By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

Toyota Ireland has launched it’s free “Face it Down” app for Iphone and Android. According to them, it will save lives on Irish roads.

The project is the result of a partnership between Toyota, Topaz and the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

By facing their phones down, the drivers will be rewarded points for a hot drink at the Topaz Re Store outlets nationwide. Points will be earned for every kilometer driven without picking up the phone. If the user turns over the phone while driving, all the points accumulated will be lost.

250 bonus points will be awarded for a user’s first successful journey with bonus points also given at interim periods.

Steve Tormey, Chief Executive at Toyota Ireland said, “designing and building an app that will encourage drivers not be distracted by their mobile phone while driving, is part of our brand promise to help make life better in Ireland by saving lives”.

Fronted by Toyota ambassador Niall Breslin, the campaign will also feature RTE stars Eoghan McDermott and Blathnaid Treacy among others.

“We all know the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving so it’s great that drivers will now get rewarded for not using their phone. This simple act can make such a difference to road safety in Ireland that’s why I would encourage all drivers to use Toyota’s Face It Down App” said Niall Breslin, Toyota Bran Ambassador.

Topaz Retail Director, Derek Nolan said: “Topaz is delighted to be involved in this excellent road safety initiative which is very much in line with our own ethos of continuous improvement and commitment to change for the better. We encourage all motorists to download the app and pick up rewards in Topaz Re Store sites nationwide”.

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority highlighted the danger of using a mobile phone while driving, “Distracted driving could be a factor in as many 20-30% of all collisions in this country. However, the biggest distraction for drivers is the mobile. Despite the fact that using them when driving is killing people on Irish roads, rational, intelligent people continue to text, make phone calls, take selfies or update their social pages while driving. When you use your mobile behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second can destroy everything forever. That’s why the RSA is fully supportive of the Face It Down campaign and commends Toyota for endeavouring to make a real difference to the lives of people in Ireland through safe, smart driving practices.”

Researches have shown that calling and driving makes it four times more likely to crash while texting makes it 23. The road is a dangerous place for phone addicts. Calling, facebooking, snaping, whatsapping and more can endanger the life of the driver and people around him. This is why this app is essential.

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