No excuse for driver distraction

ACT Policing will be targeting driver distraction during the month of June as part of its ongoing road safety campaign.

Driver distraction is any action that takes a driver’s attention away from the road and onto other elements of their environment. This could include using a mobile phone, driving with headphones in, tuning your radio, managing children or pets on board or applying make-up.

Road Safety Operations Team Sergeant Stuart Howes stresses that even a short glace away from the road can lead to a serious or fatal collision.

“If drivers think ‘it only takes me a few seconds to check a text message’, then they don’t understand what a few seconds on the road really means.”

“If a driver travelling in an 80km/h zone takes their eyes off the road for three seconds then they’ll travel over 60 metres effectively blind folded before their eyes return to the road,” Sergeant Howes said.

This frightening scenario occurs all too often, with over 3,000 people caught driving while using a mobile phone in the last financial year.

“Many phones are now capable of much more than simple voice calls, with text messaging, maps, ‘push’ notifications and multimedia functions providing more temptation to use a mobile phone while driving,” Sergeant Howes said.

“There is absolutely no excuse to look at your phone while driving, either have a passenger in the car check the phone for you or simply pull over.”

Drivers who ignore their safety and the safety of others and choose to use a hand-held phone while driving will receive Traffic Infringement Notice, including a fine of $337 and the loss of three demerit points.

ACT Policing is also offering drivers a free ice-scrapper to clear windscreens of ice or frost, available from all Police Stations in the ACT while stocks last.