So the government is getting even tougher on people caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
From today the penalty will increase from four to five demerit¬†points, while it will be double¬†that for the holiday periods on our roads.
The fine though is not changing ‚Äď¬†it remains at¬†$337, or $448 if detected in a school zone.
Last financial year over 40,000 people were fined for using their phones while driving¬†and from 2012 to 2017, there were 175 crashes involving mobile phones resulting in nine¬†deaths and 50 serious injuries.
The figures are staggering ‚Äď¬†not just for the sheer scope of the problem ‚Äď¬†but because they are preventable.
Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon says¬†illegal mobile phone use is a¬†growing problem in NSW and is under-reported in road crashes.
Not surprising though, given drivers will hardly¬†own up to having been on the phone, when they crashed.
They‚Äôll blame a kangaroo ‚Äď¬†or pedestrian ‚Äď¬†instead of taking responsibility for their stupidity in the first instance.
‚ÄúLast financial year over 40,000 people were fined for using a mobile phone while driving and¬†we know around 25 per cent of drivers in NSW admit to doing it,‚ÄĚ Mr Carlon said.
‚ÄúAt 60km/h, a car travels 33 metres in two seconds, at 100km/h it travels 55 metres. Take your¬†eyes off the road for a few seconds and you continue to travel, virtually blind.‚ÄĚ
This latest move to increase the penalty is a step in the right direction¬†but it‚Äôs astonishing to think it‚Äôs even needed; with the emphasis on ‚Äúgetting caught‚ÄĚ in the first place.
We think Noel Wilson hit the nail on the head when he commented on a recent Leader story about a police mobile phone compliance operation.¬†He basically said we will do stupid things if we think we can get away with it.¬†And he‚Äôs right about that.
Noel suggests we all throw our mobile phones into the boot of the car, when we set of on our journeys ‚Äď¬†to avoid the temptation of a text or phone call.
Sounds like a very good suggestion.