Instructor sees many near misses from drivers distracted

Drive Safely campaign
Drive Safely campaign

THE Drive Safely campaign continues today with a video and an opinion piece written by driving instructor Leyland Barnett.

Driving instructor Leyland Barnett
Driving instructor Leyland Barnett Allan Reinikka

Transport and Main Roads minister, Mr Scott Emerson stated that "We wanted a campaign that engaged with the community, moving away from the blood and shock advertisements of the past".

The results of the campaign so far, indicate that 34% of people believe that mobile phones and distractions are the biggest safety concern.

I have been training and assessing drivers in our Rockhampton Region for over 13 years now and I support any initiative by the government or any organisation to try and reduce our growing road toll in Queensland.

Every road fatality has an effect on our community; physical and mental injury to the people directly involved; property damage; insurance and legal costs; the strain placed on our emergency services staff and the cost of unrealised, human potential lost forever.

I personally have experienced going to the funeral of a family friend that lost his wife and severely injured himself in a motorbike accident, where a Ute pulled out in front of him.

It gave me more incentive to never stop trying to educate people in the values of driving safely.

I agree with the results of the campaign, of what people are mainly concerned with regarding mobile phones and distractions.

Quite often when driving on our roads training new drivers, you will see near misses occur due to someone not paying attention and in some cases while on a mobile phone.

The first lesson a student will learn, is to keep your eyes on the road and not allow anything to distract your concentration.

A motor vehicle has the potential to do a lot of damage and any distraction can lead to fatal consequences.

Ignore items like the GPS, mobile phone, radio/stereo and friends in the back seat, every second you travel along you have covered a certain distance and to be unaware of the conditions in that distance, are a recipe for a disaster. 

Do you answer calls or text messages while driving?

This poll ended on 27 December 2013.

Yes - 7%

No - 85%

It depends who it is from. - 7%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


I have installed a video camera into my car, not to catch people out, but to put together a training video for new drivers.

As you can see in some of the videos, crashes were avoided because of the defensive reaction of the driver that was paying attention.

The road safety message that I would like people to consider is to ignore distractions, especially texting on a mobile phone and survive the drive.

Topics:  drive safely driving

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