Mobile phone users targeted

DRIVERS are often reminded of the dangers of speeding, failing to wear seat belts, drink-driving and fatigue, all common contributing factors in crashes, and inattention.

Inattention can incorporate numerous factors, from lack of concentration to looking away from the road ahead to attend to some other matter.

One reason for this lack of attention is drivers are continuing to use their mobile phones while driving.

The practice of using a mobile phone while driving is prevalent and police are disappointed the message is not getting through to a large number of drivers.

This was reinforced recently when traffic officers conducted an operation in the Gladstone City area to specifically target drivers using mobile phones.

In a short period of time 18 infringement notices were issued to drivers for this offence.

The offences included drivers making calls, receiving calls, reading text messages and sending text messages.

Drivers received an infringement notice carrying a penalty of $300 and three demerit points.

Drivers are reminded that using a mobile phone is not allowed and by doing so is a clear breach of the road rules.

There still appears to be some confusion regarding the use of a mobile phone while driving, however the legislation stipulates using a mobile phone includes holding the phone to or near the ear whether or not engaged in a phone call, writing, sending or reading a text message, turning the phone on or off or operating any other function on the phone.

Numerous people when stopped by police indicated they weren’t talking on it, however as outlined in the legislation this is not the only function that drivers are prevented from using.

This legislation has only one exemption and that is for drivers of emergency and police vehicles.

Riders of bicycles are also in breach of this road rule if they use a mobile phone.

Drivers cannot concentrate fully on their driving if they are using a mobile phone and they are encouraged to pull to the side of the road in a safe place if they wish to use any function on their mobile phone.

Police will continue to be on the lookout for drivers who are using mobile phones and those drivers who are in breach of the legislation will be issued with an infringement notice.

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