Mobile phone distraction – "it’s not a good look”

If you think you cannot be seen using a mobile phone while driving, you are wrong – everyone can see what you are doing and it’s not a good look.

That is the latest message from the Motor Accident Commission, who launched their new mobile phone campaign today.

Road Safety Minister Tony Piccolo said the reality was that distraction and inattention result in fatalities and serious injuries.

“Mobile phones are a serious and growing threat to road safety with driver inattention reported as the primary cause in almost 38 per cent of fatal crashes and 52 per cent of serious injury crashes last year,” Mr Piccolo said.

“Some drivers may think they have the skill to check their phones and drive safely, but research shows that mobile phone use while driving impairs reaction time and hazard perception.

“Drivers must give their full attention at all times and using a mobile when driving has been shown to increase the risk of being involved in a crash by at least four times.

“Taking your eyes off the road to use a mobile phone is unacceptably dangerous behaviour and could cost you your life.”

The new campaign, starting today, includes television and radio advertisements, a YouTube video and bus shelter posters.

MAC General Manager of Road Safety Michael Cornish says MAC’s research shows people increasingly believe that using phones while driving is anti-social behaviour but that they are unlikely to alter their behaviour unless caught.

“Drivers are not permitted to touch, hold or rest a phone on their body while driving and being caught doing so will cost you $375 and three demerit points,” Mr Cornish said.

“The fact is if you think you can get away with using your mobile while driving, think again. Everyone can see what you’re doing, including the police - it’s not a good look.

“All road users need to take personal responsibility for their driving. If you cannot avoid the temptation of checking your phone, plan ahead by switching it off and placing it in the boot of your car or glove box.

“If a person wishes to make or receive a call, and needs to touch any part of the phone to do so, that phone must be mounted in a commercially manufactured holder designed for that purpose.

“Learner and P1 drivers are not permitted to use any mobile phone function while driving, including Bluetooth.”

Download media release 368kB