Teach Mobile Phone Awareness in Schools
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Imagine receiving a phone call to say there had been an accident.
Imagine being told that there was no chance of survival.
Imagine being told your son/daughter could be facing prison.
The increase in the number of people using their mobile phone whilst driving is a growing and continuous concern throughout the UK, with the distraction it provides causing a surge in the number of accidents each year.
An RAC Report on Motoring revealed a significant increase in the number of drivers using a mobile phone at the wheel. According to the report, between 2014 and 2016 this figure rose from 8% to 31%, and has continued to rise.
Of those who were asked,14% of drivers admitted to taking photos when behind the wheel, while 20% said they checked social media. Worryingly, there is also a change in attitudes towards mobile phone use when driving, with an increase believing it is acceptable to take a call.
Additionally, the rising use of social media has also led to a number of young drivers using their phone to take selfies behind the wheel, snaps of the speed they are travelling at and using apps to publicise how fast they’re driving. These are all a serious cause for concern, particularly when coupled with the fact that these are inexperienced drivers. This is what needs to change.
There are generations of people who continue to find it socially acceptable to use their phone behind the wheel; using their phones as an extension of their arm and putting themselves and others’ lives at risk.
The change in the law and penalties is slowly breaking the trend but with limited resources, and people unclear of the laws, lives are still being endangered -so now is the time for change.
By educating pupils and students of the issues of using mobile phones behind the wheel, it will embed and save their lives, as well as others. As a teacher, I am aware of how the PSHCE curriculum requires students to be taught to ‘Make the Right Choices’ and inform them how life, and the world around them, can be affected, and effected by their decisions. Life skills are taught and shared but they are not taught about the issues of using their phones behind the wheel.
We explicitly teach the dangers and consequences of drink/drug driving but there is no recognition of the impact using their phones can have. Therefore, they find it socially acceptable and unconcerning to send messages, check Instagram, reply to a tweet or see a Facebook notification, whilst driving.
I lost my partner in a road collision because of someone using their phone and so I am hugely passionate about this. I have created lessons and guidance that can easily be carried out/adapted by teachers, for PSHCE which I want to share across the UK.
You can help ensure that the education starts in school and that students can then educate parents and the older generations, about the dangers of using phones behind the wheel. With the development of technology, the ease of access is almost alien and with the development comes more dangers - dangers on the road.
You can help reduce the risk that you, someone you love or someone you know, could have their life tragically destroyed by a person behind the wheel, using their phone. Your son, daughter, granddaughter, grandson, niece, nephew, friend... deserves the right to be, and feel, safe on the road.
Let’s educate them within schools to ‘Leave the phone Alone’ and make it safely to the end of their journey.
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