ANN@The China Post August 1, 2017, 4:43 pm TWN
Pedestrians walking with their heads down, too busy looking at their phones to see the impending catastrophe awaiting them, have become the unwitting stars of a new awareness campaign - but not for the reasons they might think.
While their hilarious calamities, including one woman who walks straight into a bus stop and a man who falls into a pond, are laugh-out-loud funny, their care-free attitude to their own safety has been used to highlight the dangers of texting while driving.
In a campaign put forward by South Africa's Western Cape Government, the short, and extremely powerful, video begins with circus music fitting to watching people run into things because they're too busy texting. It's hilarious.
But the video takes a sudden serious turn, pointing out that if one can't walk while texting, they probably shouldn't try driving either.
The video is running as part of the Western Cape Government's traffic safety efforts and #ItCanwait campaign, aimed at spreading awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.
'No call or text is worth your life,' the campaign states on its website, which equally notes the increase in traffic crashes caused by distracted driving, including cellphone use at the wheel.
Research conducted in 2009 by Pew Research Centre found that 26 percent of all American teens, ages 16 to 17, were texting when driving, causing concern as most incidents of distracted driving occur in those belonging to younger age groups.
In 2015, a report by the National Occupant Protection Use Survey echoed that, stating that handheld use was still the highest among 16-24-year-old drivers.
Laws to deter people from texting at the wheel have been implemented across the globe.
Earlier this year, Britain doubled penalties for those caught texting behind the wheel - fines of £200 and six points on a license now exist. Many have said the law does not go far enough.
The law, which came into effect on March 1, also sees the license instantly revoked if violations are made by new drivers who have been on the road for under two years.
Just after the law had passed, a female motorist was caught taking selfies driving down a busy motorway in Birmingham.
Richard Browning, Director at Nextbase, the UK's largest manufacturer of Dash Cams, had said: 'This is one of the most extreme cases of someone using their phone whilst driving that I've ever seen.'
It is unknown whether the young motorist was convicted, but another video released near the same time shows why paying attention at the wheel is critical - one moment a young girl is singing to Adele, the next she's in an accident where she later dies.
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