Young people urged to ‘be smart’ when using their mobile phones

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A CAMPAIGN is hoping to raise roadside awareness among young people as they start the new academic year.

Hampshire County Council has launched a campaign in association with the StreetSense programme, encouraging youngsters to avoid creating distractions for themselves when crossing the road.

Through posts on social media, the council will be reminding people that making phone calls, sending messages, changing songs and the like are all distractions that could put them in roadside danger.

The campaign is aimed primarily at 11-16 year olds – as this age group has one of the highest pedestrian casualty rates of all age groups in Hampshire.

Between 2005 and 2010 there were more than 2,500 accident casualties in Hampshire, according to the council.

Worldwide, road accidents are the biggest killer of teenagers.

Executive member for environment and transport Cllr Rob Humby said: ‘Learning to be safe on the roads is an important lesson for everyone, whatever their age.

‘This particular campaign aims to reach young people as they go back to school and college, to remind them to stay alert when crossing the road, and warn that letting their attention be drawn to music, games or messages on their smartphones can have serious consequences.’

For more information go to hants.gov.uk/transport/roadsafety/streetsense.