ACT police will target driver distraction in June as part of its ongoing road safety campaign with partner agencies.
Police say driver distraction is any action that takes a driver’s attention away from the road and on to other elements of their environment. This could include using a mobile phone, driving with headphones in, tuning your radio, managing children or pets on board or applying make-up.
Station Sergeant Susan Ball, the officer in charge of traffic operations, stressed that even a short glace away from the road could have tragic consequences.
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“If you think that looking down for a few seconds to check a text message causes no harm, I can assure you that the families who have lost loved ones because of a distracted driver feel very differently,” she said.
“If a driver travelling in an 80kmh zone takes their eyes off the road for three seconds then they’ll travel over 60 metres effectively blindfolded before their eyes return to the road.
“There is absolutely no excuse to look at your phone while driving, either have a passenger in the car check the phone for you or simply pull over. No text message is worth somebody’s life.”
Drivers who use a hand-held phone while driving will receive a traffic infringement notice, including a fine of $386 and the loss of three demerit points.