WE ARE addicted to our mobile phones – even when we know we shouldn’t be using them.
Police are increasingly frustrated with blase motorists who do not understand that distraction is one of the biggest killers on Victoria’s roads.
The latest statistics show the number of people fined for mobile phone use in Ballarat dropped for the first time in five years. The number of drivers caught using their phones has by risen 60 per cent since the 2010-11 financial year. However 195 less infringements were handed out in the 2014-15 financial year than the year prior. In 2010-11 295 mobile use infringements were handed out. That number sky-rocketed to 482 in 2011-12; 508 in 2012-13 reaching a height of 669 in 2013-14.
TAC experts say the decline in number of infringements handed out is reflected state-wide. However they have reminded people not to forget that mobile phone use while is still a significant contributor to avoidable trauma on roads. Victoria Police figures showed the number of infringements issued for illegal mobile phone use had fallen from 59,353 in the 2012-13 financial year to 46,375 in the 2013-14 financial year. Police say one of the major contributors to this drop was tougher penalties. Drivers caught texting are now slapped with a $433 fine and four demerit points.
Nearly all of these (recent) fatalities could have been prevented.- Pat Cleary
2015 TAC research showed a significant decline in the number of people who admitted to using their phone while driving. Only 14 per cent of regional respondents said they had read a text message while actively driving in the past month and 8 per cent said they had written a text while driving.
Mobile phone use while stopped at traffic lights is more common. With reading and writing text messages the most common form of phone use, according to the survey.
Thirty-six per cent of respondents said they had read a text and the lights, while 18 per cent admitted to writing a text while waiting for a green light.
Speaking generally about driving, Senior Sergeant Pat Cleary recently told The Courier distraction continued to be one of the biggest contributors to road trauma. “Nearly all of these (recent) fatalities could have been prevented," he said.
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