Driv­ers flout phone rules

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

PO­LICE say one in ev­ery 20 Townsville mo­torists il­le­gally use their mo­bile phone while driv­ing and it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore they are caught.

Townsville traf­fic branch of­fi­cerin-charge Se­nior-Sergeant Tony God­dard said this statis­tic was get­ting worse.

He said nine driv­ers were pulled over for mak­ing mo­bile phone calls and tex­ting on Mon­day dur­ing a rou­tine pa­trol by their branch.

In to­tal, 38 tick­ets were is­sued to driv­ers on Townsville’s main roads and sub­ur­ban streets for var­i­ous traf­fic of­fences be­tween 9am and 4pm on Mon­day.

There were nine driv­ers caught speed­ing and seven pulled over for mak­ing il­le­gal U-turns. Some mo­torists were stopped do­ing al­most 30km/ h over the speed limit.

A fur­ther five tick­ets were is­sued for dis­obey­ing var­i­ous road signs and three tick­ets were handed out for fail­ure to wear seat belts.

These of­fences in­cluded some road users ig­nor­ing stop signs.

‘‘ There were an un­usu­ally large num­ber of traf­fic of­fences dur­ing a f i v e - hour p e r i o d , ’ ’ Snr-Sgt God­dard said. ‘‘ Peo­ple are get­ting care­less. ‘‘ They get for­get­ful on the roads and need to be re­minded.

‘ ‘ Es­pe­cially i n t his weather where there are a larger num­ber of crashes, the chances of ac­ci­dents rise if peo­ple don’t obey the rules.’’

Snr-Sgt God­dard said his big­gest concern was the high num­ber of road users caught with their phones while driv­ing.

He said this tech­nol­ogy was dis­tract­ing for driv­ers. ‘‘ The fine is $ 300 and they lose three de­merit points,’’ Snr-Sgt God­dard said.

‘‘ We pull them over af­ter we ob­serve them do­ing it.

‘‘ It’s also il­le­gal for bi­cy­cle rid­ers to use a mo­bile and we catch them do­ing this from time to time.

‘‘ They don’t lose any de­merit points on the bi­cy­cle but there is a $ 300 fine.’’

Snr-Sgt God­dard said apart from the large num­ber of tick­ets is­sued on Mon­day, mo­torists had been driv­ing care­fully dur­ing the wet weather. He said it was im­por­tant peo­ple drove slowly to avoid pot­holes around the city.

U-turn of­fences carry a three­de­merit point penalty, with fines rang­ing from $ 80 up to $ 300 de­pend­ing on the of­fence.

Not wear­ing a seat belt car­ries a $ 225 fine and the loss of three de­merit points.

Dis­obey­ing stop or give-way signs will re­sult in a $ 300 fine and the loss of three de­merit points.

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