Last week, many marvelled at the video of the Melbourne man that tried to cross a flooded road and flooded his car. A lot of the comments around that video shared the message of “didn’t he see all the ads about not doing that?”
There are have been just as many ads about drink driving and using your phone while driving, but the scary statistics from Emergency services is that these messages are falling on deaf ears as well. Many stories have broken about the tragic accidents that happen with drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, but according to police in Western Australia, it’s the phone that is causing a lot of problems.
A not so uncommon occurrence is for police to set up operations to catch out mobile phone users while they are driving and in Perth, they have found it commonplace to catch up to 50 offenders in just over two hours. The statistics suggest that the problem is even bigger in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.
“This is the reality of people using mobile phones while they are driving,” WA Acting Premier Liza Harvey told the ABC. “I look at that sort of behaviour and hear about motorcyclists driving at excess speed, drunk drivers, people not wearing seatbelts, people using their phones, even not managing fatigue appropriately and they are losing their lives.”
Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia echoes the Ms Harvey’s sentiments saying, “There’s no message that will be as important as your life or the life of other road users.” Mr Papalia added, “What we do know is mobile phone use in vehicles is rising” and “We need to break that habit, and we need to reinforce it through education and enforcement.”
While it might seem like a “younger person’s problem” mobile phone use has been surging among over 60s for years with many anonymously admitting in surveys to using the phone while driving.
Have you ever used your phone while driving? Why do you think that some believe they can do it without a problem?