Social media celebrity and comedian Anto Sharp has publicly apologised for using his phone behind the wheel of a car and signed a public pledge to never use a handheld phone while driving again.
It comes two weeks after the penalty for using a handheld phone while driving doubled to six points and a £200 fine.
Anto, who has more than 50 million views on social media, said: “I made a mistake, quite a few times actually, but I hold my hands up, and I apologise. I’ve worked with the THINK! team for a while now and I’ve seen just how devastating the effects of using your phone while driving can be, and I’m never doing it again. The risks are just not worth it!
“I’m delighted to be working with THINK! and I really hope my video will help get their message across in a fun, fresh and approachable way.”
In his hilarious campaign clip Anto is seen encouraging his followers to put their phones away in the glove compartment before driving, muttering an amended version of his iconic catchphrase, ‘That’s going straight in my basket’. There is even a brief cameo from Essex Police officers.
This is a bold new approach to campaigns from the government, which hopes that the social media star will help them tap into the younger and typically harder to reach audience. Younger drivers are more likely to be caught using their mobile phone when driving so have been targeted by THINK!’s latest campaign.
Two weeks ago today, the penalty for using your handheld phone while driving doubled to six points and a £200 fine. This means new drivers face losing their licence if they use their phones at the wheel, with more than 3,000 people having already been slapped with the tough new measures.
Drivers caught using their handheld mobile twice or accruing 12 points on their licence will face magistrates’ court, being disqualified and fines of up to £1,000. New drivers, within two years of passing their test, risk having their licence revoked, and lorry or bus drivers can be suspended if caught.