Auckland Transport has launched a new campaign highlighting the high numbers of people driving while using their phones.

The “Oi! Mind on the road, not the phone” campaign targets 16 to 39 year olds and includes a cinema ad plus radio and digital advertising.

In Auckland between 2009 and 2013 there were five fatalities as a result of drivers being distracted.

Karen Hay, Manager Community and Road Safety said: “The numbers are probably under-reported, this could be a much bigger problem.”

She said 60% of the crashes were rear-end collisions: “This is obviously drivers taking their eyes off the road.”

Rob Pitney, Auckland Transport’s Manager Campaigns and Customer Insights, said people of all ages are using their phones behind the wheel and a third of all distraction-related crashes involve drivers in their twenties.

“We’ve discovered two-thirds of people in this group are texting, using apps and social media, doing emails and making calls while driving. They’re the target of the ‘Oi!’ campaign; we want to raise awareness of the very real dangers of using mobile phones while driving and to introduce a gentle ‘nudge’ that will enable passengers to encourage drivers to leave their phone alone.”