1 February 2013

Time to rethink mobile phone penalties?

| 1337Hax0r
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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?

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On the way to work last week I actually spotted a lady in the car next to me holding a towel against the side window (to block out the sun) with one hand and craning her neck to stay in the shadow it created (possibly a vampire ?) while swerving all over the place….WTF ?

Innovation said :

That scene in packed to the rafters where that girl died was probably more effective than many of the ads around. We need more graphic ads to get through to these people.

I’m not sure why people should have to be bombarded with graphic images of car accidents when watching tv. Perhaps we could just get some police to actually enforce the current laws. Just sayin’

devils_advocate11:03 am 07 Feb 13

Innovation said :

That scene in packed to the rafters where that girl died was probably more effective than many of the ads around. We need more graphic ads to get through to these people.

I think they also need to turn them over more regularly, because once the ad becomes too familiar, it loses its impact. I usually only pay attention when I see the ad the first few times. Would be interesting to know what is the cost of producing and airing a reasonably well-design ad in peak viewing times compared to, say, putting a marked car on patrol for the same period of time.

That scene in packed to the rafters where that girl died was probably more effective than many of the ads around. We need more graphic ads to get through to these people.

GardeningGirl10:23 am 07 Feb 13

Yes, it’s not as constant a message. Now you mention it I can’t remember when I last saw the ad. To me the young lady gave the impression of trying to emphasise that even the sweetest most innocent lass (as opposed to an inconsiderate hoon) can turn into a menace to herself and others on the roads when using a mobile.

devils_advocate8:54 am 07 Feb 13

GardeningGirl said :

HardBallGets said :

Can’t recall ever seeing a phone/text/driving campaign, beyond some signage on the parkway etc.

I remember tv ads, one where a girl is excited about a birthday I think (?) and glances up just in time to see a little kid on a scooter in her windscreen, the other more recent one with the split screen showing what happens when she decides to “let it go to voicemail” compared to when she answers.

That’s a good example – but it just deosn’t seem to get as much of a run as the drink driving ads, or even the speeding ads (the one with the surgeon, saying would you rather a) arrive to a party late…). In fact even the (I thought quite good) ad with the tex perkins song, about the that is paranoid and keeps seeing cops everywhere, doesn’t seem to get as much of a run as the speeding ads. WTF.

Also the woman in the texting/mobile phone ad came across as being cognitively impaired and not really relateable for most of us. SUV wavering all over the road would be more salient, I reckon.

If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, the driver must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering.

This wording of the rule indicates that the person has to start walking first. Only a person on the road would pose a risk to safety so why stop if the person is just standing on the side of the road looking dumb. They might be taking a call before crossing 🙂

The rule does not stipulate that if you think the person wants to cross the road, you have to stop. It says, “A pedestrian crossing the road”.

RadioVK said :

Leon said :

RadioVK said :

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 [Road Rules] 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.

The average driver isn’t smart enough to remember the rules that require drivers to give way to pedestrians at intersections. Does that mean that:
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

To clarify, that wasn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list of the “main” road rules, just a few examples.

When I say “main road rules” I’m referring to rules such as “don’t use your mobile while driving” or “don’t drink and drive”, and so on, as opposed to rules such as “keep left unless overtaking”. One is outright dangerous, while the other is mostly just annoying.

1- The average driver probably wasn’t taught that you should give way to pedestrians at intersections (when turning into a side street, and the pedestrian is crossing said side street). My instructor never taught me this, I learned it from the good old road rules handbook. I’d suggest that this aspect of the law is not properly taught to driving students, and the fault lies more in inadequate education.

2- Define “average driver”. I’d agree that some of the more average drivers amongst us should probably be removed.

3- Do you know every one of the 200+ road rules from memory, because I don’t, and I don’t think that it makes me a bad driver.

If the person is waiting on the footpath and not crossing, then why stop on the main road to bei hit in the rear end by the next driver?
Who knows, maybe the hit will push you. Into the pedestrian?

RadioVK said :

Leon said :

DrKoresh said :

Yes, It should be a “main” rule. … Your figures of 60% of drivers not knowing. Is that from a study, or is it just your guesstimate? [From a survey of around 100 pedestrians, nearly all of whom were drivers]

I’d argue that 95% of pedestrians probably don’t know that they have right of way either. [Actually 60%]… as a pedestrian I never assume that I have right of way. I always wait untill I’m sure that the driver in question has seen me and reacted to my presence before I start crossing.

Very wise!

But as a driver, I don’t need to check at every intersection that truck every driver who is supposed to give way to me has seen me.

If a road rule is important, then should the police enforce it?
If it’s not important, is it worth having?

A very good point. You do have to assume at some point that the person behind the wheel of the other vehicle does know what he/she is doing.

My point is some rules are more important than others. For instance, driving under the influence is far more likely to end in injury or death than, say, failing to keep left on a dual carriageway. Both rules should be enforced, for different reasons, but I don’t think you’ll disagree that more resorces should be targeted at catching drink drivers than right lane hogs.

I don’t know why I’m being quoted for something I didn’t say 😐

GardeningGirl6:47 pm 06 Feb 13

HardBallGets said :

Can’t recall ever seeing a phone/text/driving campaign, beyond some signage on the parkway etc.

I remember tv ads, one where a girl is excited about a birthday I think (?) and glances up just in time to see a little kid on a scooter in her windscreen, the other more recent one with the split screen showing what happens when she decides to “let it go to voicemail” compared to when she answers.

Leon said :

DrKoresh said :

Yes, It should be a “main” rule. … Your figures of 60% of drivers not knowing. Is that from a study, or is it just your guesstimate? [From a survey of around 100 pedestrians, nearly all of whom were drivers]

I’d argue that 95% of pedestrians probably don’t know that they have right of way either. [Actually 60%]… as a pedestrian I never assume that I have right of way. I always wait untill I’m sure that the driver in question has seen me and reacted to my presence before I start crossing.

Very wise!

But as a driver, I don’t need to check at every intersection that truck every driver who is supposed to give way to me has seen me.

If a road rule is important, then should the police enforce it?
If it’s not important, is it worth having?

A very good point. You do have to assume at some point that the person behind the wheel of the other vehicle does know what he/she is doing.

My point is some rules are more important than others. For instance, driving under the influence is far more likely to end in injury or death than, say, failing to keep left on a dual carriageway. Both rules should be enforced, for different reasons, but I don’t think you’ll disagree that more resorces should be targeted at catching drink drivers than right lane hogs.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:42 pm 06 Feb 13

While I have never seen the mobile phone use as a issue(used to always be on the phone and was no different than talking to passenger), it became the law so paid for expensive hands free. Now days though, all smart phones come with ear buds with voice mic. No excuse not to use them if you absolutely need to take a call.

Having said all that, don’t be a moron and text or INTERWEBS while driving.

Scary thought the day smart glasses are a consumer reality and used while driving for many more things than GPS.

Wow. Serious comment on this.

The root cause is that so many drivers believe that at least some road rules are crap and they ignore them. Stupidly draconian speed limits are the culprit. Everyone travels at 130 on the Federal Highway, it’s just normal. Cause we all know that 110 is just ridiculous. So the law is ignored with the blessing of the local constabulary.

When you have opt in/opt out laws this will always happen. Get realistic with modern speed limits and enforce them. Until then drivers just choose what they want to comply with.

devils_advocate4:07 pm 06 Feb 13

HardBallGets said :

So whilst enforcement and sanction are important elements of the drink drive campaign, it’s the communication strategy that I’d argue has most influenced community behaviour (including ‘normalisation’). Can’t recall ever seeing a phone/text/driving campaign, beyond some signage on the parkway etc.

The drink driving thing is an interesting comparison/analogue, because clearly what they are trying to do is introduce a moral dimension to the crime, and make it socially repugnant. Don’t know if they succeeded, but I can get behind it in a “I can see what you did there” kind of way. Would make an interesting empirical study.

Thinking about it further, I think more visible enforcement and deterrence could have a direct effect on the percieved value of p, and reducing the incidences of the bad behaviour could have an additional positive effect by reducing the perceived ‘normalness’ of the behaviour and having people view it as a relatively uncommon and serious crime.

Based on my observations, I think driving with a mobile phone is way, way more dangerous than speeding under normal circumstances (even where the speeding is fairly significant) and yet it is speeding that recieves all the enforcement activity. I think introducing a moral dimension in the public messaging, together with some salient information about consequences, so people realise it’s NOT just about the fine (rather than generalised admonitions that it’s a “bad thingTM cos we said so”) could change behaviour, but maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part.

HardBallGets3:53 pm 06 Feb 13

devils_advocate said :

Well if we assume people are complete sociopaths and the only thing they think about in deciding whether to talk on their mobile phone is the possible fine (not injury or death to someone else) (happy to hear discussions on how heroic this assumption is):

deterrence is a function of the product of the likelihood of detection and sanction (p) times the expected value of that sanction (s). If the gain to the offender of engaging in the illegal conduct is greater than p*s, they will enage in the conduct.

I’m not aware of anyone who knows precisely the probability of being caught – certainly I don’t. It’s fairly unheard of, so while it does happen I would suggest p is a non-zero number that approaches zero. Would be interesting to know.

Probably relatively few people know the fine. I don’t know the fine, but that’s because I never do anything with my phone when I’m driving.

By definition, a significant number of people place such a high value on talking on their mobile while driving, without a hands-free, that it exceeds their expected value ps (even if that is wrong).

This could be a) because they think p is very small; b) their income is so high that s is not a significant deterrent for them; or both.

Other plausible behavioural factors could include normalisation (e.g. they percieve everyone else to be breaking the law, so feel no moral compulsion to obey the law); optimism bias (it’s well known that the vast majority of drivers feel they have above-average driving skill, which is by definition impossible); or something else.

The answers to these questions could inform discussion of whether more visible enforcement, higher penalties, or both are required. However, if we are talking about more visible enforcement (i.e. increasing the value of p) it’s fair to point out that a marked police car driving around creates general deterrence (i.e. it deters general ass-hattery, not just of the mobile phone variety).

Quoted in its entirety because of its high quality as a contribution to this conversation. The application of deterence theory is also an uncommon but excedingly helpful exercise in a whole bunch of other conversations as well. Kudos DA.

It is interesting how often people recognise a problem and then leap to “tougher penalties” as the only solution. In this case “lots of people are driving whilst operating a mobile phone, tougher sanctions will solve it”.

Given our understanding of deterence theory, it’s likely that tougher penalties alone will do very little to address the problem whilst the likelihood of detection is minimal.

As with most things, a range of interventions is likely to be the best approach. This should include as a priority a communication campaign, providing accurate and credible information to people about (i) the law, (ii) the risk of death/injury, (iii) the legal consequences, and (iv) what people should do instead.

So whilst enforcement and sanction are important elements of the drink drive campaign, it’s the communication strategy that I’d argue has most influenced community behaviour (including ‘normalisation’). Can’t recall ever seeing a phone/text/driving campaign, beyond some signage on the parkway etc.

devils_advocate2:49 pm 06 Feb 13

Well if we assume people are complete sociopaths and the only thing they think about in deciding whether to talk on their mobile phone is the possible fine (not injury or death to someone else) (happy to hear discussions on how heroic this assumption is):

deterrence is a function of the product of the likelihood of detection and sanction (p) times the expected value of that sanction (s). If the gain to the offender of engaging in the illegal conduct is greater than p*s, they will enage in the conduct.

I’m not aware of anyone who knows precisely the probability of being caught – certainly I don’t. It’s fairly unheard of, so while it does happen I would suggest p is a non-zero number that approaches zero. Would be interesting to know.

Probably relatively few people know the fine. I don’t know the fine, but that’s because I never do anything with my phone when I’m driving.

By definition, a significant number of people place such a high value on talking on their mobile while driving, without a hands-free, that it exceeds their expected value ps (even if that is wrong).

This could be a) because they think p is very small; b) their income is so high that s is not a significant deterrent for them; or both.

Other plausible behavioural factors could include normalisation (e.g. they percieve everyone else to be breaking the law, so feel no moral compulsion to obey the law); optimism bias (it’s well known that the vast majority of drivers feel they have above-average driving skill, which is by definition impossible); or something else.

The answers to these questions could inform discussion of whether more visible enforcement, higher penalties, or both are required. However, if we are talking about more visible enforcement (i.e. increasing the value of p) it’s fair to point out that a marked police car driving around creates general deterrence (i.e. it deters general ass-hattery, not just of the mobile phone variety).

GardeningGirl2:31 pm 06 Feb 13

sarahsarah said :

Yesterday I was driving from Woden into the city along Yamba Drive/Adelaide Ave (just before the Cotter Road overpass) when the SUV in front of me suddenly swerved off the road, across the bike lane and into the dirt. Briefly I thought that the driver must have had to pull over quickly for a kid emergency of some sort – I could see the shadow of a kid in the back and a Baby on Board sticker in the window. This was thought quickly replaced with of alarm when they swerved back out into traffic a moment later.

I switched lanes at this point and moved to overtake, trying to give them as much room as I could – the driver was meandering across their lane, speeding up and then slowing down and then back up again. As I passed, I glanced over and spied a woman with her eyes glued to her phone, obviously texting the most important message in history. Perhaps she’d just discovered the meaning of life or the secrets of the universe? I mean, why else would she feel the need to endanger the lives of herself, her kids and everyone else on the road with her? Especially as she’d effectively just lost control of her vehicle – not even that seemed to deter her.

She’s lucky it was dirt on the shoulder and not a concrete barrier, light pole or worse, a cyclist or pedestrian. You’d think ending up off the road would be enough to make her think, “Hmm, maybe I should put my phone down and pay attention.”

I’m still gob-smacked about it. Fraking brain-dead idiot.

After going off the road she got back on the road and kept texting and meandering? If it was THAT important that it couldn’t wait till she got to where she was going why didn’t she just stay put where she landed (after checking she wasn’t in a bad position obstructing visibility or something) and finish and then get back on the road? Fraking brain-dead idiot alright!

My gob-smacked tale. Car in front turned into a side street without indicating. No indicator, sadly nothing too unusual in that. But then she turned a u-ey (how do you spell that?) and came out in front of me chatting away obliviously, with a child in the back seat wide-eyed at the sight of me moving straight at them. I braked and it was then that she interrupted her mobile phone conversation to yell abuse at ME. Really? Excuse me for driving on the road when you want to use it for a phone call lady!

1337Hax0r, whatever the penalties I still think the problem is making sure enough people get caught that people will start caring about the possibility of getting those penalties.
Btw aren’t there devices that can block mobile signals? How precise are they? Can you set up one in a car to just block the car? Perhaps require people who are caught to rent such a device until they get out of the habit, a month for the first offence, a year for the second offence, etc. Make the rental fee significant. Perpetrator gets a financial penalty and is prevented from continuing the wrong behaviour, and the government makes revenue out of the rental. I wouldn’t mind if the device on the car was fairly conspicuous too so that everyone could see there goes an inconsiderate jerk but I suppose the do-gooders would be against that because it would embarrass them (just a thought, perhaps society might be doing better if there was a bit more embarrassment about behaviour detrimental to society?).

How about some advice on how to get this enacted as law? It is all good debating about this, but what I want to know is how to get it introduced as a new proposed law.

DrKoresh said :

Yes, It should be a “main” rule. … Your figures of 60% of drivers not knowing. Is that from a study, or is it just your guesstimate? [From a survey of around 100 pedestrians, nearly all of whom were drivers]

I’d argue that 95% of pedestrians probably don’t know that they have right of way either. [Actually 60%]… as a pedestrian I never assume that I have right of way. I always wait untill I’m sure that the driver in question has seen me and reacted to my presence before I start crossing.

Very wise!

But as a driver, I don’t need to check at every intersection that truck every driver who is supposed to give way to me has seen me.

If a road rule is important, then should the police enforce it?
If it’s not important, is it worth having?

Yesterday I was driving from Woden into the city along Yamba Drive/Adelaide Ave (just before the Cotter Road overpass) when the SUV in front of me suddenly swerved off the road, across the bike lane and into the dirt. Briefly I thought that the driver must have had to pull over quickly for a kid emergency of some sort – I could see the shadow of a kid in the back and a Baby on Board sticker in the window. This was thought quickly replaced with of alarm when they swerved back out into traffic a moment later.

I switched lanes at this point and moved to overtake, trying to give them as much room as I could – the driver was meandering across their lane, speeding up and then slowing down and then back up again. As I passed, I glanced over and spied a woman with her eyes glued to her phone, obviously texting the most important message in history. Perhaps she’d just discovered the meaning of life or the secrets of the universe? I mean, why else would she feel the need to endanger the lives of herself, her kids and everyone else on the road with her? Especially as she’d effectively just lost control of her vehicle – not even that seemed to deter her.

She’s lucky it was dirt on the shoulder and not a concrete barrier, light pole or worse, a cyclist or pedestrian. You’d think ending up off the road would be enough to make her think, “Hmm, maybe I should put my phone down and pay attention.”

I’m still gob-smacked about it. Fraking brain-dead idiot.

Maybe its time to rethink diplomatic immunity when it comes to traffic violations…

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/foreign-diplomats-ignore-aussie-road-rules-20130204-2du2y.html

RadioVK said :

Leon said :

Only 40% of drivers know the road rules that require them to give way to pedestrians when turning at intersections. I’m confident that the “average” driver is somewhere in the 60% majority that don’t know these rules.

Back to my question – does this mean that
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

RadioVK said :

2- Define “average driver”. I’d agree that some of the more average drivers amongst us should probably be removed.

Yes, It should be a “main” rule. the problem is more a lack of driver education, than a lack of driver intelligence (in this case, anyway). You could be forgiven for ignorance some of the more obscure road rules, but not for ignorance of things like drink driving, given all the media coverage and advertising on the subject.

Your figures of 60% of drivers not knowing. Is that from a study, or is it just your guesstimate?

I’d argue that 95% of pedestrians probably don’t know that they have right of way either. Most pedestrians will wait for you to turn the corner before crossing, regardless of right of way.Certainly, as a pedestrian I never assume that I have right of way. I always wait untill I’m sure that the driver in question has seen me and reacted to my presence before I start crossing.

It reminds me of a conversation I has with my driving instructor many moons ago:

Driving Instructor: Just pull up and wait for this guy.
Me: But I have right of way.
Driving Instructor: I’ll have them carve that on your headstone, shall I?

I knew my rights as a pedestrian, unfortunately nobody else did so I stopped crossing when I had right of way. It’d be suicide to try it on down at Erindale, I think that’s probably why I forgot that rule.

Leon said :

Only 40% of drivers know the road rules that require them to give way to pedestrians when turning at intersections. I’m confident that the “average” driver is somewhere in the 60% majority that don’t know these rules.

Back to my question – does this mean that
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

RadioVK said :

2- Define “average driver”. I’d agree that some of the more average drivers amongst us should probably be removed.

Yes, It should be a “main” rule. the problem is more a lack of driver education, than a lack of driver intelligence (in this case, anyway). You could be forgiven for ignorance some of the more obscure road rules, but not for ignorance of things like drink driving, given all the media coverage and advertising on the subject.

Your figures of 60% of drivers not knowing. Is that from a study, or is it just your guesstimate?

I’d argue that 95% of pedestrians probably don’t know that they have right of way either. Most pedestrians will wait for you to turn the corner before crossing, regardless of right of way.Certainly, as a pedestrian I never assume that I have right of way. I always wait untill I’m sure that the driver in question has seen me and reacted to my presence before I start crossing.

It reminds me of a conversation I has with my driving instructor many moons ago:

Driving Instructor: Just pull up and wait for this guy.
Me: But I have right of way.
Driving Instructor: I’ll have them carve that on your headstone, shall I?

Only 40% of drivers know the road rules that require them to give way to pedestrians when turning at intersections. I’m confident that the “average” driver is somewhere in the 60% majority that don’t know these rules.

Back to my question – does this mean that
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

RadioVK said :

2- Define “average driver”. I’d agree that some of the more average drivers amongst us should probably be removed.

Just live with the fact no matter how many rules and regulations are enacted there will always be people that ignore them. And the last thing we need is more rules and regulations. So once you accept this your life will be a whole lot more relaxing.

Leon said :

RadioVK said :

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 [Road Rules] 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.

The average driver isn’t smart enough to remember the rules that require drivers to give way to pedestrians at intersections. Does that mean that:
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

To clarify, that wasn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list of the “main” road rules, just a few examples.

When I say “main road rules” I’m referring to rules such as “don’t use your mobile while driving” or “don’t drink and drive”, and so on, as opposed to rules such as “keep left unless overtaking”. One is outright dangerous, while the other is mostly just annoying.

1- The average driver probably wasn’t taught that you should give way to pedestrians at intersections (when turning into a side street, and the pedestrian is crossing said side street). My instructor never taught me this, I learned it from the good old road rules handbook. I’d suggest that this aspect of the law is not properly taught to driving students, and the fault lies more in inadequate education.

2- Define “average driver”. I’d agree that some of the more average drivers amongst us should probably be removed.

3- Do you know every one of the 200+ road rules from memory, because I don’t, and I don’t think that it makes me a bad driver.

tim_c said :

One of the biggest problems … is … a police force that targets a range of offences besides speeding.

In addition to requiring the police to target speeding, Simon Corbell’s ACT Policing Purchase agreement (http://www.police.act.gov.au/~/media/act/pdf/purchase-agreement-2012-2013.ashx) requires the police to target mobile phone use, driving without a seatbelt, and drink-driving.

Are any of the other 230 road rules worth enforcing?

One of the biggest problems with policing this (as with other traffic laws) is that it requires a police presence on the roads (largely non-existent on ACT roads), and a police force that targets a range of offences besides speeding.

RadioVK said :

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 [Road Rules] 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.

The average driver isn’t smart enough to remember the rules that require drivers to give way to pedestrians at intersections. Does that mean that:
A: that is not a “main” rule; or
B: The average driver should be removed from the roads?

AsparagusSyndrome1:11 am 03 Feb 13

GTeam said :

A little of the topic…but on the way to work this morning saw a ute swerving across a lane and back…stopped at traffic light..proceeded to see guy driving eating a meat pie at the same time!

He probably swerved after burning his ear when his phone rang. Eating the pie was the only sure way to avoid eating his phone later on.

Pork Hunt said :

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

What is it with all these RA whackers that keep saying this? What a puerile comment “sauce….” is. Shows an intellectual vacuum between the ears. Find something new that actually makes sense, and that hasn’t been said so many times before.

Not IP

Oh, do ketchup!

bundah said :

Pork Hunt said :

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

What is it with all these RA whackers that keep saying this? What a puerile comment “sauce….” is. Shows an intellectual vacuum between the ears. Find something new that actually makes sense, and that hasn’t been said so many times before.

Not IP

Not IP…Intellectual Prowess? for pete’s sake!

Taking a wild guess here, I’d say Porker is referring to some of Irish Pete’s action, in which case “for pete’s sake” would be a remarkably apposite ejaculation in response. As it were…

Pork Hunt said :

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

What is it with all these RA whackers that keep saying this? What a puerile comment “sauce….” is. Shows an intellectual vacuum between the ears. Find something new that actually makes sense, and that hasn’t been said so many times before.

Not IP

Don’t like sauce on your pie?

Pork Hunt said :

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

What is it with all these RA whackers that keep saying this? What a puerile comment “sauce….” is. Shows an intellectual vacuum between the ears. Find something new that actually makes sense, and that hasn’t been said so many times before.

Not IP

Not IP…Intellectual Prowess? for pete’s sake!

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

What is it with all these RA whackers that keep saying this? What a puerile comment “sauce….” is. Shows an intellectual vacuum between the ears. Find something new that actually makes sense, and that hasn’t been said so many times before.

Not IP

Tooks said :

Very Busy said :

KeenGolfer said :

Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

Thanks for those stats. 2102 mobile phone TINS – Frankly that is absolutely pathetic. Less than 6 per day!!!! I would see at least that many on my 20 minute commute daily. As shirty_bear says @#14, the problem is not with the penalty, it’s with the lack of appropriate enforcement.

How many do you think you’d see if you drove a marked police car to work? General duties police drive marked cars, traffic cops drive hi-vis marked vehicles as well as some unmarked vehicles. I think people have a distorted view of how many police cars are on the road at any one time. I’ll give you the tip: it ain’t many. In fact, you’d probably be shocked if you knew.

Is it a million?

shirty_bear said :

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.

+1, if they know they’re going to get away with it, then why change their behavior?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

Incredible

Inedible?

Very Busy said :

KeenGolfer said :

Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

Thanks for those stats. 2102 mobile phone TINS – Frankly that is absolutely pathetic. Less than 6 per day!!!! I would see at least that many on my 20 minute commute daily. As shirty_bear says @#14, the problem is not with the penalty, it’s with the lack of appropriate enforcement.

How many do you think you’d see if you drove a marked police car to work? General duties police drive marked cars, traffic cops drive hi-vis marked vehicles as well as some unmarked vehicles. I think people have a distorted view of how many police cars are on the road at any one time. I’ll give you the tip: it ain’t many. In fact, you’d probably be shocked if you knew.

Very Busy said :

KeenGolfer said :

Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

Thanks for those stats. 2102 mobile phone TINS – Frankly that is absolutely pathetic. Less than 6 per day!!!! I would see at least that many on my 20 minute commute daily. As shirty_bear says @#14, the problem is not with the penalty, it’s with the lack of appropriate enforcement.

The police can’t stop people from being selfish arsehats. And the govt won’t do much about it as there’s no automated machine that can catch and fine them. You can’t write laws preventing selfishness or stupidity.

If you want to see more police on the road, instead of just having a typical RiotAct whinge, do something about it. For starters, demand Labor fulfil their election promise to fund a second RAPID team:

“f re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will invest $6.8 million for a road safety operations team, eight more police and four dedicated vehicles to help prevent fatalaties and serious accidents on our roads.

This investment will also see the ACT’s first alcohol ignition interlock program to make it harder for high risk drink driving offenders to re-offend.”

http://www.actlabor.org.au/news/339-act-labor-investing-in-more-police-and-safer-roads

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:29 am 02 Feb 13

poetix said :

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

Incredible

KeenGolfer said :

Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

Thanks for those stats. 2102 mobile phone TINS – Frankly that is absolutely pathetic. Less than 6 per day!!!! I would see at least that many on my 20 minute commute daily. As shirty_bear says @#14, the problem is not with the penalty, it’s with the lack of appropriate enforcement.

wildturkeycanoe6:12 am 02 Feb 13

Fines are great if you have someone out there issuing them. The problem is that there aren’t enough [undercover] police cars on the roads. As soon as someone sees a fluoro orange emblazoned checkered flag approaching, the phone is on the lap, nobody sees the offense. If the Police car was undercover or had a camera running all day to record number plates and the offenders, it might be different. Vigilante action anyone? Do the police have powers to use private video to send infringements to offenders?

The mobile phones rules aren’t working at all, I see people using them behind the wheel daily, too often while doing 80 in the right lane or the 100km/h Parkway or similar.

screaming banshee said :

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

In before Comic and Gamer Nerd:

Sauce?

GardeningGirl8:02 pm 01 Feb 13

shirty_bear said :

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.

Exactly. I’ve seen people talking or texting and sometimes speeding and/or swerving at the same time, what I haven’t seen is someone who can do something about it seeing them.

screaming banshee7:01 pm 01 Feb 13

For what it’s worth I find eating a pie is much more manageable while driving than using a phone.

Take away the shoes of pedestrians who cross on a red light …. Take the cars off people who break other road rules …. You can’t just take people things – wouldn’t stop them anyway, when new phones are easily purchased.
Do they take away the burger from someone who is trying to negotiate steering with eating their KFC? Or the Ipod of someone shuffling through their driving playlist
Don’t waste your time writing to anyone about this new law. No one will take you seriously and if it’s even considered , every Canberran will fight against it.

It’s a bit hard to make hands free illegal when most people paid for it to be installed in their car, it’s a worthy investment and no more dangerous than eating, smoking or drinking while driving. Considering I get in trouble at work if I don’t answer my phone I don’t think making it illegal will work. You may say I should just pull over, but the amount of times i’ve been beeped at or abused for doing that, or just not had anywhere that I can pull over safely, It’s just easier and more worthwhile having bluetooth. Being on a mobile phone while driving (not handsfree) is 3 demerit points.

Martlark said :

Take the phone off them and get them to pick it up from the local cop shop when the shift ends. Plus a nice fine and some demerit points.

You must be a teacher. Could the coppers be bought off with an apple?

Ben_Dover said :

How about lopping off the left hand for a first offender?

Well that does leave one good hand to cater for all the essentials.

Take the phone off them and get them to pick it up from the local cop shop when the shift ends. Plus a nice fine and some demerit points.

p1 said :

GTeam said :

A little of the topic…but on the way to work this morning saw a ute swerving across a lane and back…stopped at traffic light..proceeded to see guy driving eating a meat pie at the same time!

If you can’t drive and eat a meat pie you have no business owning a ute.

TOUCHE!!! 🙂

FioBla said :

I was using mobile phone because I could only remember 239 road rules.

239 problems but a phone ain’t one.

How about lopping off the left hand for a first offender?

GTeam said :

A little of the topic…but on the way to work this morning saw a ute swerving across a lane and back…stopped at traffic light..proceeded to see guy driving eating a meat pie at the same time!

If you can’t drive and eat a meat pie you have no business owning a ute.

KeenGolfer said :

shirty_bear said :

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.

The very small RAPID team last financial year issued 4858 traffic infringements and 1172 defect notices. Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

Ta for the update, Mr Plod. Shouldn’t you be out on patrol somewhere?

Don’t get me wrong, RAPID’s a great start. But RAPID and revenue cameras simply don’t snare – or even scare – the hordes of phone-drivers on the roads.

Damn nanny state. It’s not like they’re using the mobile phone while watching a movie at the cinemas.

shirty_bear said :

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.

The very small RAPID team last financial year issued 4858 traffic infringements and 1172 defect notices. Overall ACT Policing issued 2102 TINs for mobile phones, 722 for no seatbelt, 7935 for speeding etc, did 91429 RBTs and caught 1427 drink drivers. Nah, there’s never any cops on the road.

A little of the topic…but on the way to work this morning saw a ute swerving across a lane and back…stopped at traffic light..proceeded to see guy driving eating a meat pie at the same time!

Actually I found it interesting that the fines in Singapore for drink driving are about $30,000 and/or 3 years jail. Talso kill drug smugglers etc. I kind of agree that most fines for serious offences are too small, like excessive speeding over 45kmh, drink driving and inattentive driving. But raising the fines prob won’t fix the situation, those that break the law probably still will and be less likely to be able to pay for them, which leads to other problems.

Maybe we could let the immigrants at detention centres in and put thos who can follow these laws into the detention centre? 🙂

Pitchka said :

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?

Suspension = no service = no diversion.

I’d be happy if they made it so talking on the is phone legal, but test messaging attracts summary execution.

Pitchka said :

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.

The problem is that far too many can barely drive let alone talk on the phone or worse still text while driving which is why road rules have to apply to everyone even though we are superior.

The distinction between driving on the phone and using a hands-free set in your car is almost purely a legal one. Driving is still fairly heavily impaired whichever you use. Both should be banned or made legal (though I imagine a hands-free driver is a lot harder to spot than one holding a phone), IMO, or else it’s just a waste of time.

I was using mobile phone because I could only remember 239 road rules.

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.

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.

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?

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

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 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….

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.

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.

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.

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.

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_advocate9:01 am 01 Feb 13

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

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?

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

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

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

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