Police release footage of ‘stupid’ and ‘dangerous’ distracted driving

Dominic Giannini 2 June 2020 16
Mobile phone user

ACT Policing is warning drivers to stay off their phones while on the road. Photo: Supplied.

Police have released footage of motorists who continue to use their phones while driving – some at speeds in excess of 80 km/h – a practice police have called “stupid” and “dangerous”.

Hundreds of Canberrans are caught using their mobile phones while driving every year, and it is the most common distracted-driving infringement notice issued by ACT Policing.

Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman has used body and helmet cam footage to again call on motorists to stop endangering themselves and others on Canberra roads.

“We are not releasing this video for fun, or to shame individuals,” Detective Inspector Boorman said. “We are putting it out there to show how common this dangerous, and ultimately stupid, behaviour is.”

“Every driver caught in this video was distracted by their phone, most of them were so engrossed in using it they were surprised to see a police officer on a motorcycle pull up next to them, and some didn’t even notice that until the flashing lights and siren started.

“No phone call, text message, map search, or social media update is worth the multiple risks you take when you use your phone illegally while driving.”

Distracted driving also constitutes driving with headphones on, managing passengers or pets on board, tuning a car radio, or using a GPS.

The renewed calls for drivers to put their phones down while driving forms a part of the broader ACT Road Safety Strategy, which is aiming to reach zero road deaths in the Territory.

Mobile phone user

ACT Policing are warning drivers to stay off their phones while on the road.


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16 Responses to Police release footage of ‘stupid’ and ‘dangerous’ distracted driving
Brisal Brisal 2:06 pm 04 Jun 20

@Julie Macklin
Just to give one example, what these numpties do is when the light goes green and they haven’t finished their SMS or facebook update, they drive off still looking down at their phone, and if they are turning and there happens to be pedestrians crossing the road… More than once I’ve had close shaves with idiots turning across intersections while still on their phone.

    JC JC 1:23 pm 05 Jun 20

    You also see it where someone is on the phone waiting to go straight and a turning vehicle next to them gets a green take off when the turning vehicle takes off. They are so engrossed in their phone they don’t realise they still have a red.

    Driving needs concentration even when at lights or stuck in a traffic jam.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 12:05 pm 04 Jun 20

I do agree that people who are driving should not be on the phone. I refuse to answer a phone when driving. But stationary at lights, I think that is a bit tough. Who are they harming? As long as they put down the phone before they drive on. If they don't, book them then. A lot there were caught at lights, as they are easy prey while they are stationary and the car not moving, compared to the real offenders; those answering or worse, texting on the phone while the car is moving.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 2:00 pm 05 Jun 20

    You haven't convinced me. But I never said I did this, so that was presumptuous of you. I don't. But because I didn't see anything wrong with people there glancing at their phones (not writing novels) while fully stopped, I should hand my licence in. Are you the thought police.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 8:24 pm 05 Jun 20

    Gregg Heldon And how do my thoughts affect my good driving record that I should hand my licence in and let possibly those with worse driving records continue driving, just because they might think like you. Fortunately you are not the arbitrator of who drives and don't show the logic to be that.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 8:35 pm 05 Jun 20

    Gregg Heldon Never advocated it. The logic is (which you fail to understand) is if I advocated it, I would do this myself, which I don't. I think people on phones while driving should be booked and possible lose their licences. We weren't talking about them driving, but someone glancing at their phone while stationary and not driving. I never mentioned texting.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:08 pm 05 Jun 20

    Gregg Heldon People glance at many things when stationary at the lights. Their passenger, the person walking along the footpath, the person in the next car, the bird in the tree, their phone (not saying texting or anything that will hold them there). All those things likely distract them just as much as the phone. Should they be booked for those things? Please explain who these people who were stationary (not driving at the time) were endangering. Do you know of any incidents of someone causing an accident in a stationary vehicle. What are the actual facts with this situation. No need to answer this. This has become monotonous.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:41 am 06 Jun 20

    Gregg Heldon That is when one car is stationary and the other car is moving. All the cars are stationary at lights. Fortunately headrests have reduced the incidence of whiplash. I had a car written off when someone drove into the rear of my car, but I had no whiplash because of the headrest. The car in front suddenly stopped on Horse Park Drive (80km rd). I successfully took evasive action and steered around them, but the car behind me didn't react as well and slammed into the back of my car. But that's a side story.

Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 4:51 pm 03 Jun 20

I think the crackdown may be working. Now we need a crackdown on occupied cars idling and stationary half in the bike lane and half in the left lane.

    Jayson Carey-Brenton Jayson Carey-Brenton 9:55 pm 03 Jun 20

    Sounds like a massive problem

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 11:57 pm 03 Jun 20

    Joshua McTackett guess it is progress, unless you are on the treadle riding Hindmarsh for example

Margaret Tuckwell Margaret Tuckwell 10:22 am 03 Jun 20

What on earth could be so important to need to do this.

    Deborah Hicks Deborah Hicks 10:50 pm 03 Jun 20

    Saving lives - that important

    Margaret Tuckwell Margaret Tuckwell 11:02 pm 03 Jun 20

    Deborah Hicks sorry Deborah I was meaning people who text not the police. If someone rang me two or three times I would pull over but never answer. Yes saving lives by police is what they do because they must see some horrific incidents.

Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 9:33 am 03 Jun 20

Please have a crack down. I’ve nearly been run down by a driver; he was clueless he had just run through a red light.

Mario Vozella Mario Vozella 9:32 am 03 Jun 20

No warnings , loss of license is the only way these idiots will learn

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