Saturday, 17 November 2018
BREAKING NEWS

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is going up, but why are people still doing it?

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is going up, but why are people still doing it?
17 Sep
12:03

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 – 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 – not just for the sheer scope of the problem – 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’ll blame a kangaroo – or pedestrian – instead of taking responsibility for their stupidity in the first instance.

“Last 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,” Mr Carlon said.

“At 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.”

This latest move to increase the penalty is a step in the right direction but it’s astonishing to think it’s even needed; with the emphasis on “getting caught” 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’s right about that.

Noel suggests we all throw our mobile phones into the boot of the car, when we set of on our journeys – to avoid the temptation of a text or phone call.

Sounds like a very good suggestion.

Source: http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/5644971/dont-be-stupid-put-that-mobile-phone-out-of-sight/

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