Traffic jam not time to blow your trumpet
BLOWING your horn in traffic took on a new meaning for one commuter recently seen practising his trumpet while stuck in a Brisbane peak-hour jam.
RACQ spokesman Mike Sopinski says it is the most bizarre traffic jam sighting their members have witnessed and according to one road safety expert it may not be as dangerous as it appears. ‘‘Among the more common complaints we have heard are drivers seen doing their hair, make-up, shaving/grooming, opening and reading mail, leafing through the newspaper and even eating breakfast,’’ Sopinski says.
‘‘One motorist reported to have been observed eating cereal from a bowl with a spoon while stopped at traffic lights.
‘‘However, the most bizarre report we have heard about is the one concerning the motorist actually seen practising the trumpet while behind the wheel in a traffic jam.’’
Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety — Queensland (CARRS-Q) Professor Simon Washington says that the incidence of distracted driving is more common among commuters than other road users.
‘‘Commuting is a routine thing and people get familiar and comfortable with the route, so they become complacent,’’ Prof Washington says. ‘‘They tend to disengage a little more in the commute to the point where they are not aware of the real risks.’’
However, Prof Washington says the risks of distracted driving are less severe in commuting traffic.
‘‘The good side is that in heavy congestion the risk of severe injury is less because it’s slower traffic,’’ he said.
‘‘But the downside is if you have a crash in a commute there is a huge economic cost of delaying other commuters because of your distraction.’’