10th April 2020

Its thumbs up for My Red Thumb Day on Thursday 10 May

Pictured left to right: Pete Bond, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Director of Improvement and Alex Hanson Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Director of Delivery.

The fifth National My Red Thumb Day takes place on Thursday 10 May is fast approaching. This is the day we encourage you to paint your thumb nail red as a reminder not to use your mobile phone when driving.

My Red Thumb is a multi-agency road safety campaign designed to raise the awareness of the risks of distractions at the wheel.  The painted thumb nail acts as a reminder every time you catch sight of your red thumb.

This year, alongside social media activity, road safety teams are running local events for My Red Thumb Day. They will be reminding drivers and passengers about the dangers of distracted driving by either painting their thumb nails red, or by giving them a free my Red Thumb nail sticker or thumb ring.

Stop by at one of our events

When: Thursday May 10

Where:  Devon – Motorway Services, M5 Junction 30. 10am – 3pm.

              Somerset – Taunton Deane Services (M5 North bound). 10am – 3pm.

Can’t make it?

Take a thumb selfie and post using the hashtag #MyRedThumb.

Laura Pratt, Station Manager Community Safety Education and Road Safety from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “For the 5th year of My Red Thumb we are trying to get as many people as possible to spread the message about the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving. Come and talk to us on May 10 at the either of the two Services, have your nail painted red or get a free My Red Thumb ring to promote the message and act as a visual reminder of not to use a mobile phone whilst driving and to challenge other drivers who do.”

Is this you?

You might be thinking, “Really? Why would anyone ever try and use their phone whilst driving it’s such a dangerous thing to do! If this is you, great, but help to encourage others to think like you by pledging your support and painting your thumb red. When people ask you about your single digit paint job tell them all about the campaign and encourage them to do the same.

Or is this you?

Alternatively, if you are thinking, “Actually, yes that is me. I do use my phone when I am driving – but not very often – and if I do I am really careful”- then this campaign really is for you. If you need some convincing that using your phone whilst being ‘in control’ of a tonne of metal is not a good thing to do.

Did you know?

It is illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices, and the rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or when queuing in traffic. In 2017, penalties doubled for using a mobile phone behind the wheel, and anyone caught doing so now faces a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence – and new drivers who gained their licence within the last two years risk losing their licence.

According to research by RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) drivers using a phone at the wheel are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and/or other people as they are less aware of what is around them and are slower to react.

Advice before starting a journey…Turn off your phone, put it on silent or switch on the driving notification. Put your phone out of reach where you will not be tempted to use it- for example in the glove box or in the boot.

And when making a journey…If your phone rings, ignore it or ask a passenger to take the call for you. If you need to make a call, first find a sensible place to stop and turn off your engine.