Drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel has been a problem for years but now a former police officer has slammed the current penalties as inadequate, suggesting offenders should instead face the same punishment as drink drivers.
Speaking to the Courier Mail, retired senior constable Garry Church says drivers caught in the act should wave goodbye to their licences for three months as punishment.
“Let them lose their licence for three months,” Church said. “That will allow them to wake up.
“The dangers of mobile phones became obvious in the mid-2000s, they became a very big problem. Is going to be a long-term problem until something is done about it.”
Church also told the newspaper that he thinks drivers should be charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and questioned why people don’t opt to use Bluetooth or handsfree devices.
“I think the current fine of $391 and three points is nowhere near adequate,” he added. “I cannot grasp people’s attitude on the road with their mobile phones; I’d like to shove them up their arse,” he said.
Earlier this year a shocking survey revealed that the majority of Aussies don’t consider texting behind the wheel to be a dangerous act.
The findings revealed that most Aussies do not believe they are putting themselves at risk by using their mobile phones when they are behind the wheel of a car, with women said to be more likely to offend than men.
The research also revealed that drivers who have held their licences for a higher number of years are less likely to use their phones than novice drivers with less experience.
More than 440 people, aged between 16 and 70, took part in the study which was conducted by The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, Queensland. Participants were given a range of driving scenarios and asked to respond to a series of potential risks.