Your say: could this stop texting drivers? 139



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Back when we were in our 20s, the only real distractions when we were driving around were good looking pedestrians or our kids squealing in the back. Nowadays, there’s a new distraction for younger (and some older) drivers: mobile phones. Mobile phones were responsible for more than a third of car accidents in Queensland in 2012 – compare that to 10 years ago when it was a minuscule amount and you can see what has happened here. Social media and the addiction to phones and apps are no doubt why Australians (and people all over the world) are having car accidents that can lead to death.

While the sensible of us put our phones down and do not touch them when we’re in the car, we are still at risk of being in an accident at the hands of someone who doesn’t have both hands and their eyes on the road.

But will a new device help to keep fatalities down on our roads? It can be hard for police to spot offenders…some drivers are sneaky and put their phone between their legs or under the wheel, so this is where a new gadget comes in. The ‘texting gun’ could be as useful as a radar or breathalyser in tackling road safety.

The US electronics company who has developed the prototype for this device has said that police could use it to detect radio frequencies, particularly those when a text message is sent.

There also won’t be privacy concerns because the ‘texting gun’ can’t read text messages, just the signal they send to phone towers. It is illegal to use your phone in your car in every state in Australia, other than hands-free or Bluetooth, even if you’re stationary.


Have your say: should Australian police use the device if it becomes available here? Do you think it will stop texting drivers or do we need better technology? What punishment should drivers get for using their phone and driving? Tell us today!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. That last bit of not using your phone I. The car while you are stationary sounds a bit sus. I often pull over , stop and sit in the car talking on my phone. What about on a deserted road in the dark. Am I supposed to get outside my car – come on.

    2 REPLY
    • Agree on that. Stationary, when in a line of traffic (e.g. at traffic lights), YES. But if stationary on the roadside, out of the way of traffic – NO. Poor wording there.

    • It’s an offence to use a mobile when in a stationary car … when the engine is running. Turn off the ignition and chat/text away if you’re parked safely.

      1 REPLY
      • That’s correct, the law requires that the car engine must be turned off. However, what difference that makes to safety, provided the handbrake is on, and the transmission is in Park or Neutral (automatic) or neutral (manual) I cannot understand.
        Just on that small point, the law is being an ass.

  2. Ok yes I would think it a good thing but passengers can use a phone, and how are they going to detect if your using a legal hands free phone? Don’t get me wrong I believe there should be NO phone turned ON in the car, but can be in the glove box incase of breakdown or road rage!

    1 REPLY
    • Tasmania Police were in the habit of posting bulletins referring to road conditions on their Facebook page, for the benefit of drivers.
      After getting some written stick about drivers using i-phones to read them, the bulletins are now addressed to passengers…….

  3. This gadget sounds like a good idea – in principle.
    As a pedestrian, I’ve seen quite a few people driving, eyes constantly downcast. It doesn’t take them that long to check their speedo – so guess what they’re doing.
    My mobile is always turned on and, when I’m driving, it is in my trouser pocket, where it cannot be easily accessed, thanks to the seat belt.
    It is on, in case some emergency should arise.
    On the infrequent occasions when it receives a call or text, I always look for a convenient parking spot – without fail.

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