Mobiles 2022

Mobiles 2022

Hands on the wheel? Hands off your phone.

THINK! has launched a new campaign to reduce handheld phone use amongst young drivers and coincide with a strengthening of the law around mobile phone use behind the wheel.

From 25 March 2022, it will be illegal to use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for virtually any use, including to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

If you use a handheld phone behind the wheel, you can get a fine of up to £1,000, 6 points on your licence, and a driving ban.

The new campaign ‘Guardian Mates’ includes a series of short films and a radio ad which use the power of influence and respect between mates to help drivers tackle the temptation to pick up their phone. The campaign aims to get drivers to confront their behaviour by making mates present in the issue, unexpectedly appearing in the backseat of the car to intervene and stop them picking up the phone while driving.

These films will run across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as online video and paid video on demand.

THINK! has a core audience of 17 to 24-year-old male drivers, who are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than male drivers aged 25 or over. However, this campaign also includes female drivers of the same age as research shows that both young male and female drivers have similar attitudes and behaviours towards mobile phone use. They also have less awareness of the law and penalties than older age groups.

The strengthening of the law applies to the use of handheld mobile phones. There is an exemption that allows contactless payments such as those at a drive-thru so long as the vehicle is stationary. A device can also be used handsfree while driving if secured in a cradle, allowing sat nav use. Drivers must however always take responsibility for their driving and can still be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.

Follow @THINKgovuk on Twitter to discover and share more content from our campaign throughout March and April.

Assets supplied are free to use for educational purposes, however if used in a paid-for capacity (particularly outside of the national campaign period) usage fees may apply. To download any of the videos below, select your chosen video, which will bring up the video player. Click on the ‘Vimeo’ logo in the bottom right of the video player and head to our Vimeo page, where you can download directly.

The THINK! team welcomes any support you can provide in sharing the message with your audiences. For further information, including suggested post copy, download our campaign toolkit from the ‘Get this’ section below.

Party Car

Young males aged 17-24 are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with car drivers aged 25 or over – and young male drivers are more likely to crash with passengers in the car.

Our Party Car campaign is aimed at tackling driving distractions among this high-risk group.

Launched on 30 January 2020, our latest campaign encourages passengers to ‘let a mate concentrate’.

We’ve created a suite of videos that will run across social media and online video, including Instagram stories, Snapchat and gaming apps. The films show how distracting certain behaviours – which may seem minor – can be to the driver.

To watch the videos, click on the icons below. To download any of the videos click on the on-screen ‘Vimeo’ logo and download directly from our Vimeo page. Assets supplied are free to use for educational purposes, however if used in a paid-for capacity (particularly outside of the national campaign period) usage fees may apply.

Pint Block

Male drivers aged 17-24 are over-represented in drink drive related accidents. They’re also less likely than the wider population to perceive drink driving behaviour as risky or unacceptable.

Our ‘Pint Block’ films encourage young men to intervene to stop a mate drinking before they drive. The films show mates using inventive and surreal ways to step in, with the message that a mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive.

Running on social media and online video, the campaign is part of our ongoing Mates Matter strategy – which looks to reduce risky driving behaviour by getting young men to have each other’s backs and challenge perceptions about what it means to be a good driver.

To watch the videos, click on the icons below.

Assets supplied are free to use for educational purposes, however if used in a paid-for capacity (particularly outside of the national campaign period) usage fees may apply.

The Road Whisperer

1 in 5 drivers crash in the first year after passing their test. Our research revealed that young drivers often feel vulnerable on the road. This can lead to them driving more defensively and taking unnecessary risks to over-compensate for their inexperience.

We know it takes real road experience to become a good driver. Launched 5 March 2019, our latest campaign encourages new drivers to ‘learn the ways of the road’ with the help of the Road Whisperer.

The mysterious Road Whisperer – think ‘The Dude’ from The Big Lebowski – will deliver tips and advice around some of the most nerve-wracking moments that new drivers face.

We’ve created a suite of tips that will run throughout March across cinema, video on demand and social media. The tips include driving on country roads, on motorways, at night, in light rain, on roundabouts, the importance of checking your tyres, and looking out for vulnerable road users.

Our launch materials are available below.

We’ll be making the remaining assets available throughout March. Assets supplied are free to use for educational purposes, however if used in a paid-for capacity (particularly outside of the national campaign period) usage fees may apply.

Helpful hazards

Our Helpful hazards campaign provides tips and advice on driving safely on country roads.

The helpful hazards film takes common countryside sights (farm animals and agricultural equipment) and turns them into messengers, warning drivers of the potential hazards on country roads.

We partnered with LadBible to create engaging content for our target audience on social media.

THINK! put your phone away

On 1 March 2017, the penalties for using a handheld phone while driving increased. At the time of campaign launch, more than 26k drivers have been issued 6 points on their licence, and 500 new drivers have lost their licence.

THINK! campaign results show that whilst awareness of the penalty increase improved among adult drivers in England & Wales, and the perception of danger and unacceptability of using a phone while driving remained high, one in six still admitted to doing it.

 This could be due to scepticism about getting caught (37% agree that the chance of getting caught is minimal) and individuals not worrying about the consequences of getting caught (48% worry about the impact of getting caught).

This campaign mark the one year anniversary of the penalty increase by highlighting to drivers that using your phone while driving has risk to life and risk to your licence.

The campaign included a re-run of the case study film ‘life without Zoë” to view this campaign material click here .

Cabbie night out

We teamed up with part-time relationship counsellor and Uber driver Dr. Ofore, and LADbible to create this film.

Mates matter

Our campaign is calling on friends to do what they do best – look out for each other.

We’re specifically calling for mates to intervene and stop their mates when they are tempted to drink driving.

Young men are heavily over-represented in drink drive related accidents. In 2016, 280 young men aged 16-24 were killed or seriously injured due to drink driving in Great Britain.

Pink Kittens

Our new road safety campaign has launched a new ad to drive home the amount of information that is missed by people when they’re looking at their phones.

Vehicle safety checks

Young lady checking engine oil level on car


If you are using your vehicle for the first time in several weeks, following Government advice, it will need a thorough check to ensure it is roadworthy and safe. You can find out more about Government advice here.

Most breakdowns are avoidable and simple vehicle checks can help you have a safer journey. Check your tyres, fuel, oil and water.

Highways England recommend carrying out a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are safely equipped to drive – the advice below includes details of what to check.
You should still stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

Advice on what to check

You and your journey

  • Make sure you are well rested and are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Plan your route before leaving, and identify opportunities for you to take a break if necessary during your journey. If you make a stop, you should continue to follow covid-19 secure guidance and limit contact time with others.
  • You can check the latest traffic conditions from Traffic England.

Tyre tread

  • The legal minimum tread depth for car tyres in the UK is 1.6mm. Driving without the legally required amount of tread can adversely affect your grip, braking distance and steering.
  • If you are stopped by the police and found with illegal tyres, you could receive a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.

Tyre pressure

  • Driving with underinflated or overinflated tyres can adversely affect your braking distance, steering, fuel efficiency and the lifetime of your tyres.

Fuel level

  • In 2015, there were more than 7,000 breakdown incidents due to vehicles running out of fuel.
  • Always keep your tank at least one-quarter full to avoid running out on your journey.
  • You can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice in some locations if your breakdown was foreseeable, such as running out of fuel.

Oil level

  • Maintaining the correct oil level is essential as the oil lubricates, cleans, cools and protects the moving parts of your engine, preventing your engine from seizing up and breaking down.

Water level

  • To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear any debris or dirt off your windscreen.


  • Your lights are not only essential for you, they are also essential for other drivers to understand how you are driving your vehicle and how you intend to manoeuvre.

Breaking down

Knowing what to do in an emergency or a breakdown is the key to keeping yourself and others safe.

If your vehicle appears to have problems or is damaged and you’re on a motorway, always try to exit at a service station or the next junction.

If that’s not possible, you should follow these steps:

  • Pull into an emergency area. These are regularly spaced along the motorway and are marked with blue signs featuring an orange SOS telephone symbol.
  • If you can’t get to the SOS telephone in an emergency area but have a mobile phone with you, call our customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000. Why not save this number in your phone, so it’s available when you need it.
  • If you can’t get to the hard shoulder or an emergency area but your vehicle can be driven, move it as close as possible to the nearside (left hand) verge or other nearside boundary or slip road and put on your hazard lights.
  • If you feel you can exit safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door and get away from the road. Keep clear of your vehicle and moving traffic at all times. For example, if your vehicle gets hit, you’re out of the way.
  • Switch on your hazard warning lights and any other lights such as rear fog lights or side lights, to increase your visibility especially if it’s dark or foggy. Do not put out a warning triangle.
  • Contact your breakdown recovery service. All motorists should be able to make their own recovery arrangements in the event of a breakdown. We advise you to carry details of your provider with you.

If it’s not possible to exit your vehicle safely, there’s no safe place to wait, or you feel your life is in danger, put your hazard warning lights on and stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on. If you have a mobile phone dial ‘999’ immediately.