Drivers don't get message
ROCKHAMPTON police are cracking down on a growing class of illegal phone users.
It’s not just the fatal four anymore.
In light of the horrific fatality rate across the region this year, central region traffic co-ordinator acting Inspector Mike Curtin is warning motorists not to use their mobile phones while driving.
Inspector Curtin said more and more drivers were ignoring the risks and putting their lives and the lives of others road users at risk.
As of yesterday, there had been 51 deaths on the region’s roads so far this year.
He said police were handing out more than several fines for phone users on a day-to-day basis in Rockhampton alone, and texters were a priority for officers on the job.
“We consider it to be a major issue with road safety that’s putting lives at risk,” Inspector Curtin said.
A survey conducted by Queensland University of Technology found two out of five people admitted using their mobile phones at least once a day while driving.
Queensland police last year caught 28,498 drivers using their mobile phones while driving – up 5748 on the previous year.
Under Queensland law, drivers are not allowed to use hand-held mobile phones while driving, but Inspector Curtin said this had not stopped them disregarding the rules.
“There’s a common perception that it’s only young drivers (using phones while driving), but we’re seeing just as many mature-age offenders,” Inspector Curtin said.
Research shows that people who send a text message while driving increase the amount of time their eyes are distracted from the road by up to 400%.
Inspector Curtin said this lapse in concentration on driving meant dangerous texting drivers were more likely to increase the risk of a crash that could have tragic
CQ Driver Training teacher of eight years, Aavo Henderson, said he was concerned about the number of dangerous drivers on our roads and he saw at least half a dozen motorists on the phone while driving every day.
“I saw a guy the other day with his phone in one hand while trying to change gears with the other when he was driving across the bridge,” Mr Henderson said.TEXT DANGERS
- Texting while driving means you’re more likely to increase the risk of a crash;
- An increasing number of road users are breaking the laws by picking up their phones;
- The amount of time your eyes are not watching the road increases by up to 400% if you text and drive.