Blitz on driv­ers us­ing phones

Franklin County News - - News -

Po­lice are run­ning a 10-day blitz on driv­ers us­ing cell­phones while driv­ing, timed to co­in­cide with the two-year an­niver­sary of the in­tro­duc­tion of leg­is­la­tion ban­ning mo­bile phone use while driv­ing.

National man­ager road polic­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Paula Rose said that the cam­paign, which started on Mon­day, was timed to re­mind driv­ers of the need to re­main vig­i­lant and not to slip back in to the old habit of talk­ing or tex­ting on cell­phones while in their cars.

Lat­est po­lice fig­ures show that the ma­jor­ity of driv­ers have changed their be­hav­iour but more than 15,000 of­fence no­tices have been is­sued na­tion­wide over the past two years.

In the first few months fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the new leg­is­la­tion po­lice fo­cused on re­mind­ing driv­ers about the new leg­is­la­tion and pro- vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity for driv­ers to ed­u­cate them­selves about the risk in­volved.

Although the rules al­low the use of hands-free mo­bile phones, po­lice rec­om­mended that driv­ers min­imise the po­ten­tial for dis­trac­tion by switch­ing phones off while driv­ing or pulling over to make or re­ceive calls. It is only le­gal to use a mo­bile phone to make, re­ceive or end a call when driv­ing if: the driver does not have to hold or ma­nip­u­late the phone to do so (i.e. phone is com­pletely voice ac­ti­vated), or the mo­bile phone is se­curely mounted to the ve­hi­cle and the driver ma­nip­u­lates the phone in­fre­quently and briefly.

The rule does not al­low driv­ers to cre­ate, send or read text mes­sages un­der any cir­cum­stances.

Po­lice will also be check­ing to en­sure all ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants are wear­ing safety belts.

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