As a responsible and engaged operator, Orange Belgium is joining forces with the VSV (Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde) to create greater awareness amongst users about the dangers of using mobile phones while behind the wheel and the increased risk of accidents it entails.
The VSV, a Flemish organisation dedicated to improving road safety, is launching a new campaign encouraging drivers to switch to ‘Automodus’ whenever they get behind the wheel. The campaign is being conducted in collaboration with all the telecommunications operators: Base, Mobile Vikings, Orange, Proximus, Scarlet and Telenet. The intention is to familiarise all Flemings with the ‘Automodus’ concept and convince them to apply it.
According to new figures announced by the VSV today:
More than 6 in 10 drivers (63%) admit that they telephone while behind the wheel using a handsfree kit.
A little less than half (48%) sometimes read messages, 4 in 10 (40%) even send messages.
At the same time, a large majority of Flemings express a desire to limit their own use of the mobile phone while in the car:
o 92% find it unacceptable to read messages while driving, while 94% are against the sending of messages.
o 79% of drivers who sometimes use a mobile phone or smartphone in the car would like to do so less frequently. Nevertheless, more than 1 in 3 acknowledge that it is hard to put this into practice (35%), for example because they use the smartphone as their GPS.
‘Automodus’ entails a deliberate choice to avoid distractions while in traffic by placing your smartphone out of reach, using the "do not disturb" option or simply turning it off. Depending on the situation, there’s a car mode for everyone:
Out of reach: for example, stow it away in the glove compartment or your handbag.
Activate “Do not disturb”: this function blocks messages and incoming calls. You can choose to authorise calls from favourites and continue to use functions such as the GPS and music.
Silent mode: you won’t be distracted by incoming messages. You can continue to use your GPS and your music.
“The risk associated with using mobile phones while driving is a subject that concerns everyone, and in which the Orange Group is strongly engaged, particularly in France. It was therefore very important for me that Orange Belgium plays its part in this awareness-raising campaign on road safety in Flanders”, explains Michaël Trabbia.