Viral Safely Home #ItCanWait ad highlights dangers of distracted driving
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of crashes that result in serious injury and, too often, death on our roads. As the United States’ National Safety Council points out, brain activity in the areas that process moving images decreases by over 33% when we are talking on our phone. This means that we effectively become partially blind when we use our cell-phone while driving. This in turn, often leads to the horrific collisions we see on our roads, on a daily basis.
The video has, since being posted four days ago, gone viral and has been viewed locally over 800 000 times (420 000 times on YouTube at the moment, and 404 000 on Facebook). The estimated global views on all online platforms as of mid-day yesterday were 36 000 000, mostly in the United Kingdom. The ad has also been featured on TV news all over the world.
#ItCanWait can be viewed on the Safely Home YouTube channel, on the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/safelyhomewcg
#ItCanWait was a creative concept produced by the Western Cape Government’s agency, FCB. Like all our concepts, it was rigorously tested through surveys and focus groups. It almost didn’t make the cut but the agency was very keen on the concept and offered to cover production costs as corporate social investment. After the final crash scene was added, retesting showed the clip had enormous viral potential which has certainly proven to be the case.
We hope that the campaign will speak directly to motorists, urging them not to use their phones while driving. Research has shown that distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances, with its disastrous effects being seen on our roads daily.
We will continue to be innovative as we tackle this scourge and raise awareness for important road safety issues like distracted driving. I have no doubt that our commitment and collective efforts will continue to save more and more lives.