing evidence of illegal mobile phone use at crash scenes. This suggests the size of the problem could be greater than thought.

Audience

Primary: Males and females aged 17–39 years. Secondary: Male and females aged 40–59 years.

Research shows that males and females aged 17–39 years have the highest rates of mobile phone ownership and highest rate of claimed use while driving. Commercial drivers reportedly use hand-held mobile phones on at least a quarter of their trips.

Main messages

  • There’s no excuse: Get your hand off it.
  • You are four times more likely to have a crash when you hold and use your phone while driving.

Media

The Get your hand off it campaign has a simple message with two distinct phases.

Phase one: An online YouTube video was the strategic element of the campaign. The video was designed to create awareness of the ‘There’s no excuse: Get your hand off it’ core message. Social media proved to be a cost-effective way to cut through the clutter of traditional advertising to quickly reach a large audience. The goal of the YouTube video was to create engaging and entertaining content that would:

  • Compel the target audience to engage and share via social media
  • Encourage debate and conversation about the topic within the community
  • Generate media coverage and inspire comment

Phase two: The second part of the strategy was designed to reflect the target audience’s preferences and used broadcast media such as social, online and radio, as well as ads on buses and taxis.

Campaign aims

Get your hand off it aims to stop drivers using their hand-held mobile phones by:

  • Creating awareness of the prevalence of the issue in society
  • Challenging excuses for using a mobile phone while driving
  • Creating awareness that using a mobile phone while driving is unacceptable
  • Increasing people’s motivation to change their behaviour