10 March 2017
Pharrell Williams, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Alonso are among a host of celebrities who are urging people to take more precautions when they drive, from not texting and driving to always remembering to wear a seat-belt.
Images of the stars will appear across the UK as part of a billboard campaign that is being spearheaded by the FIA, Formula One’s governing body, and run in prominent JC Decaux locations, including on a double-sided digital superstructure on the South Bank and on Victoria Street, near the Houses of Parliament.
It's brilliant that Pharrell Williams has joined such an important campaign to get drivers to stay ‘Happy’ with the important billboard message ‘Never Text and Drive’.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, said: “It is brilliant that Pharrell Williams has joined such an important campaign to get drivers to stay ‘Happy’ with the important billboard message ‘Never Text and Drive’.
This comes at a time when the AA Trust and Think! have launched a hard hitting cinema ad on this theme and the posters will reinforce the messages. The AA Charitable Trust is delighted to help spread the FIA message to save #3500lives.”
3500 lives every day
Figures from the World Health Organisation show that 3,500 people are killed every day on roads around the world, and as many as 500 of these are children. More than 1.25 million people die every year in crashes and it is set to overtake AIDS as the biggest killer of people.
The campaign follows the introduction of new rules in England, Scotland and Wales which will see drivers lose their licence if they are caught using a phone within two years of passing their test.
Don't text and drive
Pharrell Williams, the singer and songwriter, said: “The last thing you want to do is be in an accident at the hands of someone who was texting or to actually be the cause of an accident because of your use of texting and I’m sure anyone wouldn’t want to contribute to the statistics so please don’t text and drive.”
Governments have the primary responsibility
Jean Todt, the president of the FIA, said that Governments have a key role to play in tackling the continued rise in the number of deaths due to road traffic crashes. “Individuals can only do so much. Governments have the primary responsibility to put in place measures to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals target to halve global road fatalities and injuries by 2020.”
Tennis star Rafael Nadal said: “My only recommendation is that when entering your car, be focused: focused on what you are doing, focused on the road and not having other distractions. I think it’s vital for the security of yourself and others.”
Other stars involved in the campaign, which will be featured on JC Decaux advertising space in more than 50 countries, include the French footballer Antoine Griezmann, Olympic long-distance runner Haile Gebreselassie, long jump Paralympic champion Venessa Low, and the Formula One drivers Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa.