ACT Policing is targeting driver distraction this month – reminding motorists that taking their eyes off the road can have serious consequences.
The initiative follows on from Suncorp research which revealed that almost half of ACT and NSW motorists have had a near miss because they were distracted while driving, with 15 per cent of respondents actually causing an accident due to distractions.
Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Detective Sergeant Marcus Boorman said: “everybody has seen other drivers distracted whilst they are driving”.
“By taking your eyes off the road for just one second there can be serious and life-altering consequences for yourself, your family and other road users,” said Detective Sergeant Boorman.
According to ACT Policing, the most common offence related to driver distraction in the ACT is mobile phone use.
Police have issued 770 traffic infringement notices and cautions for mobile phone use so far this year (January to May 2018).
The recently-released results of a survey of more than 5,000 ACT and NSW motorists commissioned by Suncorp also showed that mobile phones were a big distraction with a quarter of respondents saying they had sent a text while driving and 32 per cent of people saying they’d talked on hand-held mobile phones while driving.
Misbehaving children, unrestrained pets, opening food, and taking your eyes off the road to search for street signs were some of the other big driver distractions according to the research. However, these distractions would be less likely to be recorded as offences.
ACT Policing state that driver distraction is any action that takes a driver’s attention away from the road or impacts their driving ability.
Throughout the year, the multi-agency road safety strategy targets specific issues and behaviours which contribute to death and serious injuries on Canberra’s roads, with driver distraction among those concerns.
In June, police will particularly focus on driver distraction and are reminding motorists to keep their eyes on the road.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right, so everybody needs to take road safety seriously, use common sense and drive responsibly.”