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Time to rethink mobile phone penalties?

By 1337Hax0r - 1 February 2013 82

I was sitting on the bus this afternoon, staring out the window as usual. On my 20 minute commute I spotted three drivers using their mobile phones, hand held, with no hands free kits. One, in a dark blue RAV 4 on Canberra Ave drifted all over the lane, and almost side swiped a car, which the driver of the Rav 4 clearly did not even notice. Then we got stuck behind a freight van being driven by another driver on the mobile.

Day in, day out, without fail, I see drivers on their mobile phones. Clearly whatever fines people are getting are not a deterrent. I don’t know what the fine is in the ACT, or if it even involves demerit points, but clearly it is not enough. I know it is $298 in NSW.

Consider tradies for example. Many of them seem to be constantly on the mobile phone while driving. They might make thousands of dollars from a phone call, so a fine of even a few hundred dollars now and them is no deterrent.

Perhaps a new approach is needed? Perhaps do the same as what is done with other car fines, for repeat offenders, the phone gets confiscated, and more importantly, the phone number. A tradie or anyone else for that matter making money off of a phone number for their business would be in serious inconvenience if their phone number is disconnected, or diverted to a message saying the number has been suspended until a specific date due to illegal use of the phone while driving. That would be a far more serious deterrent.

So, with this in mind, how do I go about getting it enacted as law? Write to my local member? Or have people had better success with other methods?

What’s Your opinion?


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82 Responses to
Time to rethink mobile phone penalties?
Pitchka 10:08 am 01 Feb 13

1337Hax0r said :

Pitchka said :

Postalgeek said :

I think a suspension of phone number for repeat offenders would be a great kick up the backside, and probably have more impact than a suspension of license.

And no ‘but your honour I need it for work’ defence. Those people put out of action by inattentive drivers also needed to work.

Great idea, because they cant just walk into Woolies and grab a $2 sim card, send out an sms to all contacts advising of their new number….

I think updating a Yellow Pages add would be a bit harder than that.
I don’t suppose you use the mobile phone without a hands free when driving by any chance?

Never heard of call diversion?

And to answer your second question, what part of “How hard can it be to rest the phone between your ear and shoulder, whilst taking a sip of your coffee, lighting up a ciggie whilst chaging gears and turning up the radio…” dont you understand?

Clearly im capable of multitasking, therefore have no need for HF.

shirty_bear 10:06 am 01 Feb 13

Doesn’t matter what the penalty is if there’s no rozzers on the road to enforce it. It’s not small fines making people willing to risk it, it’s the knowledge that they will get away with it.

Human Nature 101 … in the main, it’s not moral fortitude that makes people choose what’s right over what’s convenient, it’s fear of getting caught.

1337Hax0r 9:57 am 01 Feb 13

Pitchka said :

Postalgeek said :

I think a suspension of phone number for repeat offenders would be a great kick up the backside, and probably have more impact than a suspension of license.

And no ‘but your honour I need it for work’ defence. Those people put out of action by inattentive drivers also needed to work.

Great idea, because they cant just walk into Woolies and grab a $2 sim card, send out an sms to all contacts advising of their new number….

I think updating a Yellow Pages add would be a bit harder than that.
I don’t suppose you use the mobile phone without a hands free when driving by any chance?

chewy14 9:53 am 01 Feb 13

I’m more worried about the people eating a Big Mac, drinking coffee or putting on their makeup.

Pitchka 9:48 am 01 Feb 13

Postalgeek said :

I think a suspension of phone number for repeat offenders would be a great kick up the backside, and probably have more impact than a suspension of license.

And no ‘but your honour I need it for work’ defence. Those people put out of action by inattentive drivers also needed to work.

Great idea, because they cant just walk into Woolies and grab a $2 sim card, send out an sms to all contacts advising of their new number….

carnardly 9:45 am 01 Feb 13

I ride a bike most places and it’s easy to spot a phoner at a traffic light. When lights are red and you have a few minutes to survey cars from all directions, you can spot the “meercat” folk who do the head up quickly, head down, head up again, quick glance left, quick glance right and you know dead set they’re texting with the phone on their lap.

Just put the bloody thing away folk. I don’t want to be the next organ donor due to you running over me….

Postalgeek 9:41 am 01 Feb 13

I think a suspension of phone number for repeat offenders would be a great kick up the backside, and probably have more impact than a suspension of license.

And no ‘but your honour I need it for work’ defence. Those people put out of action by inattentive drivers also needed to work.

Pitchka 9:25 am 01 Feb 13

Handsfree is for losers who cant multi-task.

How hard can it be to rest the phone between your ear and shoulder, whilst taking a sip of your coffee, lighting up a ciggie whilst chaging gears and turning up the radio…

Whinge whinge farken whinge.

RadioVK 9:19 am 01 Feb 13

Deref said :

Thoroughly agree. There’s no excuse – ever. Hands-free kits are cheap.

Immediate loss of license for 3 months on the first offence.

^This^

Unfortunately so many drivers see a license as an optional extra, which would take away from its effectiveness I fear.

Leon said :

What makes you think that increasing penalties will solve the problem?

We have more than 240 road rules. Can we seriously expect:
(1) drivers of below average intelligence – and that means almost half of drivers – to remember them all? or
(2) the police to enforce them all?

(1)- They’re smart enough to work out how to operate a motor vehicle. I’d expect them to at least be able to remember the main ones like not exceeding speed limits, wearing seatbelts, and not using hand held mobile phones while driving. Those that can’t manage this should be removed from the roads.
(2)- Within reason, yes. That’s what they’re paid to do.

Keijidosha 9:19 am 01 Feb 13

I’d take a more practical approach to the problem. Increase the fine by $100 and use that money to provide offenders with a bluetooth handsfree unit. The fine and demerit points still make the driver accountable, and the handsfree unit should prevent (or reduce) future infringements.

bundah 9:11 am 01 Feb 13

Our legislators and judiciary are not prepared to take drink and drug driving offences seriously so what chance have we got with mobile phone offences.

devils_advocate 9:01 am 01 Feb 13

The monetary fine may not be a significant deterrent but certainly the 6(?) demerit points are.

Leon 8:59 am 01 Feb 13

What makes you think that increasing penalties will solve the problem?

We have more than 240 road rules. Can we seriously expect:
(1) drivers of below average intelligence – and that means almost half of drivers – to remember them all? or
(2) the police to enforce them all?

Deref 8:56 am 01 Feb 13

Thoroughly agree. There’s no excuse – ever. Hands-free kits are cheap.

Immediate loss of license for 3 months on the first offence.

p1 8:47 am 01 Feb 13

Over throw the government, appoint yourself leader, abolish the constitution and assume all powers for yourself. It worked for Frank.

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