Blitz on drivers using phones
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.