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Volkswagen has taken a bold step in its attempts to stop drivers from using their mobile phones at the wheel, surprising cinemagoers at a packed Hong Kong theatre with an interactive shock campaign.

The ad, which was shown as a trailer to a feature film at the MCL Cinema in Hong Kong, shows a point-of-view account of a person getting into their car and setting off on a drive.

It all seems quite peaceful at first - but then a text message from a location-based broadcaster is sent to everyone in the cinema with a mobile phone, causing many to look away from the big screen for a quick glance at their personal screen. It's at that point the film takes a traumatic turn, and the ensuing silence is quite chilling.

Watch the video above to see how the Volkswagen Eyes on the Road campaign panned out.

Using a handheld phone while driving is illegal in Australia, and fines and demerit points apply across all states and territories. The statistics surrounding phone use while driving vary greatly - so much so that NSW Police admits "we don't know exactly" how many crashes are caused by distracted driving due to "severe under-reporting".